In order to understand proteolytic enzymes, it's important to once again (at the risk of repeating myself) touch on what enzymes are.
Enzymes are proteins that facilitate chemical reactions in living organisms. In fact, they are required for every single chemical action that takes place in your body. All of your tissues, muscles, bones, organs, and cells are run by enzymes.
Your digestive system, immune system, bloodstream, liver, kidneys, spleen, and pancreas, as well as your ability to see, think, feel, and breathe, (in fact, the very functioning of each and every cell in your body) all depend on enzymes. All of the minerals and vitamins you eat and all of the hormones your body produces need enzymes in order to work properly. In fact, every single metabolic function in your body is governed by enzymes. Your stamina, your energy level, your ability to utilize vitamins and minerals, your immune system -- all governed by enzymes.
The vast majority of metabolic enzymes in the body -- the enzymes that regulate everything from liver function to the immune system -- are proteases, or proteolytic enzymes -- enzymes that regulate protein function in the body.
When we continually eat foods that are enzyme dead (cooked or processed), we force the body to divert its production of enzymes away from proteolytic enzymes designed to govern metabolic functions into proteolytic enzymes designed to break down dead proteins in our diets. The health consequences of this diversion are enormous. Conversely, the health benefits of supplementing with proteolytic enzymes are profound. And by supplementing, I mean
- Supplementing with "digestive" proteolytic enzymes at meals to ease the burden on the body so that it no longer has to divert its resources
- And supplementing with "special" proteolytic enzymes between meals so that the enzymes can enter the bloodstream and augment the proteolytic functions of our metabolic enzymes.
It is possible to use good quality digestive enzymes for both functions and receive a significant amount of benefit. (I have formulated enzymes that way for years.) But it is far more beneficial to use formulas that are optimized for each particular function. With that in mind, I now want to spend the rest of this newsletter talking about the profound benefits of supplementing with a dedicated proteolytic formula. These benefits include:
- Reduced inflammation: Inflammation is a natural response of the body to injury. However, excessive inflammation retards the healing process. Proteolytic enzymes reduce inflammation by neutralizing the bio-chemicals of inflammation (bradykinins and pro-inflammatory eicosanoids) to levels where the synthesis, repair and regeneration of injured tissues can take place. Reducing inflammation can have immediate impact on improved heart health, cancer prevention and recovery, and Alzheimer's prevention. It also helps speed up recovery from sprains, strains, fractures, bruises, contusions, surgery -- and arthritis.
- Cleansing the blood of debris: Proteolytic enzymes are the primary tools the body uses to "digest" organic debris in the circulatory and lymph systems. Supplementing merely improves the effectiveness of the process.
- Dissolving fibrin in the blood, reducing the risk of clots: Certain specialized proteases such as nattokinase are extremely effective at improving the "quality" of blood cells, optimizing the ability of blood to flow through the circulatory system, and reducing the risk of clots. This is extremely important in reducing the risk of stroke. It also makes using proteolytic enzymes during long plane flights to minimize the potential of blood clots in the legs a no-brainer.
- Maximized immune system: The primary vehicle the immune system uses for destroying invaders is enzymes. Macrophages, for example, literally digest invaders with proteolytic enzymes. Supplementation significantly improves the ability of your immune system to do its job.
- Killing of bacteria, viruses, molds, and fungi: Bacteria, viruses, molds, and fungi are protein/amino acid based. Proteolytic enzymes taken between meals literally go into the bloodstream and digest these invaders.
- Elimination of autoimmune diseases: In Lessons from the Miracle Doctors, I cover in detail the process whereby large undigested proteins make their way into the bloodstream and form CICs (Circulating Immune Complexes), which trigger allergies and autoimmune diseases. Supplemental proteolytic enzymes clean CICs out of the body, thereby reducing allergies and autoimmune conditions. In addition, this helps with sinutis and asthma.
- Dissolving of scar tissue: Scar tissue is made of protein. Proteolytic enzymes can effectively "digest" scar tissue -- particularly in the circulatory system.
- And finally, a properly designed supplemental proteolytic enzyme formula can help. reduce the symptoms of MS, clean out the lungs, and aid in detoxing.
Which brings us to the final question: what constitutes a properly designed supplemental proteolytic enzyme formula?
- First, it needs a lot of protease. You want at least 200,000 HUT. This is far more than you will ever find in a digestive formula. 300,000 HUT is even better. (Note: fungal (vegetarian based) protease is merely rendered inactive by stomach acid, not destroyed. As soon as it passes into the alkaline environment of the intestinal tract it reactivates -- and if not needed for digesting food, makes its way into the bloodstream. In other words, for use in a proteolytic enzyme formula, it does not need to be protected from stomach acid.)
- In addition, even though fungal protease does indeed reactivate in the intestinal tract, the formula will be much more effective if it includes a variety of proteases that work optimally in a variety of pH ranges. Some of these proteases would include: papain, bromelain, and fungal pancreatin.
- A very special proteolytic enzyme called nattokinase has been discovered that has displayed a remarkable ability to optimally balance the clotting ability of blood. Its ability to control clotting rivals that of pharmaceutical drugs such as warfarin, but without any of the side effects or downsides -- making it of value to everyone, not just heart disease patients. Obviously, if you are already using blood thinners, you will need to work with your doctor if you decide to incorporate proteolytic enzymes in your health program. (Unfortunately, most doctors will opt to play it safe (for them, not you) and choose to keep you on the pharmaceuticals.)
- One of the "hot" proteolytic enzymes in alternative health right now is serrapeptase. It has remarkable anti-inflammatory and anti-edemic (counters swelling and fluid retention) activity in a number of tissues. And in addition to reducing inflammation, serrapeptase has a profound ability to reduce pain, due to its ability to block the release of pain-inducing amines from inflamed tissues. And finally, it helps clear mucous from the lungs by reducing neutrophil numbers and altering the viscoelasticity of sputum in patients with chronic airway diseases. These are all major benefits, however, serrapeptase has several problems
- Its quality tends to be inconsistent
- It can cause intestinal distress
- It is very sensitive to stomach acid, which means it has to be enteric coated. Unfortunately, the technology for enteric coating capsules or powders is not reliable (which is why you normally find enteric coating used only on hard tablets or on hard beads inside capsules (as in cold capsules).
So is there an alternative to serrapeptase? Yes, it's called Seaprose-S.
- It's manufactured in Japan and is of consistent high quality
- It causes virtually no intestinal distress
- It is not affected by stomach acid so it does not require enteric coating
- And studies have shown that it is more effective than serrapeptase -- 85% vs 65%. Click here to see a summary of one such study.
So let's bring this to a conclusion
- Regular use of proteolytic enzymes can be an invaluable addition to your daily health program.
- For maintenance, take three 500 mg capsules a day at least 1 hour before or after eating.
- For detoxing, start with 2 capsules three times a day and build to 4 capsules or more until you notice benefits, or as recommended by your health professional. You will want to run a detox program for a minimum of 30 days to as long as 12-24 months -- depending on the state of your health and how much damage you are trying to repair.
Note: if it is impossible for you take your proteolytic formula without food, then take it with food. You will still receive a substantial portion of the benefit -- 65-75%, which is better than not taking it at all.
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