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History: The existence of enzymes has been known for well over a century. There are thousands of different enzymes present in the body, with over 20 of them being used for the digestive process. In fact enzymes are required for every single chemical process that takes place in the body. Without enzymes, a person could not breathe, see, move, or digest food. In other words, enzymes keep us alive!

Mode Of Action: Enzymes are simply proteins that bind to another substance, acting as a catalyst that converts it into something else. Although enzymes are made by the body itself (by the pancreas), we also obtain them from raw food, and if required, from supplementation. No hormone, vitamin, or mineral, is capable of functioning without enzymes. In fact, every single chemical process that takes place in the body requires them, and having an adequate supply of enzymes available plays a critical role in both our health and in the aging process itself.

Technically there are three classes of enzymes. Metabolic enzymes which are responsible for the running of our bodies, digestive enzymes which digest our food, and food enzymes which we obtain from raw food. Enzymes are an essential part of the conversion of food into energy, and without them we would simply die of starvation, no matter how much we ate.

There are three main types of digestive enzymes: Protease which digests proteins, Amylase which digests carbohydrates, and Lipase which digests fats. Raw foods, especially fruits and vegetables, are rich in enzymes and should obviously be consumed daily.

The enzymes in raw food help to break down our food as we chew, so that by the time the food reaches our stomach, less digestive enzymes are required to complete the breakdown process. If no food enzymes are available, then the ability of the pancreas to produce sufficient digestive enzymes is put under stress, and it must convert metabolic enzymes into digestive enzymes in order to make up the deficit. This is exactly what happens when we eat cooked food, since all of the food enzymes have been destroyed by heat during the cooking process. Heat destroys enzymes – in fact, heating any food above 116 degrees Fahrenheit inactivates all enzymes. It is important therefore that every time we eat cooked food, we also supplement with digestive enzymes. If not, we will continually be over stressing the pancreas, and depleting our body of enzymes that are otherwise required for essential metabolic processes. Not only that, the food will likely be improperly digested. When food is left undigested, it putrefies, ferments, and becomes rancid in the stomach, producing toxic byproducts. This leads to stomach problems, and if not addressed in the long term, then disease will likely eventually follow.

Before any of the nutrients in the food we eat can reach our body’s cells, the following must first take place – the protein must be broken down into amino acids, the fats into fatty acids, and the carbohydrates into glucose. If that process is impaired in any way, then your health will suffer. To better understand the process involved, I’m next going to explain the three basic stages involved in the digestion of food.

1. When we eat raw enzyme rich food, it is first mixed with saliva (also rich in enzymes) as we chew.

2. The food then enters the stomach where digestive enzymes proceed to predigest our food. Following this period of predigestion, hydrochloric acid (HCL) is introduced, along with the enzyme pepsin. This HCL/pepsin mix inactivates most of the enzymes used in the predigestion phase before breaking down any undigested protein into an amino acid concentrate. Please note that HCL and pepsin are only involved in the breakdown of protein and have no function in the breakdown of carbohydrate or fat.


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