What Are Enzymes? The facts about these complex proteins
By Dr. Ellen Cutler

Enzymes are complex proteins in the body that accelerate chemical reactions and therefore chemical changes in other substances in order to provide the 'labor force' and energy necessary to keep us alive. They are catalysts that are essential to the successful occurrence of over 150,000 biochemical reactions in our bodies, particularly those involving food digestion and the delivery of nutrients to the body. Enzymes have also been used by a number of industries for various products and processes, including laundry detergents, skin care products, meat tenderizing, and in agriculture, and waste processing.

Enzymes help convert food into chemical substances that can pass through cell membranes to perform all of our everyday life-sustaining functions. By supporting normal function, enzymes keep our immune systems strong enough to fight off disease. Enzymes help to nourish and clean the body, making possible the human body's miraculous capacity for self-healing. Enzymes also make available the energy needed for a normal body to burn sufficient amounts of carbohydrates and fats every day. Without enzymes, life could not be sustained.

Enzymes perform so many important functions in the body that they have been called the basis of all systemic activity. Some of the responsibilities of enzymes are:

  • transforming foods into muscles, nerves, bones, and glands
  • helping to store excess foods in muscles or liver for future use
  • helping to pass carbon dioxide from the lungs
  • metabolizing iron for utilization by the blood
  • aiding in blood coagulation
  • decomposing hydrogen peroxide and liberating healthful oxygen
  • attacking toxic substances in the body so they can be eliminated, which is essential for patients with chronic health problems
  • helping convert dietary phosphorus to bone
  • extracting minerals from food for use
  • converting proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and other nutrients for the body's use

In other words, enzymes deliver nutrients, break down and carry away toxic waste, digest food, purify the blood, deliver hormones, balance cholesterol and triglyceride levels, feed the brain, build protein into muscle, and feed and fortify the endocrine system. Enzymes also contribute to immune system activity; white blood cells are especially enzyme-rich, enabling them to digest foreign invading substances.

While one of the advantages of enzymes is that they can cause a chemical reaction without being destroyed or changed in the process, the number of enzymes we can produce is limited. Every person appears to be born with an enzyme potential (the number of enzymes he or she can produce), which is determined by their DNA code. In addition, each enzyme molecule can only perform a certain amount of work before it becomes exhausted and must be replaced by another molecule.

Things that diminish a person’s available enzyme supply include:

  • digesting processed food (assimilating these foods is hard on the body)
  • drinking caffeinated and alcoholic beverages
  • colds and fevers
  • pregnancy
  • stress
  • strenuous exercise
  • injuries
  • extreme weather conditions.

If we do not eat an enzyme-rich diet, we deplete our enzyme potential without replenishing it. This is why supplementation and a good diet are essential. When all enzyme activity stops, the body stops functioning and the person dies. By using dietary and supplemental enzymes, the body can save its inherently produced enzymes, ensuring the body's ability to metabolize needed nutrients. This explains the popularity and abundance of new enzyme health products and the recommendations from experts that people supplement their diet with raw foods and enzyme supplements.

Enzymes can save people’s lives by restoring energy and homeostasis, reversing the aging process, turning a dysfunctional digestive system into a healthy one, and strengthening the immune system. In my  years of working with enzyme therapy, I have witnessed enormous success with a variety of illnesses, and the most noticeable and immediate change in each case has always been in the energy level. Patients no longer feel that crash after meals, especially at the most common time, right after lunch.

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