Health Blog | Surgery & Proteolytic Enzymes

Date: 10/30/2006    Written by: Jon Barron

Proteolytic Enzymes and HIV


Jon recommends taking pancreatic enzymes (which include proteases) with every meal. I have HIV and am on a HAART regimen that includes Protease Inhibitors. Are we talking about the same thing here? Would it not be detrimental to my HAART regimen to take an enzyme with something that the medications work to inhibit?


Actually, I recommend taking digestive enzymes (which include proteases) with meals, and a systemic proteolytic enzyme formula between meals, which is slightly different. It is important to use precise wording here, because it actually matters.

Proteolytic enzymes, or protease is an overall descriptive term to describe the myriad of enzymes that work on proteins. Most proteases are very specific, and work on very specific bio-chemical reactions. In other words, protease, depending on how it's used, can be either an overall or a specific term.

For example, currently, there are five HIV protease inhibitors approved by FDA for the treatment of HIV infection. These medications work at the final stage of viral replication and work to prevent HIV from making new copies of itself by interfering with the HIV protease enzyme (a very specific protease enzyme). As a result, the new copies of HIV are not able to infect new cells.

The digestive and systemic proteolytic enzymes that I recommend are not related to the HIV protease enzyme - other than the fact that they too work on proteins. But absolutely, check with your doctor before adding any supplements to your HAART regimen.

Maybe this will help. Protease is a bit like the word transportation. Under that overall term, we have everything from walking to driving to sky-diving to "beaming" in Star Trek - sharing only one thing in common: they get you from here to there, but through entirely different means.

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    Submitted by Jon Barron on
    September 15, 2008 - 3:08am

    Eventually, if you take too much of any healthy product, it stops becoming beneficial. Unfortunately, what that level is on any product varies from person to person. If you're talking about pHi-Zymes, then 15 a day is safe for most people. Some people take more and have reported great results -- but you're entering unknown territory, and I don't recommend it. A good marker is nosebleeds or blood in the stools. Since proteolytic enzymes thin the blood, you will find that you are more likely to get nosebleeds or a few drops of blood in your stools. If you notice this happening more than once or twice a month, then you're probably using too much.

    Submitted by Jon Barron on
    May 26, 2009 - 2:36am

    The explanation is very simple. The weight of enzymes tells you nothing. For example, you have two bottles of 1000 mg capsules of digestive enzymes from the same company bought at two different stores. You think they're similar -- after all, they're both 1000 mg capsules of the same product. But let's suppose one store received delivery of their product on a refrigerated truck and the other on a truck that broke down for three days in the Arizona desert mid-summer. Since enzymes are destroyed by sustained heat, the product that came on the hot truck now has zero enzyme activity. When it comes to enzymes, weight means nothing - activity is everything.
    In fact, activity is more likely to be a manufacturing and enzyme type variant than a delivery variant. But the principle still holds. Weight tells you nothing. 1000 mg of a highly active enzyme from one company is worth far, far more than a1000 mg of a cheaper less active enzyme from another company.
    Of course, all of this is explained in detail if you follow the link I suggested to Tim above.

    Submitted by Jon Barron on
    July 31, 2008 - 11:15am

    There is no easy way to convert from one scale to another. Although any scale is better than listing the weight in mg. That actually tells you nothing. For more on how to evaluate enzymes check out /enzymes/natural-newsletter-digestive-health-part2. In the end, the best way to chose an enzyme formula is the same way you chose wine -- find a manufacturer you know and trust and stick with them. Lafite Rothschild is always going to be better than a screwtop Thunderbird. Find a good manufacturer and stick with them. In the end, that's why I made my own enzyme formulas (sold through Baseline Nutritionals) -- so I knew I'd be getting what I wanted for my own personal use. Unfortunately, not everyone has that option.

    Submitted by Jon Barron on
    December 1, 2008 - 1:48pm

    Doing other detoxes does not replace detoxing with proteolytic enzymes such as pHiZymes -- much as a colon detox does not negate a liver detox. Detoxing with proteolytic enzymes works primarily to reduce inflammation in the cardiovascular system and throughout body tissue in general -- and it helps dissolve plaque build up in the arteries. In other words, it is a worthwhile detox in its own right, no matter what other supplements you are on or detoxes you have done.

    Submitted by kd smith on
    February 6, 2010 - 7:34am

    can my 11 year old son take proteolyte enzymes? he ws just diagnose with asthma and they want him to take albuterol.

    Submitted by patricia on
    July 15, 2009 - 8:02am

    Dear Jon,
    I'm just beginning on your products and am in the process of reading your book. Under the chapter on cholesterol, pg. 303. you mention using the ""detoxification levels of these enzymes"" when talking about the Phi-Zymes. I know if ask you what that level is, you'll say it's different for all of us, but I'm 75 and would like your advice on what you think would be a good detox level for me. Can you answer that?

    Submitted by Richard on
    December 1, 2008 - 6:33am

    I love your products and just about to finish my 1st Intestinal Detox/Cleanse and then on to the kidney/liver/gallbaldder/blood cleanse. I am planning on beginning the Probiotics upon finishing the Intestinal Detox/Cleanse.
    I have also been taking 1 digestive enzyme and 1 Ulitmate Antioxidant 3 times daily with meals, as well as 1 serving of the Private Reserve, and Dr. Mercola's Whole-Food Vitamin/Mineral 2 times daily. I also take 2-3 droppers of the Immunify and 2-3 droppers of the SuperViragon daily.
    I have a question about the Proteolytic Enzymes and the 30-day detox schedule that I read where up to 4 bottles are consumed during the detox.
    Given what I have been doing for the past 30 days, would you recommend that I do an initial Proteolytic Enzymes 30-day detox or the Maintainance Program.
    Many thanks

    Submitted by Sean on
    September 14, 2008 - 4:56pm

    Hi Jon,
    That's so much for your wonderful work...Quick question in regards to Proteolytic Enzymes.
    Can one take too much? I'm currently taking 5 three times a day and want to increase since I have not received full results. I just want to make sure I won't OD or cause damage to my body before doing so. I've been taking them for 90 days and have felt some benefit, but I have a lot to repair that needs to done...Thanks for your time I really do appreciate it.

    Submitted by Tim on
    July 31, 2008 - 4:15am

    When looking at enzyme supplements, different formulas measure their enzymes in different units. (For example, some formulas measure their amylase in SKB, while others measure it in DU.) This makes comparisons difficult.
    I've not been able to find simple answers to the question: how do you convert between different enzyme units? For example:
    - Amylase: how to convert between SKB and DU
    - Protease: how to convert between HUT and SAPU
    - Lipase: how to convert between FIP and LU
    - Glucoamylase: how to convert between AG and AGU
    - Alpha Galactosidase: how to convert between GALU and GaIU and AGSU
    - Lactase: how to convert between LACU and ALU
    If you could answer this, it'd be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

    Submitted by Where To Buy Vasacor on
    May 25, 2009 - 6:07pm

    Hey john, please elaborate your xplaination oncomment by Tim. I didn't get the information.

    Submitted by Frank M on
    April 12, 2011 - 9:41pm

    The real question is, since HUT is valid for protease, how would you convert to mg or grams since the important number you want to identify is "1 gram of protease" I believe 120,000 HUT is near equivalent to 1 gram.

    Keep below 90 F

    Submitted by jerry cochern on
    June 26, 2016 - 10:43am
    Las Vegas , Nevada

    Protease has no set limit of HUT's per gram. They come in extremely strong concentrations and are then diluted by enzyme suppliers to supplement and pharmaceutical firms. The strongest HUT enzyme concentration I have personally seen is 1 million HUT per gram, but that can be dilute to one half, one 10th or even one 50th strength simply by adding filler to the concentrated form. You simply cannot know what you're getting based on a product's weight. The only revealing data is the number of activity units, in this case, HUT's.

    Submitted by Rose on
    May 7, 2011 - 8:30pm

    Can you comment on the benefit of taking pancreatic enzymes for prevention?

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