In this article we are explaining what are Enzymes and how do they affect our health and longevity.
What Are Enzymes?
We are surrounded by examples of enzymatic activity every day. Let’s take the example of a banana. We take a green banana and put it on a ledge for a couple of days. It turns yellow and matures. This is due to the enzymes that work.
A dog buries a bone. It was too hard for the dog to chew it up. Two weeks later, the dog is digging it up. Now, is nice and soft. Yum-yum. And that’s because of the enzymes that work.
Quite simply, enzymes are the characteristic properties of all living cells that bring about changes. Enzymes are specific proteins that are active in every cell in your body every second. Enzymes turn things into usable forms.
What Are Enzyme Cofactors?
The car in our garage is useless if we don’t put fuel on it so we can start driving it. The same goes for enzymes. To perform their truly thousands of tasks, some helpers are necessary.
Doctors call these helpers cofactors. Most cofactors are vitamins and minerals. Enzymes and co-factors are orchestrated into a biochemical agreement called a cluster. It is the enzyme complex that brings about enzyme activity – without all players, the game is not played.
“Nutrients cannot function in isolation… The absence of any of these essential nutrients is enough to destroy our health.”Erasmus, p.73
What Are Foreign Proteins?
Enzymes are known to do very specific tasks. Their activity is compared to a key that needs to match a certain lock.
Enzymes are long-chain proteins that maintain their consistency in very specific forms thanks to hydrogen bonds. Let’s think of them as a tangle of thread that is held in a very strange form of tiny Velcro fibers.
If something happens to velcro-like bonds, the enzyme protein unfolds, losing its form. Without the right format, the key can no longer fit the lock. Then it is no longer an enzyme – but transforms into another, foreign protein.
What Do Foreign Proteins Cause In Our bodies?
Inflammation. Immune response. And that is precisely the concept of autoimmune syndromes. The body is now attacking itself because it feels that a foreign body has invaded it.
If the bonds break, the enzymes collapse, and they can no longer do their specific work. Such a damaged enzyme is becoming an altered enzyme. Various things in our diet force an enzyme to become altered such as:
- Heating food above 48 degrees Celsius (cooking)
- Free radicals
- Food processing
- Genetic engineering
Cooked Food vs. Raw
Edward Howell MD, with global recognition in enzymes and human nutrition, talks of how enzymes are altered above 48 degrees Celsius.
As the water boils to 100 degrees, we can see how cooking is destructive for most foods. That’s why when it comes to vegetables, steaming is much better than baking too much.
Another expert at the time was Dr. Francis Pottenger. His famous experiments with cats in the 1930s are just as impressive to this day. He took two groups of cats and for years personally supervised their feeding. One group was given exclusively raw, uncooked food.
The other was given only cooked food. The results were overwhelmingly clear: all cats fed raw food lived a long, healthy life. Cats fed cooked food got sick and died much younger.
It was also observed that cats that became ill with the long-term cooked diet could not regain their health even when they were brought back into the raw diet.
The frantic diet recommendations that are being heard today ignore this basic premise.
Raw foods instead of cooked, steamed vegetables, low-boiled instead of multi-boiled, lightly cooked meats instead of well-cooked ones: the more intact the enzymes still in food, the less we destroy the body’s enzyme reserves.
“The joy of life depends on a healthy stomach while poor digestion leads us to skepticism, disbelief, black fantasies, and thoughts of death.”Joseph Conrad – Writer
The Two Main Types of Enzymes
We have two main types of enzymes in our bodies.
Dr. Edward Howell in his book Enzyme Nutrition tells us that it’s like we’re given an enzyme energy bank account at the beginning of our lives. The bank account contains two types of enzyme ”currencies”:
The more we use from this bank account for digestion, the less is left for thousands of other tasks that metabolic enzymes have to perform on our bodies. Secondary details such as thinking, breathing, walking, vision, cell life, etc… It all depends on the enzymes.
What are Metabolic Enzymes?
Metabolic means that they have to do with the functioning of specific systems of the body. Cell life, signal transmission through nerves, brain signals, hormone distribution, oxygen exchange, liver function, acid-base balance in the blood, and other such things. All of these tasks require these metabolic enzymes in order to occur, from second to second.
Metabolic enzymes are the working protein molecules that operate this whole biochemical ”circus” all day long. Metabolic enzymes are the ones that actually use nutrients that have been broken down by digestive enzymes, provided that normal digestion has taken place.
What are Digestive Enzymes?
The category of enzymes with which we are probably most familiar is the one that involves digestion.
The mouth, stomach, pancreas, liver, and intestine produce several enzymes whose job it is to ”break” any foods we eat into usable ingredients.
No matter how much fat it is, no matter how much more cheese, or how much white sugar, how many chemicals, no matter how ”difficult” a food is, your body will try to break it down with the help of enzymes.
Some foods contain huge amounts of digestive enzymes.
Example: apples, corn, watermelon, green peppers, pears, celery, etc. Raw fruits and vegetables. These foods do not require the body to waste energy to produce many powerful digestible liquids in order to turn them into a usable form.
These foods contain all the enzymes necessary for their complete digestion.
Enzymes and Aging
A very clear chain of events links enzyme reduction to the aging process:
- Indigestible foods clog the digestive tract.
- Blocked foods rot there, and create toxins and free radicals.
- Free radicals destroy cells, causing premature aging of tissues. Free radicals attack the membrane of cells, causing them to shrink and dehydrate and subjecting DNA to change from external forces.
- Large independent molecules leak into the bloodstream from the intestine, making the blood sticky and preventing normal oxygen distribution in the body.
- The cells are forced to starve and thus cause their premature death.
By the way, this is not even controversial – any pathology text mentions bowel leakage syndrome, hypertension, and chronic obstructed circulation as a result of indigestible fats.
Worse still, much of the immune system depends on the circulation of white cells. When the blood is blocked by the indigestible ”mud”, these cells cannot circulate.
Result: decreased immune function and Aging.
Fifty years ago, at the home of a man who had died, they had to prepare the body immediately after death because it would rot soon. Today there is no such rush.
After a lifetime of preservatives, spices, artificial additives, hydrogenated fats, and hard fats the modern corpse can remain for a few days without decomposing. As Henry G. Bieler said, we’ve managed the mummify the living.
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