(FAQ)  Frequently Asked Questions

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Probiotics & Enzymes:
Benefits, Uses, Safety, Side Effects, Dosage, Function

What are Probiotics / What are Enzymes?  Description, Benefits, Uses, Safety, Side Effects, Dosage, & Function of Probiotics and Enzymes.  Learn more about what you can do to improve your health and performance.  Be in control of your health and fitness. 

Information on Probiotics and Enzymes Everyone deserves to enjoy good health and have access to information that can be useful in his or her journey to get well and stay well.  Our goal is to empower and assist, with useful information, whether or not a purchase is made from our site.  We do our best to provide the most accurate and useable probiotic and enzyme information. 

The information in this website is not a substitute for professional medical advice or care.  Consult your physician or a qualified health professional for questions pertaining to your health.

Please understand that supplemental probiotics and plant enzymes are not "magic pills".  Rather, they augment the work of our body's organs and glands, freeing up energy and resources to allow healing to take place.  When taking probiotic/enzyme supplements, some people will notice a dramatic improvement in their energy levels and feeling of vitality.*  Others might notice significant advancement in the recovery of injury or relief of long term chronic conditions.*  In some cases it will be the absence of indigestion and improvement in the functioning of their digestive tract.*  For others it might be weight loss, more energy, more restful sleep, better regularity or other progress.*  Some people's recognition of improvement will be more subtle and gradual.*  It all depends on the underlying condition of deficiency and how quickly the imbalance can be corrected.*

Probiotic Information:

What are probiotics?  Probiotic description:
Why should I take probiotics?  Benefits of / uses of probiotics:
What strain or strains of probiotic should I take?
Can probiotics endure stomach acid?
Are probiotics safe?
Are there any side effects to probiotics?
What dosage of probiotics is recommended?

What is a prebiotic?
What are soil based/Homeostatic probiotic organisms?

Where do the probiotic bacteria for supplements come from?
How do I store probiotics? Do they need refrigeration?
How should I store probiotics when traveling?


What is Toxoplasma gondi and Dicrocoelium dentriticum​? And why would you want to know about them?


Enzyme Information:

What are enzymes?  Enzyme description:
What are supplemental enzymes?
Why should I take Enzymes?  Benefits of / Uses of enzymes
Are enzymes safe?
Are there any side effects to enzymes?
What dosages of enzymes are recommended?
How long should I continue to take enzymes?
Does the addition of raw food to the diet or juicing guarantee enough enzymes to meet our needs?
How do enzymes work / function?
Can food enzymes help fight diseases?
I am taking medicine that my doctor prescribed. Should I continue taking this medicine while I am taking plant enzymes?

What are probiotics?  Probiotic description:

Probiotic Bacteria Probiotics consists of "pro", supporting or favoring, and "biotic, pertaining to life or specific life conditions.  The opposite of "anti", opposing or neutralizing. 

A "probiotic" or "probiotics", are micro-organisms, specific bacteria, fungi and yeasts that are a natural, necessary, component of the digestive tract.  They are beneficial to our body and an integral part of our immune system.  These microorganisms form a living colony (a biofilm), that live within us and line our digestive tract, in a symbiotic (mutually beneficial) relationship with us.

  They work together, assisting with digestion, nutrient uptake and immune defense.  This biofilm is destroyed by "antibiotics" and toxins, that are present in our environment.  As a result, the beneficial symmetry of the digestive lining gets disrupted and disease processes begin in small increments, usually starting with symptoms like indigestion, gas, bloating and heartburn/acid reflux.  Sometimes these preliminary warning signs are ignored or other symptoms such as depression, loss of energy, brain fog and food or other allergies appear.  If an imbalance of the digestive flora persists, a galaxy of possible symptoms can manifest, and a progression of ailments can follow, as the immune system becomes compromised.  

Our "friendly flora" need to be replenished to maintain the health of our digestive tract.  They are necessary for our bodies to maintain good health and for nutrient uptake.  Probiotics are recommended for all gastrointestinal problems or complaints and are absolutely essential to your general health. 

As an infant we are inoculated with beneficial bacteria and yeast from our mothers, while passing through the birth canal or during the intimate contact between mother and infant while nursing. These natural probiotics coat the body and the entire tract of our system, from the ear canals to the anus, with the majority residing in the intestinal tract.  These friendly micro-organisms when in balance, create a biofilm, a living colony, made up of many different bacterial and yeast cultures that work together and act as one.  This symbiote creates a lining in the digestive tract that assists with digestion and synthesis of "B" complex and "K" vitamins.  It supports our immune system by destroying toxins, improving resistance to allergens, producing anti-carcinogens (cancer fighting agents) and creating natural antibiotics that kill disease causing bacteria and pathogens.*  Sometimes fungi are included in probiotics and many times are referred to as "soil organisms" or "Homeostatic probiotics".  (See below for a further information on soil organisms.)

Why should I take a probiotic?  Benefits of / uses of probiotics:

The beneficial micro-organisms in our body, when in balance, assist and support us.  Diets high in sugar and refined foods and low in fresh vegetables and fruits, set the stage for an imbalance of flora.  This equilibrium is disturbed most when we ingest antibiotics from a doctor or through a food source such as eggs, chicken, pork, beef or cows milk, it kills many, if not all of the beneficial bacteria along with some pathogens.  The die off causes an imbalance that creates an opportunity for the yeast that makes up a natural part of our biofilm to multiply and grow with little or no resistance. 

One yeast, called Candida, is a di-morphic organism that, without competition, will change from a yeast form into it's fungal form.  With no competition, an overgrowth of candida will spew forth a constant stream of toxins that spread throughout the body creating a multitude of health problems.  Unimpeded, it grows rhizoids,  fibrous root like structures that can penetrate the gastrointestinal lining allowing partially digested proteins to be carried into the blood stream where the immune system identifies them as antigens (foreign invaders) and creates an immune response (antibodies).  This response sensitizes the system to these partially digested food particles causing food sensitivities, allergies and intolerances. 

Usually symptoms begin with problems in the gastrointestinal, urinary, ovarian and vaginal tracts then progress to other areas.  Thrush, colic, earache, gingivitis, allergy symptoms, dandruff, eczema, and other skin conditions, acne, recurring sinus and bronchial infections, chemical and scent sensitivities, migraines, chronic muscle and joint pain are all common manifestations, and present differently from person to person.  When severe, the hormonal, central nervous and organ systems can be disrupted causing symptoms of depression, irritability, inability to concentrate, hypoglycemia, diabetes, fatigue and auto-immune related responses.

Taking Probiotics replenishes the flora in our guts and taken through time can overtake and suppress the candida, to re-establish balance, creating an environment in which healing can begin to take place*.Probiotics Kill Pathogens

What strain or strains of probiotic should I take?

The colony of probiotic bacteria that reside in a healthy human intestinal system, can contain as many as three pounds of various species of micro-organisms.  This colony varies in mass and number of individual organisms depending on the original colonization acquired while nursing from your mother, the place you reside on the planet and your size.  Some of the non-pathogenic micro-organisms common to your locale and soil, generally end up colonizing your intestine and are responsive to the pathogens of your region.  This natural selection keeps your immune system tuned to the harmful disease causing agents of your surroundings.  

The probiotic count of colony forming units (CFU) that you see and hear companies talking about (? billion) is not the most important aspect of a probiotic.  It is emphasized because some of the micro-organisms will not make it though the digestive tract.  Having a high count ensures more beneficial bacteria will survive the digestive process and will arrive in the intestines intact.  It is the variety of bacterial strains that is more important than the count.  The greater the variety of strains, the more healthful the digestive tract and benficial the results.  For this reason we recommend a probiotic with a large variety of bacterial strainswith high quality ingredients from a reliable source.

Certain select fungi (soil organisms) can be helpful.  They are known to inhibit candida organisms, help keep us resistant to food borne illness and combat a wide variety of viruses.

Probiotics come in refrigerated forms and spore forms, that need no refrigeration.  After a decade of researching Probiotics of all forms and prices, we feel a refrigerated product is best when we are not traveling for extended periods.  Spore form products do not have the wide variety of species that we have found to be so effective.   A spore form product could be a good choice though, when on extended travel, especially to warmer regions. Probiotics can aid in resisting the many famous travelers intestinal upsets.

Can probiotics endure stomach acid?

With all probiotics, there is some degradation of the bacteria when encountering stomach acid.  But the majority of bacteria endure the travel through the stomach and into the intestinal tract intact.  Through out history people have consumed fermented (probiotic laced) foods, such as sauerkraut, yogurt, miso, kim chee, and kefir, while still benefiting from the beneficial bacteria present within those foods.  So there is no need to worry about the viability of the bacteria with stomach acid. 

It is recommended that probiotics be taken before retiring to bed for the night, when the metabolism and digestion has slowed,or first thing, upon arisingin the morning.  We recommend you take them when it is most covenient for you, because what is more important than when you take them, is that you remember to take them.

Are probiotics safe?

Immune compromised persons or those with very small children should seek the advice of a qualified health care practitioner.  The Probiotics lactobacilli and bifidobacteria are a natural part of a healthy bio-film. This colony is found in one form or another with all healthy mammals. When we are healthy they reside on our skin and in the passageways of our body that connect to the outer world (ear canals to anus).  They make up the first line of defense for our immune system.   Many species of probiotic bacteria are an integral part of the production of fermented foods and have been safely consumed by humanity throughout history.  Yogurt, Kefir, Sauerkraut, Kim Chee and Miso are some of the foods consumed today with the benefit of these natural health enhancing and disease fighting organisms.  Many dairy products including buttermilk, butter, sour cream, cheese and some milk based infant formulas are initiated or enhanced with a variety of bacterial strains.  Clinical trials have found a broad range of Probiotics to be Probiotic Safetysafe for consumers.
 
Infection that can be attributed to Probiotics is exceptionally rare.  The few documented cases, have been  reported in individuals with extreme cases of compromised immune systems

Are there any side effects to probiotics?

Side effects are not common and are temporary but may appear initially.  They generally are gas and boating.  Occasionally someone may experience some mild cramping as the intestinal lining sloughs off the thick buildup of sludge that can accumulate as a result of poor diet choices and impede the villi, hair like structures that are responsible for nutritional uptake and digestive flow.  Starting out with a lower dose and slowly building up to the recommended dose usually prevents side effects.

What dosage of probiotics is recommended?

The recommended dosage is three capsules daily, before bed on an empty stomach.  We recommend that anyone that has not been on Probiotics in the past, start with one a day for three to seven days, after you determine you have no side effects or any temporary side effects subside, then increase to two a day, wait three to seven days and then increase to three a day.  Paying attention to your body and what it is telling you is your best indicator on dosage and time of day to take Probiotics.  Some people have reported that first thing in the morning is best for them, others need food with any supplement they injest.  It is always best to try the recommended approach first and then adjust as you determine for yourself what works best for you. 

What is a prebiotic?

Prebiotics are a type of soluble fiber made up of carbohydrates which are simple sugars (Ogliosaccharides) found in many vegetables.  They nourish the beneficial bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract, but do not stimulate the growth of pathogens like candida. Prebiotics also assist mineral absorption, improve bowel pH and cleanse the colon of debris.  Often prebiotics are added to probiotics to encourage proliferation of the colonizing intestinal bacteria.

What are soil based/Homeostatic probiotic organisms?

These are helpful fungal organisms, that do not take up residence in the digestive tract but are used as heavy artillery against pathogens and are cleansed from our system.  These are some of the same organisms that live in garden soil and naturally attach to vegetables.  They have been an integral part of the life and health of our planet from very early in it's evolution.  Many, if not all soil organisms, are missing from our diets as the result of industrial food processing and preservation methods such as irradiation.

Where do the probiotic bacteria for supplements come from?

Probiotic bacteria are extracted from natural sources, and the media they are cultured on will depend on the specific bacteria.  Some are cultivated by enzymatically treating fibrous plant tissue, others are grown on cultures.

How do I store probiotics? Do they need refrigeration?

Our probiotics are dried and in a quiescent/inactive state.   Probiotic viability is maintained when bottles are stored at ambient (room) temperatures for up to 12 months.  Refrigerating probiotics will extend viability, extending our products ability to activate, for an additional period of time depending on variabilities.  They are activated/come alive when ingested or by being placed in a warm moist environment.  

Most people keep the bottle they are using next to their bed, so they don't forget to take them.  As long as the bottle is not exposed to direct sunlight or excessive heat, it will not lose significant potency during the month they are unrefrigerated.  Refrigeration is recommended for any bottles you will be storing so that they can retain optimal potency, until their use.  Probiotics will lose potency through time because they are live organisms, unless they are what is called a super strain or sporeform probiotic.  Presently there are only a limited number of beneficial bacteria available commercially in spore form.  In our experience, the greater the diversity of bacterial strains you take, the more robust and healthy your digestive process and immune system will become. 

How should I store probiotics when traveling?

When traveling, we recommend you keep probiotics with your toiletries, and store them buried in the center of your travel bag where temperature fluctuations will be minimmized. Try to prevent exposure to direct sunlight or excessive heat.  Exposure to higher temperatures can cause degradation of the probiotics, but usually nothing significant in the length of time it takes to use a bottle.  The benefits of having them and taking them far out-weigh the alternatives.

What is Toxoplasma gondi and Dicrocoelium dentriticum​? And why would you want to know about them?

Note: This information is to illustrate how a simple oganism can influence the behavior of a much more complex host.   We are NOT suggesting that our products can or should be used in any way, to rid the body of protazoa or flukes.   

Toxoplasma gondi is a species of parasitic protozoa and Dicrocoelium dentriticum is a lancet fluke. They are parasitic organisms that have life cycles which involve a host or multiple hosts and have the ability to manipulate the behavior of their hosts with proteins or other chemical substances that can cross the blood-brain barrier. “Toxoplasmosis is strongly linked with development of psychosis, depression, anxiety disorders, reckless behavior and impulsivity in youth.”

What is significant about both of them is how they influence (or manipulate) the actions of a host to their advantage.

Toxoplasma gondi's first host is a mouse but it must enter a cat to sexually reproduce. The pathogen changes the behavior of mice, which naturally fear open spaces and the odor of cat urine. By secreting specific proteins, the protazoa can alter a mouse's behavior, causing it to expose itself in open spaces and exhibit no fear of cat urine odor, which increases the mouse's probability of being eaten by a cat.

Dicrocoelium dentriticum's first host is a snail, which shed slime balls harboring reproductive cysts that are eaten by ants. But in order to reproduce, it must enter a sheep, goat or other warm blooded animal. The fluke will influence the behavior of an ant to continually climb a blade of grass, relentlessly, again and again, to increase the probability of it being consumed by the next desired host.

These two examples of how simple organisms can influence their host, are well understood.  There are certainly others that have not yet been puzzled out.

What is meaningful about this, is that most people with Candida infestations crave sweets or carbohydrates, like white bread and pasta.  But when the Candida is under control, or in balance with the other micro-organisms in our digestive tract, the craving diminishes or disappears.

If you understand that micro organisms can communicate with each other and influence behavior in other species, what makes you think that you are not being influenced in your food choices? What sort of disease processes are being initiated by a pathogen and it's effluent within our bodies?

Watch the video on our Health Information page by Bonnie Bassler to learn about how bacteria talk to each other.

What are enzymes?  Enzyme description:

Enzymes are catalysts, mostly protein molecules that carry a vital energy factor needed to enable every chemical action and reaction that occurs in our body.  They work differently than pure chemical catalysts.  They make chemical reactions more efficient, and thus faster, by reducing the activation energy needed to initiate chemical reactions throughout the body.  There are several thousand different enzymes found in the human body.  These enzymes can combine with coenzymes (non-protein molecules) to form nearly 100,000 various chemicals that enable us to see, hear, feel, move, digest food and think.  Every organ, every tissue, and all the cells in our body depend upon the reaction of enzymes and their energy factor.  Enzymes are responsible for digestion, absorption, transporting, metabolizing, and eliminating the waste of nutrients.  Again, every organ, every tissue, and the approximate 100 trillion cells in our body depends upon the reaction of enzymes and their energy factor.

The energy factor is the capacity to initiate the chemical reactions between reactants.  This energy factor is separate and distinct from the chemical make-up of the enzymes itself.   Science tells us that only living organisms can make enzymes possessing this factor.  Chemical catalysts often work only at high temperatures, while enzymes, that are protein based, are complex structures that bind temporarily with reactants to do their magic at body temperatures.  The energy factor of enzymes has never been synthesized.  Simply stated the energy factor is the "electricity" that makes the light bulb (the enzyme) work.What are supplemental enzymes?

What are supplemental enzymes?

Supplemental enzymes are enzymes that have been extracted in some manner, from either plants, animals, or fungi, and are given in addition to a normal diet.  Pepsin (an enzyme that breaks down proteins) was among the first enzymes used by doctors to aid with protein digestion.  Pepsin is extracted from the stomach of pigs and requires a very low pH (acid) to be used by the body.  It is also used in skin products for exfoliation and is the active ingredient in meat tenderizers.  Another enzyme supplement, Ox Bile, is made from the pancreas of slaughterhouse animals, which can not only digest proteins, but carbohydrate and fats as well.  However, these pancreatic enzymes work best in a high pH (alkaline) environment, which is present in the duodenum.  Pancreatic enzymes will not work in the acidic stomach and don't perform predigestion.  There is little need to take these supplemental enzymes for digestive purposes. In order for supplemental enzymes to be effective, they must be able to help with predigestion in the upper stomach (fundus). 

The Japanese have developed methods for extracting protease, amylase, cellulose and lipase enzymes from fungi which work throughout the entire digestive system.  Although there are hundreds of varieties of aspergilli, the strains (Aspergillus oryzae and Aspergillus Niger) used in the fermentation of plant enzymes have been tested to be free of mycotoxins (toxins produced by fungi).  Extracts of these enzymes are dried into powders and put into capsules.

These enzymes should be taken with a meal if predigestion is to be most effective.*  The reason for this is, if you wait until finishing the meal, you delay the action of the enzymes on the food.

Why should I take Enzymes?  Benefits of / Uses of Enzymes

All metabolic processes in the body rely on enzymes for detoxification and energy production.  Enzymes are active in digestion, nutrient delivery, blood purification, neurotransmission, and support of the nervous, endocrine and circulatory systems.
Because the modern human diet consists mostly of cooked, enzyme depleted food, our body’s ability to synthesize the quantity and kind of enzymes needed to keep us healthy and our immune systems functioning vigorously, is seriously compromised.*

Digestive Enzymes: Our bodies initially evolved to function on raw enzyme-rich foods that assist the digestive process and use little of our body’s natural enzyme supply and energy.  The average diet of mostly cooked fare, over time, depletes the body’s ability to produce enough enzymes to do all of the important functions they are designed to do, including fully digesting a meal.  This results in partially digested fats and proteins being absorbed into the bloodstream, creating Floating Immune Complexes (FIC).  These FICs overwhelm the immune systems ability to dispose of them, so the body stores these health destroying toxins in bodily tissues.  Toxins in the bloodstream cause inflammation, uric acid crystals in joints (Gout), allergic reactions, and may end up as arterial plaque.*  Through time this continued toxic condition can create disease.  Supplementing our meals with digestive enzymes supports the body’s ability to fully digest and utilize food and nutritional supplements.*  They also remove digestive remnants and waste products, leaving our pancreas and the other endocrine organs with the resources to produce metabolic and systemic enzymes needed for such things as tissue repair and toxin removal.*

Systemic Enzymes: Systemic enzyme therapy is the use of proteolytic (protein digesting) enzymes, therapeutically releasing polymorphic (differing types of) enzymes to adapt to the metabolic needs of the body.* 
Systemic enzymes are recommended for reduction of system wide inflamatory processes, as well as cardiovascular and respiratory support.* 
Pain, inflammation and congestion, whether it is caused by over-exertion, injury or a diagnosed/undiagnosed condition may be alleviated by the judicious use of specific enzymes that target those conditions.*  Systemic enzymes are the energy and the engineers that reduce inflammation, break up all types of congestion and repair tissues.*

Our bodies are designed to be self-healing.  Providing assistance to an enzyme depleted body may help improve your health.* 

Some of the uses of enzymes are:

Enzymes purify or bloodEnzymes purify our blood.*  It is a known fact that fungal forms, parasites and bacteria are made up of protein.  Viruses also have a protein coating as a shell that protect them.  The enzyme protease breaks down proteins, and since the invaders of our blood system are protein, it makes sense that ingesting protease could break down the protein invaders.*

Enzymes strengthen our immune system.*  Enzymes have been found to deliver nutrients to our cells, carry away toxic debris, digest our food, purify our blood, deliver hormones by feeding and fortifying our endocrine system and balance our cholesterol and triglycerides levels while doing no harm to our body.*

Enzymes break down fats.*  Research has shown that the enzyme lipase breaks down and digests fat.  This takes stress off our gallbladder, liver and pancreas.*  Taking digestive enzymes with lipase, could enhance weight loss.*

Enzymes lower our cholesterol and triglycerides levels.*  Cholesterol and triglycerides are fats that circulate in our blood stream.  The enzyme lipase will control the release of these fats which could protect us from certain forms of heart disease, like atherosclerosis.*

Enzymes enhance our mental capacity.*  Our body uses glucose called from the liver to feed and fortify the hypothalamus.  Glucose is made from the protein stored in our liver. Most all plant foods contain protein enzymes.  Our red blood cells carry oxygen to the brain along with glucose to feed the brain cells.  When there is a dysfunction with this mechanism we become fatigued and are unable to think clearly.  The hypothalamus directs our endocrine system and is responsible for our water balance, body temperature, appetite and emotions.

Enzymes cleanse our colon.*  Foods that are not digested properly are stored in our colon and digestive problems can begin.
Some researchers estimate that nearly 70% of all illness starts in our colon.  Undigested protein putrefies, carbohydrates ferment, and fats turn rancid in our colon.  Digestive enzymes will break down our foods properly and keep our colon free of these toxins.*  In fact, it is recommended by many researchers that it is healthy to have at least two bowel movements per day.

Enzymes help us sleep.*  Enzymes enhance our endocrine glands.*  The under nourished endocrine system may create a malfunction in our hormonal system which can upset our nervous system and sleep patterns.  When we are unable to digest our food or deliver the nutrients to keep our endocrine and nervous system in balance, we cannot rebuild our lifestyle or energy level.

Enzymes help us shed excess weight and fat.*  Many overweight people have a metabolic imbalance or will soon create one.
Remember, our endocrine system regulates our metabolism.  Once we are able to fortify the endocrine system, have our bowels working regularly and can digest our food rather than turning it into fat, we have a successful combination.*  Enzymes, especially lipase, will break down our fats properly, which will help us burn fat, thus promoting weight loss.*

Enzymes improve aging skin.*  An adequate supply of enzymes are absolutely essential for keeping the skin young looking and healthy.*  Enzymes fight the aging process by increasing blood supply to the skin, bringing with it life-giving nutrients and carrying away waste products that can make your skin look dull and wrinkled.*  Also, our circulation slows down as we get older.  To counteract this we need to consume more enzymes.*

Enzymes maintain proper pH balance in our Gl-tract.*  Friendly flora such as L. Acidophilus and bifidobacerium are important to the intestinal tract for maintaining proper pH and also for controlling the population of potential pathogenic organisms like clostridium and Candida.*  Plant flora enzymes have now been proven to be very effective in the pathogen control role of beneficial bacteria.*  Another role of beneficial bacteria is the actual synthesis of highly favorable natural chemicals in the colon through the fermentation process.*  These fermentive products include such molecular species as natural antibiotics and very importantly, digestive enzymes.  These enzymes can play an extremely important role in the digestion of otherwise incompletely digested food substances, especially proteins.*

Enzymes maintain proper pH balance in the urine.*  Research has shown that a balance of the plant enzymes (lipase, protease, and amylase) eaten by individuals produce a proper urine pH of 6.3 to 6.6 in 24 hour urinalysis.*

Are enzymes safe for people of all ages, including children? Enzymes are safe for people of all ages

Plant enzymes are safe for most people, including pregnant women and children. 

Children usually eat the same enzyme deficient foods as their parents. It should be pointed out the importance of breast feeding in comparison to bottle feeding and acquiring enzymes. Children that are breast-fed acquire dozens of enzymes from their mother's milk. Bottle-fed babies receive pasteurized milk that has been heated, which destroys the milk enzymes. This causes the baby's own enzyme factory to begin using its enzyme potential from day one. Research indicates that this could be harmful for the child. A study involved 20,061 babies that were divided into three groups (breast-fed, partially breast-fed, and bottle-fed). They studied the morbidity (sickness) rate for the first nine months of the infant's life. They found that 37.4% of the breast-fed babies had sickness in comparison to 53.8% of the partially breast-fed and 63.6% of the bottle-fed. It is obvious that babies who were entirely breast-fed had far less sickness than babies who were only partially breast-fed or who were bottle-fed. Research is trying to tell us that we, which includes pregnant women and children, must eat raw foods that contain enzymes and/or take supplemental enzymes.
 
Since enzymes are proteinaceous compounds, an allergic reaction is possible.  Some individuals, particularly those sensitive to molds and penicillin, may experience nausea, gastric upset or allergy symptoms.  If gastrointestinal sensitivity or other allergy symptoms occur, the use of enzyme products should be discontinued.

Are there any side effects to enzymes?

Research is uncertain. However, data from over sixty years revealed that there has not been one report of side effects from enzyme consumption. Plant enzymes are food.
There are no known side effects to the plant enzymes that are used therapeutically to assist the body with digestion and repair.

What dosages of digestive and systemic enzymes are recommended?

The dosage of enzyme will very with manufacturers, the types of enzymes included in each capsule, the quantity of enzymes in each capsule and the quality of the enzymes.  Higher quality, more potent enzymes require fewer capsules and produce more recognizable results.  

With digestive enzymes, some manufacturers recommend taking their products one half hour before a meal, some at the beginning of the meal, or with the meal. 

Systemic enzymes should be taken on an empty stomach to facilitate as many of these therapeutic enzymes getting through the digestive tract and into the bloodstream. 

It is best to follow the manufacturers or your health practitioner’s instructions.

How long should I continue to take enzymes?

Digestive Enzymes:

Unless your diet consists of entirely raw foods and you have not sufficiently exhausted your body’s ability to produce enough of the enzymes your body needs, you would do well to supplement your meals with digestive enzymes. 

To quote Dr. Dick Couey, Professor of Physiology and Nutrition at Baylor University, "I will never eat another meal without taking a plant enzyme supplement.  My body doesn't deserve that treatment."  As long as we eat enzyme deficient food, which is simply defined as any food that has been processed or cooked, our bodies need an enzyme supplement to aid digestion, deliver the nutrients and eliminate the waste.*  The logical conclusion is that we will need some supplementation for as long as we live and breathe.*

Systemic Enzymes:

If you are suffering from over-exertion, injury or a diagnosed/undiagnosed condition, you may benefit from the use of systemic enzymes used therapeutically to enhance the body’s ability to heal itself.*  

The effectiveness of the product depends on how healthy the person taking the product is to begin with and how clean their diet is.  As an example:  An athlete, with a diet of healthy fruits, vegetables,meats and grains will recover from a bronchial cold or an injury noticeably more quickly with the help of the recommended dose of systemic enzymes.*  A person with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), that has a diet consisting of lots of sugar, simple starches and meat, may not notice the healing effects of the systemic enzymes, unless taken in large doses over a sustained period of time, because the body is struggling so hard to overcome the toxic effects of the diet and the limited ability of the body to circulate oxygen carrying blood to the tissues.* 

Does the addition of raw food to the diet or juicing guarantee enough enzymes to meet our needs?

Raw foods and Digestive Enzymes Raw food provides only enough enzymes to digest that particular food.  There are no extra enzymes in raw food to digest cooked or processed food.  Due to the risk of bacterial contamination many foods should not be eaten raw, including meats, poultry, and eggs.  Also, the fiber content normally found in raw food (cellulose) is very difficult to digest due to the body's inability to produce cellulase (the enzyme that digests cellulose).

Tree nuts, seeds, beans, and grains contain enzyme inhibitors, along with a very active number of enzymes. But because enzymes are very active entities, nature had to put a rein on them and make them dormant until such a time as the seed could fall to the ground and is adequately covered with soil. This slowing down by nature could be called enzyme inhibition.  However, nature will inactivate these enzyme inhibitors when the seed is covered with soil and absorbs moisture. This is the time the seed begins germinating (sprouting) to form a seedling. Eating too many nuts and seeds, which has an abundance of enzyme inhibitors could cause Gl-tract problems. So, you have only two options open to you: you can soak the seeds or nuts and wait until the seed or nut begins germination, or you can take enzyme supplements with them to neutralize their enzyme inhibitors.

How do enzymes work / function?

Most everyone has an enzyme deficiency to one degree or another. Because we eat so much cooked, processed and refined food, we must supplement our body’s' natural production of enzymes required for digestion.  If we do not, then the food we eat will not be completely digested and the by-products of incompletely digested food will be deposited in areas of our body where it can create toxicity.*  This can lead to declining health, contribute to the development of obesity and chronic conditions, and impair immune system functioning.*

Cooked foods, which have no enzymes, will put weight on more abundantly than raw foods.  For example, pig farmers will not feed their pigs raw potatoes because the pigs stay lean.  However, when the farmers feed the pigs boiled potatoes the pigs become fat. 

Cooked foods cause drastic changes in the size and appearance of the pituitary gland. Research has found that enzymes affect our hormone producing glands and hormones influence our enzyme levels.  The causes that are associated with hormonal imbalances in the endocrine system have been shown to respond favorably to enzyme therapy.*  The lack of metabolic enzymes will definitely affect the secretions of the pituitary gland, which could lead to insomnia.  Producing enzymes to assist in the digestion of enzyme depleted cooked food eventually depletes the pancreas and strains the ability of the thyroid and pituitary gland to produce metabolic and systemic enzymes that are needed to detoxify, build and repair the body.  As a result our body becomes sluggish and weight is gained.  Raw food calories are relatively non-stimulating to glands and stabilize body weight more so than cooked food calories.

Cooking destroys lipase in raw foods. Lipase is the enzyme that aids the body in the breaking down of fats. Without lipase, our fat stagnates and accumulates in our arteries, which could lead to heart disease.*  Lipase also helps us to burn fat for energy.*  Lipase is found in abundance in raw foods.

There is some evidence that obese individuals have a shortage of lipase.  Researchers at Tufts University School of Medicine conducted some tests on the abdominal fat of 11 extra heavy individuals (average of 340 pounds) and found a lipase enzyme deficiency in their fat cells.  This could be explained by the fact that obesity and abnormal cholesterol deposits both have their beginnings in our failure to permit fat predigestion of cooked or processed foods in the upper stomach, due to the fact that the natural lipase content of fatty foods has been destroyed by cooking.

Food entering the stomach is called a bolus.  The stomach has two distinct divisions--Fundus (upper part) and Pylorus (lower part).  The bolus remains inDigestive enzymes and the stomach the upper part for approximately one hour.  This is where predigestion takes place.  The fundus is where digestive food enzymes begin to break down the food into carbohydrates, fats and protein.  Raw foods supply their own digestive enzymes, thus saving the stomach from supplying all the enzymes.  Cooked foods, which have no enzymes, must wait in the fundus until the stomach supplies the enzymes.  Predigestion by food enzymes occurs in every creature on earth.  The only exceptions are the human beings and their pets on an enzyme-deficient diet.  The upper section has no peristalsis (movement of food), acid, or pepsin and therefore, if enzymes are not provided in the diet, only minimal digestion can occur.

The lower stomach (pylorus) performs the second step in digestion, but of protein only.  In the lower part of the stomach, pepsin (a powerful digestive enzyme) and hydrochloric acid continue the digestive process.  The predigested food now enters the small intestine and is called chyme.  Here, the pancreas and small intestinal cells secrete their enzymes to further break down the chyme into glucose (carbohydrates), fatty acids (fats) and amino acids (proteins) for absorption into the villi (absorption cells in the small intestine).  The human stomach is really two stomachs with separate functions.  Our stomachs have been provided with the means of permitting outside enzymes to help with the burdens of digesting food.  Thus, we don't have to make all of our own digestive enzymes to digest our food.  This will allow our body to make more metabolic and systemic enzymes as needed, which results in better health.

When we eat raw foods, heat and moisture in the mouth activate the enzymes in the food.  Once active, these enzymes digest a significant portion of our food and make it small enough to pass through the villi (small projections found in the small intestines) and into the blood.  Metabolic enzymes found in the blood then take the digested 45 known nutrients and build them into muscles, nerves, bones, blood, lungs, and various glands.  Every cell in the body depends on certain enzymes.  Each enzyme has a specific function in the body, which is referred to as enzyme specificity.  A protein digestive enzyme will not digest a fat and a fat enzyme will not digest starch.  Enzymes act upon chemicals and change them into another chemical, but remain unchanged themselves.  Simply stated, our chemicals are changed from their original identity, by the enzyme, to another chemical with a different identity.  Without enzymes nothing in our body would work, not even the vitamin and mineral supplements that we take.  Vitamins and minerals are really co-enzymes themselves.  As such they require that other enzymes act on them in order to release their beneficial powers.  If the body is unable to supply those necessary enzymes in the proper quantities at the proper time, the vitamins and minerals simply become inert materials and pass unused through your body.

Enzyme Production and AgingOur enzyme supply decreases as we age.  Researchers, Bartos and Groh enlisted 10 young and 10 old men and used a drug to stimulate the pancreatic juice flow.  The juice was then pumped out and tested.  It was found that considerably less of the enzyme amylase was present in the pancreatic juices of older men.  It was determined that the enzyme deficiency of the older group was due to exhaustion of the cells of the pancreas.  Other research indicates that not only are there fewer enzymes in the pancreas but also in the trillion cells in our body as we age.  One explanation for this might be that our pancreas, which weighs only three (3) ounces, cannot begin to supply the vast amount of enzyme activity required for the pancreatic secretion, not to mention the tremendous need for protein to equip the enzyme complex.  The pancreas must borrow these entities stored in the cells to make the enzyme complex.  This could be a definition of "old age" because old age and debilitated metabolic enzyme activity are synonymous.  If we postpone the debilitation of metabolic enzyme activity, then we might delay the aging process and possibly increase the life span to its genetic potential.*  If you take supplemental digestive enzymes the body's metabolic enzymes can be freed from the work of digestion to make and use more repair enzymes.

18. Can food enzymes help fight diseases?

Yes.  There is a connection between the strength of our immune system and our enzyme level.  The more enzymes we have, the stronger our immune system will be and the healthier and stronger we will be.*  For example, leukocytes (white blood cells) have eight (8) different amylase enzymes which assists the white blood cell to engulf foreign substances and reduce them to a form that the body can eliminate.  Research has shown that leukocytes increase after one has eaten a cooked meal.  This indicates a definite compensatory measure on the part of the body to transport more enzymes to the digestive tract for digestion.  There is no increase in leukocytes after one has consumed a raw food meal.  Research has shown that enzymes are related to all diseases via the immune system, whether the disease is acute or chronic.  If the pancreatic output of enzymes is hindered, the whole body is affected.  Therefore, we must eat raw foods or take supplemental enzymes to enable our body's immune system to fight against infections.*
Enzymes Help Prevent Arterial Plaque
Three British researchers tested the enzymes in individuals with atherosclerosis to find the relationship between cholesterol and clogged arteries.  They found that all enzymes studied became progressively weaker in the arteries as persons became older and also as the hardening became more severe.  These researchers believe that a shortage of enzymes is part of a mechanism, which allows cholesterol deposits to accumulate in the inner part of the arterial walls (intima).

Hormonal imbalances in the endocrine system have been shown to respond favorably to enzyme therapy.*  The lack of metabolic enzymes will definitely affect the secretions of the pituitary gland, which could lead to insomnia.

Type II Diabetes (adult onset) normally responds better to enzyme therapy than Type I juvenile).*  Research has shown that when there is a lack of blood amylase, blood sugar levels can be higher than normal.  When the enzyme amylase is administered, blood sugar levels drop significantly.*  One researcher showed that 86% of the diabetics that he examined had a deficiency of amylase in their intestinal secretions.  He administered amylase to a majority of these patients, and found that 50% of the diabetics who were users of insulin could control their blood sugar levels without the use of insulin.*  Amylase may help with storage and utilization of sugar in the blood.*  Another researcher found that cooked starch foods, where amylase and other enzymes are destroyed, caused the blood sugar levels to rise significantly one-half hour after ingestion.  After two hours the cooked food starch eaters' blood sugar level fell quickly and significantly.  This resulted in fatigue, anxiety, and sluggishness.  In comparison, the raw starch eaters' brood sugar levels only experienced a slight rise and drop.  These patients experienced a much more steady metabolic rate and emotional stability.  Many diabetics could lower their insulin requirements if they would eat raw foods and take plant enzyme supplements.*

I am taking medicine that my doctor prescribed. Should I continue taking this medicine while I am taking plant enzymes?

Yes, continue taking all medicine prescribed by your doctor and follow all of his instructions.   Plant enzymes will not adversely effect your medication program because they are natural plant products and are classified as food by the FDA. 

Note: The information in this website is provided for your knowledge and is not a substitute for professional medical advice/care.  Seek qualified professional help for serious questions pertaining to your health.

* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food an Drug Administration. This product and information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.