Enzyme Deficiency Symptoms
Is it possible to be sick even though you eat organic foods and stay away from the ‘bad stuff’? Apparently yes! Our food is grown in fields that are deficient in minerals. It is picked under-ripe, transported in refrigerated trucks, and stored in warehouses for several days before it reaches you. Your food is compromised, and it causes enzyme deficiency that can manifest in a variety of ways.
Syndromes Common To Enzyme Deficiency
- Hot flashes
- Cold hands and feet
- Neck and shoulder aches
- Sprue (celiac disease)
- Chronic allergies
- Common colds
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Chronic fatigue
- Sinus infection
- Immune depressed conditions
- Back weakness
- Fungal forms
- High Blood Pressure
- Hearing problems
- Gum disorders
- Aching feet
- Bladder problems
- Gall bladder stress
- Hay fever
- Prostate problems
- Urinary weakness
- Heart problems
- Skin Breakouts – rashes
- Mood swings
Protease digests protein. The benefit of proteolytic enzymes has been studied for decades primarily in the United States, Germany and Japan. Research was focused on immune support, inflammation and cancer. Since everything that makes us sick is either protein or is protected by protein, the immune system is in constant need of protease. Bacteria, parasites, and fungal forms are all protein. Viruses and cancer cells are protected by protein. Protease has the ability to digest these unwanted debris in the blood. Therefore, protease deficient people are immune compromised, making them susceptible to bacterial, viral and yeast infections and a general decrease in immunity.
Amylase digests carbohydrates (converts them to sugars) along with dead white blood cells. When you are low in amylase you are a candidate for blood sugar imbalances, Hypoglycemia, Type II Diabetes, carbohydrate cravings and allergies. Amylase is also involved in anti-inflammatory reactions such as those caused by the release of histamine and similar substances. Asthma and emphysema may also be exacerbated by an amylase deficiency.
Since lipase digests fat, fat-soluble vitamins and balances fatty acids. Lipase deficient people can be expected to have a tendency towards high cholesterol, high triglycerides and difficulty losing weight. The future outcome of these tendencies is heart disease, which kills more Americans than any other disease. Lipase deficient people also have decreased cell permeability, meaning nutrients cannot get in and the waste cannot get out. The condition of vertigo or labrynthis, also called Meniere’s Disease (dizziness aggravated by movement such as walking or driving), can also result from lipase deficiency.
The symptoms of cellulase deficiency can best be described as malabsorption syndrome (impaired absorption of nutrients, vitamins, or minerals from the diet by the lining of the small intestine). Malabsorption has many symptoms including lower abdominal gas, pain, bloating and problems associated with the jejunum and pancreas. The consumption of fiber enriched nutritional drinks, which are full of cellulose, can exacerbate these problems.
A cellulase deficiency can also lead to fungal overgrowth such as Candida. The cell wall of Candida contains chitin which is very similar to cellulose (fiber). This can often make it difficult to remove once an overgrowth develops. Cellulase taken orally can often assist in bringing the Candida overgrowth back into balance.
Cellulase breaks down the fiber in our diet. Because our body does not produce cellulase, this food enzyme is essential. The Lactase deficient people also have classic symptoms which include abdominal cramps and diarrhea. Other allergic symptoms, including asthma, have been witnessed from the ingestion of lactose-containing products.
Sucrase, Lactase & Maltase Deficiency
People who have malabsorption syndrome and cellulose deficiency also have a tendency towards sugar (sucrose, lactose, & maltose) and/or gluten intolerance. Sucrose, lactose and maltose are three common sugars which some people cannot tolerate. They are broken down and absorbed into the system by three enzymes; sucrase, lactase and maltase.
Sucrase deficient people cannot split the sucrose disaccharide into twin partners, glucose and fructose. Glucose is a primary brain food so expect mental and emotional problems in people who are sucrase deficient. Symptoms include depression, moodiness, panic attacks, manic and schizophrenic behavior and severe mood swings.
Maltase deficient people are generally sensitive to environmental conditions. An intolerance to sucrose, lactose or maltose may be worsened by a deficiency in sucrase, lactase or maltase.
Combination Deficiency is when an individual has more than one of the above deficiencies. The person will most often have the most severe digestive issues. Crohn’s Disease, Colitis, and Irritable Bowel Syndrome are quite common. Gluten grains can be a real problem for example. These grains include wheat, oats, rye and barley. Not everyone has to avoid all four grains; however, sometimes it is a must. Gluten intolerance is associated with Celiac Disease and Malabsorption Syndrome. It is also associated with Crohn’s Disease. Gluten is actually a protein that exist in these high carbohydrate grains.
The best way to address this is usually a high potency protease and amylase enzyme combination. The insidious thing about gluten intolerance is that it creates a sugar intolerance because when gluten intolerant people eat gluten containing foods, the brush border cells of the jejunum are injured and thus unable to secrete the disaccharidases (sucrase, lactase and maltase) leading to sugar intolerance. The problems discussed here are just the tip of the iceberg. More discoveries continue to emerge as research with food enzymes continues.
Therapeutic Uses Of Enzymes
If enzymes truly are catalysts which participate in virtually every bodily process, and if a shortage can cause a variety of illnesses, then why are they not widely used as a treatment? It is certainly true that they are not widely used here in the Americas, but what about other countries? In Europe enzyme therapy is routinely used to treat a variety of illnesses.
As you become familiar and comfortable working with enzymes they will serve you as no other supplementation program. The one thing we must all be able to do is digest, assimilate, utilize, eliminate and create healthy cells to live. The body requires enzymes to do all this work. If it is true the body uses 80% of its energy just to digest food, there can be no limit to the benefit of plant based enzymes in this process.
It is known that protease’s are able to dissolve almost all proteins as long as they are not components of living cells. Normal living cells are protected against lysis by the inhibitor mechanism. Parasites, fungal forms, and bacteria are protein. Viruses are cell parasites consisting of nucleic acids covered by a protein film. Enzymes can break down undigested protein, cellular debris, and toxins in the blood, sparing the immune system this task. The immune system can then concentrate its full action on the bacterial, viral or parasitic invasion.
Protease is a polymorphic enzyme. The enzyme action it produces can adapt to meet the current digestive or metabolic needs of the body. It should be noted that protease when taken on an empty stomach is readily taken up into the mucosa cells of the intestine and passed into the blood circulation. Clinical observations (manuscript in preparation) have noted that upon high intake of oral protease, heavy metal concentrations have been significantly decreased in the blood.
Fats are the most difficult component of the diet to digest. Fatty foods cause more indigestion than proteins or starches.
Most Americans have crossed-wires when it comes to fats. Because of bulging waistlines, most Americans battle between fat-phobia and fat-craving. The human body is programmed to crave fats. Without essential fats and fatty nutrients animals and humans cease to thrive. Omega-3 and omega-6 fats from flaxseed and cold-water fish were found to be essential for human health by physiologists in the 1930s. Fat-soluble nutrients such as beta carotene, lutein, and vitamins A, D, E and K fulfill important functions in health maintenance. So fat isn’t all bad.
The American diet is intentionally laden with saturated fats and hardened hydrogenated fats, leaving about 80% of the population deficient in the essential fats required for the maintenance of the human nervous system, the production of hormones and the control of inflammation. Foods actually taste better when they contain fats. A famous fast-food quarter-pound hamburger actually has a saturated fat content equivalent to 16 pats of butter! The fast-food engineers really know how to stimulate our taste buds.
It is worth noting here that weight loss is a common finding among individuals with chronic heart failure. It is evident that malabsorption of fats is related to heart failure. In one study subjects with heart disease had 10 times more fat in their stool than heart-healthy individuals. This means those with heart disease weren’t absorbing their fats (Am J Cardiology 5: 295, 1960). Yet heart patients are typically placed on low-fat diets! These individuals were leaner, but not healthier.
For these same reasons, fat blockers such as Olean and Elestra are undesirable. They keep fat from being absorbed, but they also keep fatty nutrients from being available. Under-nutrition occurs in about half of the patients with chronic heart failure. Fats are a major source of fuel for the heart muscle. The use of lipase has been suggested to improve fat absorption (Am J cardiology 8: 43, 1963). It was not until 1997 that researchers found that lipase also can help to control LDL cholesterol and is helpful in stubborn cases of high triglycerides. (Lipids 32: 1147, 1997). Low levels of lipase have been found among adults who have benign fatty tumors surrounding their eyelids, an unsightly condition called xanthelasma. Adults with this condition often hide these fatty growths with makeup. While lipase is untried in these cases, a course of daily lipase with meals may prove to be a remedy.
Plant Based Enzymes versus Animal Enzymes
Enzymes are the energy of life. All supplemental enzymes, with very rare exception, can be beneficial to one degree or another. If you must choose one, which would it be? When considering the benefits of animal (or glandular, usually represented by USP) versus plant enzymes, the following may be helpful. Animal enzymes, or pancreatic enzymes, are from the pancreas of a slaughter house animal. Ask yourself “What was the condition of this animal and its organs before he was slaughtered.” How does anyone know?
Pancreatic enzymes tend to claim high unit amounts, such as 31,500 units of protease. However, this amount, or unit measurement, does not indicate the actual enzyme activity level. 31,500 units of protease will yield a level of only 356 units of digestive activity. Compare this to hundreds of thousands of units of actual protease activity in our plant based enzymes. Enzyme effectiveness depends on activity not weight. Remember to compare “apples to apples”.
Don’t forget about the importance of the pH balance. Pancreatin requires a pH of 8.0 to be of use in the system. The human body reaches this 8.0 pH in the small intestine after major digestion has already taken place. Plant enzymes have the capability to work between 3 and 9 pH. They are blended as neutral, alkaline and acidic to cover all concerns in our formulations. This means they work throughout the entire digestive tract and in the blood. For instance, one English study showed a small dose of acid stable lipase from a plant source was more effective than a dosage 25 times larger of conventional pancreatin in the treatment of malabsorption and malnutrition due to pancreatic enzyme deficiency.
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