What Are Enzymes?
Small Picture: Did you know that in order for your body to effectively use nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and hormones, they need enzymes to transport them to where they need to go? Think of your body as a super highway system. Enzymes race along this highway, transporting nutrients in and out of the 100 trillion cells that make up your body. Enzymes are catalysts, which mean they make chemical reactions go faster. They are responsible for carrying, delivering, constructing, and eliminating the many ingredients and chemicals our body uses in its daily business of living. Scientists have estimated it takes 13,000 enzymes to make up just one cell! Without enzymes, a single cell consisting of more than 100,000 different chemicals could not exist. On the smallest level - your DNA molecules receive their ability to do all their tasks to keep you alive and functioning because of the presence of enzymes.
Big Picture: Few people are aware of, or realize the vital role enzymes play in overall health. Every metabolic process critical to keeping you alive and functioning at optimal level cannot take place without enzymes. Thinking, breathing, moving, talking, all happens through metabolic pathways controlled by enzymes. There are 3 categories of enzymes that work to sustain life: metabolic enzymes, raw food enzymes, and supplemental digestive enzymes.
Where Do Enzymes Come From?
There are only 2 ways we get enzymes: by producing them, or by ingesting them. We produce metabolic digestive enzymes internally to break down food into useable nutrients, and we produce additional metabolic enzymes to direct those nutrients to build and repair all the body’s cells, bones, tissues, and organs, through the process of metabolism. Unfortunately, the ability for us to produce enzymes internally declines as we age. Dr. Edward Howell, one of America’s pioneering bio-chemists in enzyme nutrition, shows us how our limited potential to make enzymes is like a bank account. “We inherit a certain enzyme potential at birth. This limited supply of enzymes must last us a lifetime. The faster you use up your supply of enzymes, the quicker you runout. Just as if you inherited a certain amount of money, if there is all spending and no income, you will run out of money.”
What Is Happening To Our Enzymes?
Our enzyme capability is programmed into our DNA; some people have more, and some have less. Because enzymes control every process of our life, when we run out of enzymes, we die. To make matters worse, we are speeding up the loss of our enzymes on a daily basis without even being aware. Large heavy meals, fast food, and excessive intake of fat and sugars, all require large amounts of enzymes in order to be digested. 80% of our bodies’ total ability to produce energy is expended, or used up, in digestion alone!
Your body considers digestion its TOP priority to make sure it has enough nutrients to run its systems. When a newly eaten meal enters the stomach, your body sends signals to pull enzymes from other systems of the body to get to work immediately on digestion. However, this same enzyme energy is also needed elsewhere to repair, regulate, and reactivate the other systems of the body. These systems have no choice but to partially shut-down during digestion.
Another factor that creates a huge drain of our bodies’ enzymes include stress which kills and damages cells, forcing our enzymes to work over-time to rebuild and replace them. Environmental pollution also causes cellular damage requiring continual assistance from enzymes just to maintain a healthy immune system. And time is a big factor. The time and process of living use up enzymes that must be replaced if we expect to retain the health and energy we had in youth (when our enzyme stores were much larger).