-      -Science of Mind

The Way Up Newsletter
Vol. 35,






What's the big deal with enzymes? The big deal is that enzymes MAKE THINGS HAPPEN -for you, for all of us. We wouldn't be here without them. Enzymes don't just digest our food. They do everything. They are needed for every single biochemical reaction in the body.

Do enzymes become more interesting if you learn your life depends upon adequate appropriate enzyme functioning? Without enzymes, we would be -well -- dead.

Dr Arthur Kornberg (Nobel prize winner in genetics) wrote a book called For The Love of Enzymes. There he said, "The DNA itself is lifeless. What gives the cell its life and personality are enzymes. They govern all body processes. The malfunction of even one enzyme can be fatal. Nothing in nature is so vital and tangible in our life as enzymes, and yet so poorly understood and appreciated by all but a few scientists."

Another famous scientist described life as "an orderly integrated succession of enzyme reactions". You get the point. Enzymes are integrally involved in every action in your body. Vitamins, minerals, amino acids, carbohydrates, hormones, fats, oxygen, water, etc.; all you put in your body is useless without the action of enzymes. Enzymes facilitate the transformation from one substance to another, beginning, accelerating & ending millions of biochemical reactions daily

How many of you who are careful to take nutrient supplements are also careful about your enzymes? Enzymes are perhaps the most underutilized of the vast array of nutritional supplements we are fortunate enough to have available for our use. Enzyme deficiencies will interfere with your getting the maximum benefit from other supplements you may be taking.

A number of genetic disorders are the clinical manifestations of what happens when certain enzymes are lacking or malfunctioning. Enzyme engineering will be a part of the genetic engineering of future medical treatments.


The human body naturally produces about 10,000 different enzymes. Enzymes are protein like structures in the body which are made from long stretches of amino acids, & sometimes vitamins linked together like a chain. They are your labor force, & their presence is necessary for the biochemical activity of your body to proceed. Enzymes sustain life, yet they can be used up & exhausted by their hard work. A 60 year old will have about half the enzymes of a 30 year old. One of the many conundrums of aging is the gradual depletion of enzymes in the body with the resulting myriad adverse consequences.

Some enzymes initiate actions & some inhibit actions to allow the ebb & flow of life. Enzymes drive & therefore dictate all reactions: energy production, transformations, detoxifications, digestion, absorption, storage, building up, breaking down, metabolism, walking, talking, breathing, thinking, & so on. They are in on the action. Every function requires the presence of enzymes specific for that function. Once activated by a substrate (a substance upon which an enzyme acts), the enzyme performs its function until it is exhausted or stopped by an inhibitory enzyme.

Metabolic enzymes are all those enzymes which do everything else other than digesting food. The digestive enzymes actually build the body from carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals, & water. The metabolic enzymes operate or run the body, therefore doing most of the daily work.

Since the body has a finite potential for producing enzymes based upon precursor availability, the more enzymes expended for digestion, the less are available for metabolic activity.

Some have theorized the life extension studies indicating increased longevity from decreased caloric intake may be partially related to the use of less enzymes potential with lower calorie raw foods. This makes more enzymes available to sustain health general metabolic activity. Who know? But a provocative thought.

There are three ways to get enzymes. Your body creates enzymes from amino acids & some vitamins , (assuming you have adequate precursors). You also get enzymes by eating enzyme- containing raw food and by ingesting enzyme supplements. The supplements are derived from animal organs, plants such as papaya & pineapple, & fungal & bacterial sources.

Food Enzymes:

Raw foods contain the corresponding enzymes needed to best digest & metabolize the particular food. For instance higher fat foods might contain more Lipase (fat digesting enzyme) than would a low fat food. When our food is cooked, our body must work harder, because it has to manufacture all the enzymes needed to handle the food. This is a stress on the pancreas & GI system. Studies show the pancreas enlarges when exposed to high amounts of cooked verses raw food. When enzyme precursors & enzymes are used up in the digestive process, less are available for metabolic enzyme activity & hence other life functions.

Such foods as raw fruits, sprouts, vegetables, nuts, seeds, honey, & fermented foods are enzyme replete. Kefir Raw almonds & figs are especially high in enzymes. Pineapples have bromelain; papayas have papain, both of which are often listed on the labels of digestive enzymes. Raw milk has 35 enzymes while pasteurization kills them all. Another plus for breast feeding is the enzyme activity present in breast milk verses no enzyme activity in infant formulas. The body has a finite lifetime enzyme potential for manufacturing enzymes. So it is important to have the benefit of the enzymes in raw foods or supplements to augment that potential. If your diet is not primarily raw, & if you are over 35-40, you likely need to use exogenous digestive enzymes to help handle your food & to maintain the integrity & sufficiency of your enzymes in general.

The problem with food enzymes is that heat over 118 degrees kills them, so any cooked or processed food is without it's needed enzyme components. Some have postulated that this deprivation of many food enzymes is a prime underlying contributory cause to the chronic degenerative diseases of human kind to which animals are not subject unless they too are fed cooked food.

Though countless enzymes are silently doing their miraculous work in our bodies at any given moment, we have no conscious control over most of them. There is then reason to be cognizant & responsible for those enzymes over which we do have some control. We can choose to eat raw high quality food to obtain food enzymes & we can choose to supplement enzymes to compensate for whatever amount of cooked food we eat. The supplementation being proportionate to the amount of cooked verses raw food we eat. By such choices we can consciously support the enzyme systems of the entire body, the total enzyme potential.

When food first enters the stomach, the food enzymes & amylase in saliva begin to break down the food before the digestive organs add their enzymes. As the food stays longer & moves farther in to the stomach, the stomach makes its primary contributions of HCl (acid), Pepsin, & Cathepsin. Since protein is the hardest to digest, these substances start to break down the protein, as well as other functions of course. The HCl is also important for splitting minerals from their foods to make them available for absorption. Low stomach acid is notoriously associated with poor iron & calcium absorption, for instance.

As food moves from the stomach to the small intestines it is further digested, metabolized, & absorbed by the pancreatic enzymes & bicarbonate from the pancreas, as now an alkaline rather than acid environment is needed

The body makes about 2 dozen digestive enzymes & likely some are still unknown. The ones you most often see on supplement bottles are: Protease to break down protein, lipase to break down fat, amylase to break down starch, cellulase to break down plant fibers, diastase for grains. Numerous other enzymes, & pancreatin. Pancreatin is a general term for a variety of enzymes collectively secreted by the pancreas & is derived from the pancreas of an animal, such as a pig, lamb, or cow. Some products also contain pepsin, trypsin, chymotrypsin, ox bile, HCl, papain from papaya) & bromelain (from pineapple). There are various assortments with few supplements containing everything needed for complete digestion, to handle all foods. An irony is that digestive enzymes are made from amino acids & vitamins, so poor nutrition alone can lead to decreased enzymes which leads to poorer absorption & digestion, which leads to poorer nutrition. You can see how a junk diet alone could get one in to an unfortunate cycle of malabsorption/malnutrition.

The supplemental trypsin, chymotrypsin, carboxypeptidase & pancreatin are animal derived & predominantly break down proteins. These pancreatic enzymes which work on proteins are collectively know as proteolytic enzymes & the type most commonly used to treat various conditions. Proteolytic enzymes reduce inflammation, boost the immune system, and accelerate healing.

There are all different degrees of malabsorption. Some cases may be related to low stomach acid, some to pancreatic enzyme deficiency ( genetic such as in cystic fibrosis) or otherwise, some caused by parasite & other infestations & inflammations of the gastrointestinal tract, as well as being caused by a myriad of other diseases of the digestive organs or general metabolic disorders.

As usual in allopathic medicine, only the extreme cases with severe symptoms are given the respect of adequate treatment-such as those with celiac disease, Crohn's Disease, ulcerative colitis, cystic fibrosis, Gaucher's Disease, & so on.

A new test done on the stools called Pancreatic Elastase 1 is the most accurate non invasive assessment of pancreatic enzyme output. Also the results are not affected by any enzymes one is currently using. For more on how to get this test which is a part of the Comprehensive Stool & Digestive Analysis, but can be done separately, see
Those suffering from food, chemical, or inhalant allergies respond well to extra enzymes. This is not only from the perspective of decreasing food reactions by increasing digestion. The enzymes also act to decrease general body inflammation & all allergies are inflammatory responses. When a person reacts allergically, inflammatory chemicals, such as histamine, leukotrienes, etc are produced by the body. Proteolytic enzymes help regulate & remove these inflammatory chemicals, & can even help block the extra production of the inflammation-causing chemicals in the first place. Enzymes also help reduce what are known as immune complexes which act to cause various inflammatory conditions. Over time, the enzymes can decrease total allergenicity. Also proteolytic enzymes, plus bicarbonate & buffered Vitamin C Ascorbates together can help to reduce the symptoms of an immediate allergic response.

Digestive problems are the number one health problem in the U.S. There is no question about the need for digestive enzyme support when there is obvious maldigestion, such as belching, bloating, indigestion, colitis, gastritis, constipation, diarrhea, or other bowel dysfunction. Again, the Comprehensive Stool and Digestive Analysis from can be helpful for sorting out contributing variables.

Pancreas enzymes are blatantly deficient when the stools are light colored, tend to float rather than sink in the toilet & are more foul smelling. Sometimes one can also see fat globules floating in the toilet.

High dose enzymes are used for treating chronic infections & may be combined with antibiotic usage in treating acute infections. You can see a protocol for this at Gordon Research Institute.

Massive doses of lamb or pork pancreas substance have been used together with other glandulars, nutrient supplements, a strict organic diet & detoxification program to treat cancer. Cancer cells are more sensitive to enzymes than are normal cells. The enzymes dissolve the fibrous coating on cancer cells making them more vulnerable to attack from the immune system. Research suggests the proteolytic enzymes trypsin, chymotrypsin, papain, & bromelain decrease Tumor Growth Factor. The enzymes also assist is repair of the body. See the web site of Dr Gonzales for more about this at Also see clinical trial recruit info re his study on pancreatic cancer at Also see

There is extensive experience & research in Europe on the use of enzymes for treating circulatory problems, viral infections, cell degeneration, & inflammations.

Enzymes are also used to treat chronic fatigue, and other low energy states, chronic hepatitis C, skin-related problems, chronic prostatitis, fibromyalgia, pain syndromes, autism, neurological disorders, autoimmune disorders, immune disorders, gout, headaches, malabsorption, to decrease the side effects of radiation, & to promote the healing of injury or surgery. Research has shown that athletes prophylactically treated with enzymes recovered from injuries more than twice as fast as those without enzymes

Research has shown the dietary supplementation with enzymes boosts the body's immune system & the lack of certain enzymes compromises the immune system. White blood cells (which are major fighters for the immune system) contain large amounts of protein digesting enzymes. When there are an insufficient amount of these proteolytic enzymes on hand, the immune system falters. Enzymes also support the activity of macrophages (large blood cells which engulf & destroy invaders) and Natural Killer Cells (which do just that to invaders)

When enzymes are used for other purposes than facilitating digestion, they are taken between meals. It is important to drink plenty of purified water when utilizing enzyme therapy.

  • Cancer: Curing the Incurable Without Surgery, Chemotherapy, or Radiation, by William Donald Kelley
  • Enzymes For Autism and other Neurological Conditions: A Practical Guide, by Karen DeFelice
  • Enzymes, The Fountain of Life, by Miehlke, Williams, & Lopez
  • Enzyme Nutrition, by Dr Edward Howell
  • The Complete Book of Enzyme Therapy, by Anthony J. Cichoke, D.C.
  • Oral Enzymes, A New Approach to Cancer Treatment, by F. Klaschka
  • The Enzyme Cure, by Lita Lee and Linda Turner with Burton Goldberg


---Science of Mind

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Until Next Time,

Priscilla Slagle M.D.


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