are running this article about enzymes by Dr. Mark because of the growing
popularity of the raw food movement, which states that since human bodies are
composed of living cells we need "living" nourishment for peak health. By adding
fresh-as-possible foods, the natural enzymes in foods that are normally
destroyed by cooking are maintained. Dr. Mark is a dentist and acupuncturist who
offers enzyme replacement therapy and complex homeopathy in his practice.
Understanding enzyme replacement nutritional therapy can provide information
that may be helpful for many people with a myriad of symptoms, such as
inflammation and pain throughout the body and digestion imbalances.
perpetuate biochemical and physiological reactions that occur in all living
organisms. Enzymes are proteins and are essential nutrients found in many foods.
They are responsible for the biochemical reactions that enable fruits and
vegetables to mature and become ripe.
are secreted by the cells. Their function is to promote or initiate chemical
changes in other substances. They help to enhance digestive function, which is
where many problems begin. Vitamins and minerals are the activators, or
coenzymes, in this complicated process. All of the processes of life are
dependent on enzymes.
enzymes found in raw foods are responsible for the benefits we get from vitamins
and minerals. In fact, deficiencies of specific vitamins and minerals frequently
result in acute symptoms. Nevertheless, it takes time for enzyme deficiencies to
be identified since they may be present as an integral part of chronic
six known groups of enzymes, and they are categorized by the types of reactions
they promote. The enzymes that affect digestive and biological function are the
hydrolases, or hydrolytic enzymes.
Hydrolytic enzymes are found in microorganisms in plant-based foods and in our
digestive tract (particularly the salivary glands, stomach, pancreas, and small
intestine). They are also found within white blood cells. Specific hydrolytic
enzymes digest protein, fats, complex carbohydrates, and simple
body's process that maintains stability (called homeostasis) is most effectively
maintained by enzymes derived from plant sources.
enzymes can be taken as supplements with meals to aid digestion. They also may
be taken at other times for various symptoms. Because foods contain enzymes,
which are known to promote chemical reactions within the body, they therefore
can be considered an integral part of an optimum diet.
several enzyme formulations, which also contain western herbs, that may be
helpful for certain conditions. After examining for viscero-somatic reflexes,
the healthcare practitioner trained in complementary medicine may use a specific
urinalysis as well as tests of blood chemistry to determine the proper enzyme(s)
needed for a particular person.
reflex areas (there are 29 of them) are located throughout the body. By
palpating these areas, practitioners can determine underlying imbalances that
are caused by enzyme deficiencies. In the facial area, (see Reflex #1),
sensitivity in the area labeled Reflex #1 may indicate a protein deficiency
caused by the inability to digest protein or inadequate protein intake. This
reflex area is in the deep aspect of the masseter muscle of the mandible (lower
Sensitivity or pain in the area labeled Reflex #2, may indicate a lipase
deficiency. Lipase is the enzyme needed to properly digest fats. A high fat diet
or a diet too high in simple carbohydrates (such as sugar, white flour, all
refined carbohydrates) may result in a lipase deficiency. This is the area of
the temporalis muscle which is where many migraine headaches occur.
Coincidently, the "gall bladder meridian," which is intimately involved with fat
metabolism, traverses this area.
deficiencies are common in most health problems, preclinical, chronic, and
acute. The importance of enzyme replacement therapy, in my opinion, will become
an integral aspect in comprehensive health care in the future.