The following article was originally published in Health Keepers, a magazine created by Trinity's founder, Dr. Wendell Whitman. This article appeared in Volume 9 • Issue 1 • pg 12-13. This article originally titled, "Enzymes" was written by Dr. Wade R. Lachman, ND, CH, CNHP.
Years ago, someone said something to me that, at the time, I dismissed as a naïve, silly unlearned notion. They suggested that you must eat live foods if you want to add to your life. Now, I was raised in a pharmacist’s home. I learned at an early age that our bodies require vitamins, proteins, carbohydrates, fats, etc. I also was told that the source of these did not matter. Though my family usually ate a salad with dinner, everything else was cooked to death. As a young person, I seldom ate live foods, and I still had all the energy I needed.
Now that I am much older, I understand this truth. The key is to recognize what is alive in live foods and what is dead in dead foods, and that is ENZYMES. Enzymes are the major (and often missing) key to optimal health. The reason that I had ample energy as a young person while eating an overcooked diet of dead food is that I was living off my enzyme reserves. For every chemical reaction that occurs in the body, enzymes provide the stimulus. In other words, as stated by Edward Howell, M.D., who pioneered enzyme therapy in the United States, “Enzymes are the substances that make life possible. No mineral, vitamin, or hormone can do any work without enzymes. They are the manual workers that build the body from proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. The body may have the raw building materials, but without the workers, it cannot begin.”
Enzymes are involved in every process of the body. It is enzymes that digest all of our food. Enzymes in the blood take prepared, digested food and build it into muscles, nerves, blood, and glands. Enzymes work in our immune system to attack waste materials. As we become enzyme deficient, we age faster. The more we store up our enzyme reserve, the healthier we can be.
There are two ways to preserve and replenish our enzyme levels: by eating raw food and by taking enzyme supplements. Canning kills enzymes. Enzymes are destroyed when our food comes into contact with hot water! Americans eat most foods cooked. Because of this, our systems have to produce all the required enzymes, thus causing an enlargement of the digestive organs. To supply essential enzymes, the body draws on its reserve from all organs and tissues, causing a metabolic deficit.
The pancreas is a gland that has two basic functions: first and most importantly, it produces enzymes used with digestion, and second, it produces insulin that regulates sugar metabolism. The more our foods lack enzymes, the more the pancreas must produce them. If we introduce our digestive system to only overcooked, unchewed food chunks, the pancreas must work overtime to create the needed enzymes to assimilate this dead food. Eventually, the pancreas can fail to produce the required enzymes as well as the needed insulin. When this happens, we become one sick puppy struggling with blood sugar problems, inflammation, toxic problems, and digestive problems. All because we failed to eat and chew healthy, raw, natural foods.
Our bodies require metabolic enzymes, plant enzymes, and digestive enzymes. Plant enzyme deficiency predominantly from cooked foods may result in general inflammation, pancreatic hypertrophy (enlargement), a toxic colon, and allergies. Because of inflammation, conditions such as bronchitis, sinusitis, cystitis, rhinitis, and arthritis may occur and may be accompanied by fever, redness, swelling, and pain. Plant enzyme therapy can increase the absorption of nutrients and reduce the demand upon the pancreas as well as reduce the inflammation overload.
Pancreatic enzymes are animal enzymes that include protease (digest protein), amylase (digest starch), and lipase (digest fats). These enzymes function in the intestine and the blood. By supplementing the body’s own enzymes with pancreatic enzyme therapy, improved health is promoted. Sometimes, partially digested protein molecules due to this lack of enzymes are able to absorb into the bloodstream. The immune system treats these molecules as invaders. When this occurs, unnecessary stress to the immune system and toxic overloads can increase. Undigested protein in our system may be the root cause for many medical conditions such as allergies or even cancer. Pancreatic enzyme therapy has shown beneficial results in a variety of disease conditions, including inflammation, viral disease, heart disease, multiple sclerosis, and cancer.
As we get older, the more we should supplement with quality, professional enzymes. Most naturopathic clinics use both plant enzyme therapy and pancreatic enzyme therapy to support the healing process. These therapies work well with other modalities. For example, nutritional and herbal supplementation and diet plans provide the basic building materials needed to renew the body. Enzyme therapy then provides the workers to follow the blueprints and use the basic building materials to rebuild the structure into restored health. Other therapies such as correcting pH or detoxification are used to provide a positive work environment for the workers (enzymes) to utilize the nutritional support. Often people struggle to gain major results to their health while taking many supplemental nutrients because they do not have the foundational enzymes to allow their supplement to work.
NOTE: This article was edited to adhere to current legal and practical standards.