We all know that food is composed of protein, carbohydrates (including fiber), fats, vitamins, and minerals. But until recently, few of us appreciated that all living things also contain enzymes.
It is the enzymes that are responsible for the vast majority of all the biochemical reactions that bring our foods to ripeness. These enzymes will also digest the food in which they are contained when conditions are right for that to happen. For example, an apple falls from the tree, and a few days later brown spot is seen on the apple where it landed on the ground. We refer to that spot as being „spoiled“, but it has only been digested. When the apple landed, it broke the cell walls, and the enzymes contained in those cells were liberated to begin digesting the apple. Those same enzymes will begin digesting the apple when you chew it.
Enzymes have the energy to perform the biochemical and physiological reactions that occur in all living things. The other components of our food supply, namely protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and minerals, are only building blocks. They do not perform work.
Very few people know about the vital role nature planned for food enzymes to play in the digestion of our food or that those enzymes must be removed from our diets to prolong food‘s shelf life.
Hypertrophy occurs when an organ is required to produce all of the enzymes needed to digest the diet instead of being able to benefit from the digestive work performed by the enzymes found in the raw food to assist it.
Nourishments of cells is essential for the nourishment of tissues; in turn, nourishment of tissues is basic to the nourishment of organs and ultimately of the whole body. Failure to form an essential enzyme or other cellular components results in the malfunction or death of a cell. This process eventually results in a specific physical symptom of ill health.
A trip to the library in 1985 one could found there were about 2000 articles on naturally occuring food enzymes, and all but a few were concerned with how to destroy them.
Did you know there are no new body processes at work in disease that were not there in health? In disease, there are only normal functions that are going too fast or too slow, or are otherwise inappropriate – out of time with need.
Every symptom crisis is produced by either mechanical, chemical, or emotional stress that either is too strong or continues too long for the body to be able to adequately to compensate. Any stimulus that threatens homeostasis has disease-producing potential. Therefore, any treatment designed to suppress unpleasant symptoms diminishes the body‘s ability to protect itself.
The development of all vertebrates begins with the fertilization of the ovum by the sperm to produce a single cell. This cell divides to form two cells, each of which divides in turn, resulting in four cells, and so on. This process is called mitosis.
If cell multiplication were the only event occurring, the end result would be a formless mass of identical cells. Instead, these cells soon begin to differentiate and become specialized in their functions. Microscopic studies have identified about two hundred distinct kind of cells. However, all human cells can be clasified into four broad categories based on the functions they perform:
- Muscle cells produce movement.
- Nerve cells initiate and conduct impulses.
- Epithelial cells absorb and secrete organic molecules and ions.
- Connective tissue cells form and secrete various types of extracellular connecting and supporting elements.
Differentiated cells with similar properties aggregate together to form tissues. These specialized cells arrange themselves in various proportions and patterns and combine with other tissue types to form organs. Within the organs, the four types of tissue are arranged in sheets, bundles, tubes, layers, and strips, with each subunit serving an important role in the function of the organ.
Finally, the organs can be classified into ten organ systems:
- Integumentar (skin);
With each system performing the same tasks that an individual cell performs for itself to maintain life.
Enzymes are large protein molecules found in all living things. They are composed of two parts.The protein portion, or apoenzyme, is a long chain containing hundreds of amino acids in specific sequential arrangement. The other part, the prosthetic group or coenzyme, is usually a mineral or a vitamin, or it may contain a vitamin, or it may be a molecule that has been manufactured from a vitamin. Vitamin and mineral supplementation is wasted unless there is an adequate supply of the appropriate enzyme to utilize them.
Enzymes are not currently considered essential because, unlike most vitamins and minerals, they can be produced by the body.
Enzymes must be removed from our food supply in order for food products to achieve extended shelf life.
Biochemists in 1914 described the use of salicylic acid (aspirin) to destroy „the dreaded contaminant enzymes found in food.“ Salicylic acid in all its forms is distinctly antagonistic to most enzymes.
One of the newest areas of advancement is in growing hybrid foods such as tomatoes that will have a reduced amount of naturally occuring enzymes. This will allow greater shelf life in the produce section of the grocery store. It will also place a greater strain on individuals who consume such foods to digest them.
Vitamins and minerals are called coenzymes. What does that mean? As mentioned before, vitamins, minerals, protein, carbohydrates, and fats are building blocks. Definition of energy is the capacity to do work. Protein, carbohydrates, fats, fibers, vitamins, and minerals do not have the capacity to do work any more than concrete blocks have the capacity to build a building.
Many of the vitamins that are essential to human health function as part of enzyme cofactors.
In general, the rate of a chemical reaction is approximately doubled when the temperature is increased by 10 degrees Centrigade.
The temperature at which the enzyme-catalyzed reaction goes most rapidly is called the optimum temperature for that enzyme.
The digestion of food is the process of hydrolysis, or the addition of water. The function of digestion is to reduce food particles from their combined form, in long-chained molecules, to their smaller basic components. This is necessary so they may pass the gut wall.
Simply stated, the secret is that each raw, uncooked fruit, vegetable, or meat contains enzymes that will digest the food in which they are contained.
All enzymes require the presence of water, the proper temperature, and correct pH range in order to work, and those conditions are present in the mouth saliva.
It is nor true that hydrochloric acid digests food. Remember, hydrochloric acid only provides that acid environment to begin the body‘s digestive process.
Digestion begins in the mouth
Chewing breaks large food particles into smaller particles. The importance of this step in the digestive process is often overlooked. Not only is it needed so that food can be swallowed without choking, it is also necessary to expose as much surface area as possible on the particles so enzymes can begin digestion.
The salivary glands secrete mucus into the mouth, which moistens and lubricates the food particles priot to swallowing. Saliva also contains enzymes.
Amylase is secreted from the parotid glands and breaks down carbohydrates into smaller molecules.
Protease is secreted from submandibular glands and begins protein digestion.
Lipase is secreted from the sublingual (under the tongue) glands to initiate fat digestion.
What is often forgotten is that enzymes contained in the food being eaten (if any are present) also begin working. One of these, cellulase, is not made by the human body. It digests any soluble fiber present. This is of critical importance because those vegetables that contain cellulase are covered with a thin coating of cellulose. If that cellulose is not removed by cooking, then it must be chewed off because human enzymes cannot penetrate that protective layer.
A third function of saliva is to dissolve some of the molecules in the food to activate the chemical receptors in the mouth, giving rise to the sensation of taste.
The acidity of the stomach
The chief cells in the middle of the portion of the stomach (fundus) secrete a protein-digesting enzyme known as pepsinogen. Pepsinogen is an inactive enzyme. It requires the presence of hydrochloric acid in order to begin digesting protein. The major role of HCL is to activate pepsinogen, which now becomes known as pepsin. It is pepsin that splits protein into small peptide fragments.
You will often hear those not familiar with digestion say that hydrochloric acid digests enzymes, because they are proteins, as soon as they move into the stomach. As you can see, hydrochloric acid does not digest food (only enzymes can do that); rather, it activates your protein-digesting enzymes.
Stomach acid is not made by the cells of the stomach as pepsinogen is. The ingredients for hydrochloric acid, namely hydrogen and chloride, are donated from blood. They pass through the parietal cells and are combined only inside the stomach. This is an important point because stomach acid could easily destroy the wall of the stomach if it were not protected by a thick layer of mucus.
The alkalinity of the duodenum
By the time partially digested food reaches the bottom of the stomach (pylorus), it is a liquid and very acidic. This partially digested food (chyme) activates the formation of two hormones, secretin and cholecystokinin. These hormones are carried by the bloodstream to the pancreas and biliary portion of the liver.
The exocrine portion of the pancreas secretes digestive enzymes specific for each of the three classes of food components – protein, carbohydrate, and fats. These enzymes enter the small intestine through a duct leading from the pancreas to the duodenum. The importance of secretin and cholecystokinin is that they have carried information regarding the amount of undigested protein, carbohydrate, and fat that is in the chyme. In other words, the more predigestive work that was done in the stomach, the less work the pancreas is required to do.
The liver and gallbladder
Because fat is not soluble in water, the digestion of fat in the small intestine requires special process to emulsify (degrease) these molecules. This is brought about by a group of detergent molecules, knowns as bile salts, that are secreted by the liver into the bile ducts, which eventually join the pancreatic duct and empty into the duodenum.
Any food high in fat must be emulsified. There are no digestive enzymes in bile. Bile is only degreaser. If the oil is not degreased, enzymes cannot penetrate the oil to digest the food. That is what bile does. So we need bile to expose the bonds within the food that the enzymes need to break.
Between meals, secreted bile is stored in a small sac underneath the liver called the gallbladder, which concentrates the bile by absorbing salts and water. During a meal, the gallbladder contracts, causing a concentrated solution of bile to be injected into the small intestine.
The hormones formed in the wall of the duodenum also signal the pancreas as to exactly how much pancreatic secretion of enzymes and bicarbonate will be needed to digest the amount of all four major food components (protein, sugars, starches and lipids) that are leaving the stomach.
- Pancreatic protease digests the long protein chains found in meat, eggs, and cheese into smaller protein chains that can be absorbed across the gut wall into the bloodstream.
- Pancreatic amylase digests starch and glycogen, but not cellulose, to form the simple sugars, lactose (dairy), maltose (grains), and sucrose (white sugar).
- Pancreatic lipase digests neutral fat into glycerol (to be converted into glucose) and fatty acids.
Mouth. Chewing is essential to expose surface areas for enzymatic action. A weak lipase is secreted from the sublingual glands.
Stomach. Salivary lipase and any supplemental plant lipase is joined by gastric lipase to hydrolyze lipids for 30 to 60 minutes until hydrochloric acid reduces the pH of the stomach below 3.0.
Duodenum. Bile emulsifies fat and further exposes bonds that can be hydrolyzed by pancreatic lipase. Any supplemental lipase present will be reactivated.
Individual fatty acids are released from their bonds with glycerol, and triglycerides, diglycerides, and individual fatty acids become available to be absorbed. Short-chain fatty acids (up to 12 carbons) are attracted to water and are absorbed directly through the intestinal wall.
The body places enzymes in its saliva. To get lipid digestion started, a weak lipase is secreted from under the tongue when food is chewed. While the food is not in the mouth long enough for digestion to occur, this enzyme, like the food enzymes, works in the pH range of the resting stomach, alongside supplemental food enzyme lipase, before stomach acid is produced. What is remarkable about sublingual and gastric lipase is the fact that they have the ability to work without the aid of emulsyfying bile salts.
But sublingual and gastric lipase only begin to digest long-chain triglycerides (fat-soluble triglycerides) into partial glycerides and free fatty acids. Nevertheless, as much as 30 percent of fat can be digested this way within 1 to 20 minutes of ingestion by sublingual lipase alone. Recall that it will take the body at least 45 minutes on average to make stomach acid.
Digestion of dietary fats is essential for fat absorption by the small intestine, since long-chain fatty acids, which include the previously mentioned essential fatty acids, cannot be taken directly ti the liver for detoxification. Instead, they must be absorbed into the lymphatic system and eventually pumped into the blood, taken through the heart, and finally to the liver.
Is your oil supplement composed of long-chain fatty acids? Probably. Again, enzymes can‘t penetrate oil.
This is the problem with oil supplements.
Lipase activity in the stomach
Moving down into the stomach, a gastric lipase is secreted by gastric chief cells (aka peptic cells, gastric zymogenic cells) – the same cells that secrete pepsinogen to be converted into pepsin for protein digestion.
Gastric lipase works in an acid pH range of 3 to 6. Like sublingual lipase, gastric lipase does not require bile to emulsify fats, as do the lipase that will be secreted by the pancreas into the duodenum. The gastric lipase performs most of the work itself, and in newborns this enzyme provides up to 50 percent of the total breakdown of fats
As important as they are in the digestion and absorption of dietary fats, sublingual and gastric lipases have a significant limitation; they only remove one fatty acid from each triglyceride molecule. That fatty can cross the epithelial membrane lining the intestine and enter the body. But the other two fatty acids are still connected to the glycerol molecule and they cannot enter the body yet.
The pancreatic lipase breaks down each trygliceride into two fatty acids and a monoglyceride, which are then absorbed by the villi on the intestine walls. After being transferred across the intestinal membrane, the fatty acids then reform into triglycerides.
Furthermore, much of the carbohydrate ingested with each meal is converted into lipids – i. e., triglycerides – and then stored in fat cells for later use as energy.
The only way the body can store energy is as fat.
There are two types of fatt cells in the body – white cells and brown cells. Triglycerides are stored in the white fat cells. The brown cells secrete enzymes and molecules to burn up the tryglicerides in the white fat cells as energy is needed.
This is where the action of biles comes in – to break down these two remaining fatty acids in the duodenum. Nevertheless, the action of the sublingual and gastric lipases, along with food enzyme lipase, are critical because the presence of monoglycerides and dyglicerides they create work to improve the action of bile.
Mouth. Chewing is essential to expose surface areas for enzymatic action. Weak proteolytic enzymes are secreted by the submandibular glands.
Stomach. Salivary enzymes and any supplemental plant enzymes hydrolyze proteins for 30 to 60 minutes until hydrochloric acid reduces the pH of the stomach to 3.0. Pepsin continues to work until the chyme is moved into the small intestine, where the pH rises above 5.0.
Duodenum. Pancreatic proteases continue digestive activity begun in the stomach to reduce long-chain polypeptides to short-chain polypeptides, tripeptides, and dipeptides. Many are absorbed into the blood in these stages.
Amino peptidases continue to reduce peptide linkages to smaller chains and even single amino acids for absorption across the gut wall and into the portal vein.
Portal vein. Amino acids are transported to the liver, the principal site of protein metabolism. Linkages too large to be utilized by the liver must be attacked by the immune system.
The final step in digestion
The second section of the small intestine, after the duodenum, is called the jejunum. By the time food reaches this area, the proteins and fats have been exposed to all the digestive action they are going to receive. As the food moves through this area of the small intestine, actions started by the protein – and fat – digesting enzymes from the pancreas will continue their work, and the digested molecules of food will be absorbed – all but the carbohydrates.
The final stages of digestion and most absorption occur in the small intestine. The end products of digestion – amino acids, monosaccharides, and fatty acid molecules – are now able to cross the mucosal barrier and the layer of epithelial cells that line the intestinal wall and enter the blood and/or lymph.
Mouth. Chewing is essential to expose surface areas for enzymatic action. Chewing releases cellulase from vegetables to remove cellulose protection and allow enzymes access to the food surfaces.
Amylase is secreted by the parotids to initiate complex carbohydrate digestion.
Stomach. Salivary enzymes and any supplemental plant enzymes continue to hydrolyze carbohydrates for 30 to 60 minutes until hydrochloric acid reduces the pH of the stomach to 3.0. Various sources claim that 40% to 85% of starches can be digested before pH reaches 3.0.
Duodenum. Pancreatin amylase completes the breakdown of carbohydrates to maltose, lactose, and sucrose. Many complex carbohydrates contain raffinose and stachyose, which the body cannot digest. This is responsible for much gas formation.
The jejunum. It is in the middle portion of the small intestine that the final step of carbohydrate digestion occurs.
Absorption of nutrients
Other organic nutrients (such as vitamins), minerals (such as sodium and potassium), and water are absorbed in the small intestine. Monosaccharides and amino acids are absorbed across the wall of the small intestine by specific active-transport processes in the epithelial membranes, as are coenzymes (vitamins and minerals).
Fatty acids enter the epithelial cells by diffusion, and water follows passively by osmotic gradients. Most digestion and absorption has been completed by the middle portion of the small intestine.
Because most substances are absorbed in the early portion of the small intestine, only a small volume of minerals, water, and undigested material is passed on to the large intestine, which temporarily stores the undigested material (some of which is acted upon by bacteria) and concentrates it by absorbing water.
The large intestine
When we consider that over 90% of all cells associated with the human body are bacteria living in the large intestine, it is surprising that so little is known about what these microorganisms actually do.
The colonic microbiota is a dynamic population that is influenced by its host (your body), and in turn it influences you. Interactions between the microbiota and the human body have implications for nutrition, infection, metabolism, toxicity, and cancer.
At the nutritional level, the bacterial population in the colon obtains all of its nutrients from the host through either undigested dietary residues or intestinal secretions. In return, you get back some nutrients in the form of certain vitamins and short-chain fatty acids (SCFA).
When foreign material comes in contact with a cell wall, the cell membrane gradually surrounds the particle and engulfs it. It then uses its enzymes to digest the material and distributes it throughout the entire cell and uses it as a food source.
While any cell can perform this function, it remains for the white blood cells to travel through the blood and destroy larger particles of matter, such as bacteria, cell fragments, or inadequately digested foods that are free in the extracellular fluid. When one of these white blood cells comes in contact with a foreign particle under appropriate circumstances, the membrane engulfs the particle and moves it to the inside of the cell, where it is digested by enzymes. Thus, the difference between this process in a white blood cell and any other cell is primarily a matter of size.
Inflammation is not a disease, and it should not be suppressed by the use of anti-inflammatory medications.
During an inflammatory reaction the primary response to inflammation is by the immune system and its increased use of enzymes. Localized deficiencies of enzymes can prolong inflammation and delay healing.
Plant enzymes have their peak activity range between 35 and 40.5 degrees C, well within body temperature range.
This means that using enteric coated enzyme tablets between meals to protect the enzymes from hydrochloric acid is a waste of time and money. Besides, enzymes lose from 40% to 60% of their potency by being compressed into tablet form.
White blood cells
White blood cells are usually divided into two groups: those that contain granules that can be stained for identification and those that do not contain granules. It was established in the 1960s that the granules are actually organelles (lysosomes) containing hydrolytic enzymes.
Hydrolytic enzyme reactions are ones in which chemical bonds are broken with the addition of water. Hydrolases digest food.
It is a scientific certainty that the part does not have the same chemistry, effectiveness, or reactivity as the whole. Taking one or two chemical entities from a plant and discarding the remainder as having no therapeutic value denies the basic tenets of chemistry.
Any time you extract the active ingredient from food and supplement it as an individual stand-alone unit, you create deficiencies of the synergistic elements that are in the food that the body needs to metabolize the active ingredient.
Finding a chemical in a plant and testing a concentrated dose of that chemical, and then declaring that the plant is toxic without evaluating what the other chemical entities present in the plant may do to change, minimize, enhance, or even block altogether the action of the chemical, is not nutritional science.
A whole range of potentially deadly substances had been separated from nature’s more balanced chemical partnerships and could be injected into and ingested by humans in the name of health improvement! Other chemical identities in the plants, such as proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, vitamins, and minerals, were discarded all together for not being involved in any beneficial effectiveness at all – an astonishing conclusion!
The part is not the same as the whole, and never will be, in any of the true sciences.
Stomach acid, or hydrochloric acid (HCL), doesn’t exist in the body between meals.
P. S. 66% of the body’s water is inside cells. This fluid is not maintained in a homeostatic condition. It changes based on what the extracellular fluid requires.
33% of the body’s water is outside its cells. It serves as a fluid transport system for nutrients ant wastes. This fluid is maintained in a homeostatic condition. It is the internal environment.
20% of the ECF is in the blood. The body strives to maintain the following constants in the blood:
- volume (blood pressure)
- Concentration of dissolved substances such as: cholesterol, glucose, iron, tryglicerides and hormone.
The environment in which each cell leaves is called the internal environment. This environment is the extracellular fluid, which surrounds the cell. 20% is found of this fluid is found in the bloodstream, and 80% in connective tissue.
It is from this fluid that the cells receive oxygen and nutrients and into which they excrete waste.
Information about all important aspects of the external and internal environments must be constantly monitored by receptors and sent to the brain. The brain then directs the nervous and hormonal systems to send instructions back to the various tissues and organ cells, directing them to increase or decrease their activities.
The body has two major control systems for maintaining homeostasis: the autonomic nervous system and the endocrine (or hormonal) system. Both of these systems receive signals and direction from the hypothalamus gland.
Food is already chelated and in a colloidal state. It is a perfect carrier for nutrients. All that is required for their utilization is adequate DIGESTION.
Author Artūras Bartašius
- Food enzymes the missing link to radiant health by Humbart Santillo N.D.
- Food enzymes for health and longevity by Dr. Edward Howell
- Enzyme nutrition the food enzyme concept by Dr. Edward Howell
- Enzymes the key to health by Howard F. Loomis Jr.
- The enzyme advantage by Howard F. Loomis Jr.