Friday, September 01, 2006
Improve your Health with Enzymes
Proteolytic Enzyme Formula
In this newsletter I want to introduce you to a new product about to be released by Baseline Nutritionals called pHi-Zymes™ (pronounced: fi-zymes). A reformulation of my original Proteolytic Enzymes formula, pHi-Zymes offers a unique pH buffering system combined with an upgrade in a key enzyme. The formula is so powerful, so unique, and so effective that it has been patented. For those of you who are familiar with proteolytic enzyme formulas, you can skip down to "Why pH matters to enzymes." For the rest of you, before I tell you about the innovations within this new formula, let's review the basics on systemic, proteolytic enzyme formulas -- how they help with cellular metabolism, how they breakdown viruses, bacteria, and proteins, and much more.
Proteolytic enzymes 101.
What are enzymes?
Enzymes are proteins that speed up (catalyze) chemical reactions in living organisms. In fact, they are required for every single chemical action that takes place in your body. Enzymes run all of your cells, organs, bones, muscles, and tissues.
Enzymes allow many chemical reactions to occur within the constraints (temperature, oxygen levels, acid/alkaline balance, etc.) of a living system. As organic catalysts, they are involved in, but not changed by, chemical reactions; and they do not alter the equilibrium of those reactions.
Like all catalysts, enzymes work by providing an alternative pathway of lower activation energy for a reaction. By bringing the reactants closer together, enzymes can help make chemical bonds weaker, thus helping reactions proceed faster than without the catalyst; making reaction many millions of times faster. This is important since these "reactions" govern every function in your body, not to mention the destruction of viruses, bacteria, and cancerous cells.
Without enzymes, metabolism would progress through the same steps, but would go too slowly to serve the needs of the cell. In addition, enzymes often work together in a specific order, creating pathways. After each enzyme reaction, the product of that reaction is passed on and used as the raw material (substrate) for another enzyme to work on. (See a Flash Demo of the process.) Metabolic pathways control cell metabolism. Cell metabolism is the process (or really the sum of many individual processes) by which living cells take in nutrients, eliminate waste, and maintain life.
In essence, enzymes are the stuff of life. By allowing reactions to happen at far lower energy thresholds, they make life happen where otherwise there would be none. In the movies, Victor Frankenstein used electricity to create life; he probably would have been better served using enzymes.
An important concept to understand is that digestive enzyme formulas and systemic/metabolic proteolytic enzyme formulas, although they may share many of the same enzymes, are not the same thing.
- When you take a digestive enzyme formula with your meal, the enzymes work on speeding up the breakdown of the food in your stomach.
- When you take a proteolytic enzyme formula between meals, the enzymes do not get stuck working in your stomach. Instead, they quickly enter your bloodstream. In the bloodstream, they can help optimize your blood, plus they can also travel to tissues throughout your body to assist with intelligent, adaptive healing.
Understanding proteolytic enzymes
The vast majority of metabolic enzymes in the body, the enzymes that regulate everything from liver function to the immune system, are proteases, or proteolytic enzymes -- the focus of this newsletter. Proteolytic is a catchall phrase for enzymes that specifically facilitate the chemical breakdown of proteins by breaking the bonds between the amino acids that make up those proteins.
Proteolytic enzymes occur naturally in all organisms and constitute 1-5% of the gene content. They are polymorphic. The enzyme action they produce can adapt to meet the current digestive or metabolic needs of the body. In other words, proteolytic enzymes are able to adapt to the specific needs of their environment, plus they do not harm any healthy cells. Normal living cells are protected against destruction by the inhibitor mechanism.
Proteases are involved in a multitude of physiological reactions from simple digestion of food proteins to highly regulated cascades (e.g. the blood clotting cascade, the complementary immune system, apoptosis activation cascade, and the invertebrate prophenoloxidase activating cascade).
The bottom line is a healthy supply of these protein specific enzymes is essential for sustaining and maintaining optimal health.
Proteolytic enzymes and illness
Just about everything that makes us sick is either a protein or is protected by a protein and is therefore subject to control by enzymes.
- Bacteria, viruses, yeasts, and fungi are all protected by proteins.
- Food allergens are all proteins.
- Cancer cells are protected by proteins.
Proteolytic enzymes have the ability to digest and destroy the protein based defense shield of each and every one of these pathogens, thereby leading to their ultimate elimination.
And then there are CIC's (Circulating Immune Complexes). CIC's start out as extra-large protein molecules (primarily from wheat, corn, and dairy) that are only partially digested in the small intestine and are absorbed into the bloodstream. Once in the bloodstream, the immune system treats them as invaders because they are too large to be metabolized, provoking an immune reaction. Antibodies couple with these foreign protein invaders to form CIC's. At first, these CIC's may be neutralized in the lymphatic system. But over time, as too many CIC's are created, they overwhelm the body's ability to eliminate them. They overwhelm the immune system, and they overwhelm the kidneys. At that point, the body has no choice but to "store" them in its soft tissues, where the immune system continues to attack them as allergens causing inflammation and, ultimately, autoimmune disorders.
It is here that proteolytic enzyme supplements come into play. They compensate for your dietary inadequacies and errors by making their way into your bloodstream, where they set to work breaking down CIC's in your blood and soft tissues -- eventually passing the waste out through your kidneys.
And finally, some proteolytic enzymes such as nattokinase and endonase are very specialized. They work on specific protein related tasks such as optimizing blood, reducing pain and inflammation, and cleaning out the lungs.
Why you need to supplement?
In a perfect world, we would all eat raw (organic) unprocessed foods that are naturally high in active enzymes.
Note that man is the only animal that cooks his food (or eats processed foods for that matter). Cooking and processing kills enzymes. In fact, any sustained heat of approximately 1180-
But this isn't a perfect world.
Most people eat food that is enzyme deficient and fail to chew food adequately so their bodies must compensate. The body is forced to divert its production of enzymes away from proteolytic enzymes, which govern metabolic functions, into digestive enzymes designed to break down dead proteins in our diets. The consequences of this diversion are enormous. It can lead to everything from a weakened immune system to thickened blood, from pain and inflammation to cardiovascular disease, and from difficulty breathing to reduced athletic endurance. Supplementing with proteolytic enzymes offsets this devastating diversion.
Why pH matters to enzymes
As I mentioned at the top of the newsletter, the big breakthrough in pHi-Zymes is in the addition of a pH buffering system. But why does pH matter to enzymes?
Although pH is in actuality a measure of the degree of Hydrogen (H) ions in a substance or solution, it is best recognized as a measure of the acid/alkaline balance of anything. (0-7 is acid; 7 is neutral; 7-14 is alkaline or base.) In another sense, though, it is also a measure of the available (unbound) oxygen in something -- the higher the pH, the more available oxygen there is in your body. A proper alkaline environment in your blood provides literally thousands of times the oxygen needed for all bodily functions. Proper pH by itself is a major factor in optimizing health and preventing disease (cancer, for example, thrives in an acid environment), but it also directly impacts the efficacy of proteolytic enzymes in your body.
"Enzymes function optimally at a specific pH and become inactive if this deviates beyond narrow limits," Anatomy and Physiology by Anthony and Thibodeau.
Think of it this way. There are hundreds if not thousands of enzyme processes that take place in the body. Many are so specific that they are like complex square pegs that need to "fit" into specific square holes in order to carry out their function. If pH is off-balance even a little, some important pegs will not "fit" into their respective slots. Enzyme function and thus life itself begins to suffer.
Not surprisingly then, different pH's are required to optimize different body functions. For example, your saliva is slightly alkaline, whereas your stomach juices are strongly acidic. Your intestines operate best in a strongly alkaline environment, and your urine prefers a more acidic environment for control of bacteria. The most important pH of all, however, is your blood pH, because a deviation of as little as 5/10th of a point from its normal pH of 7.45 can result in illness or death.
That said, small deviations of less than 1/10th of a point can make a huge difference in your health and in the effectiveness of the proteolytic enzymes that operate in your blood. The bottom line is that, in general, the higher the pH in your blood, the more active the enzymes. This has implications for everything from the strength of your immune system to your ability to utilize oxygen.
When it comes to proteolytic enzymes, most proteolytic enzymes (other than pepsin) work best in a neutral to slightly alkaline environment. Optimizing that environment, then, becomes crucial for good health.
What changes your body's pH?
When you metabolize carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, various acids are produced. Proteins, for example, produce sulfuric acid and phosphoric acid. Carbohydrates and fats produce acetic acid and lactic acid. The bottom line is that diet changes your body's pH. And most of us eat a highly acidic diet (meat, dairy, cooked grains, and most fruit).
Why Minerals are important.
There are complex biochemical processes constantly working to keep your pH levels optimized for maximum enzyme activity. These are known as pH buffering systems. They are mineral based. If you lack minerals in your diet (common in modern diets), then your body's natural buffering system is deficient.
Essentially, your body uses minerals such as sodium, calcium, potassium, and magnesium to combine with the acids and turn them into pH neutral mineral salts. These salts can then be safely eliminated through your kidneys.
An enzyme epiphany
We have talked about how important an optimal pH environment is to the effectiveness of proteolytic enzymes. CMIK-pH+ (a proprietary blend of calcium, magnesium, ionic trace minerals, and potassium that has been added to the pHi-Zymes formula) creates just such an environment -- and a whole lot more.
- First, it provides extra protection for the enzymes from stomach acid. Normally, if you take your proteolytic enzymes on an empty stomach, the acid content is fairly low so they don't suffer much damage anyway -- particularly if you choose your enzymes carefully. This was one of the reasons for using Seaprose-S instead of serrapeptase in the formula. Nevertheless, it provides that "extra level" of protection. (Note: enteric coating is a pretty marginal technology when it comes to capsules. It doesn't really protect the enzymes very well.)
- It helps optimize the pH of the blood. Again, as said previously, blood pH will vary very little to protect against death. However, as also stated, minor changes in blood pH make a huge difference in proteolytic enzyme efficiency and oxygen availability. The impact of CMIK-pH+ in this regard is monumental.
- It helps optimize the pH of all your soft tissue. Since your body will do anything to keep your blood's pH in a narrow range, that means it robs Peter to pay Paul. It steals minerals and lowers pH in your soft tissue to protect your blood if your diet is too acidic. And if you eat meat, dairy, cooked grains, desserts, and most fruit, then your diet is indeed too acidic. Bottom line here is that by raising soft tissue pH, you dramatically improve the ability of proteolytic enzymes to root out CIC's embedded in that soft tissue, thus relieving allergies and reducing the possibility of autoimmune conditions.
- And finally, by providing a source of buffering minerals, CMIK-pH+ reduces the chances of osteoporosis. After all, if your body needs minerals to buffer a high acid diet, what's the biggest mineral bank in your body? Your bones! The presence of CMIK-pH+ can help offset some (or all) of that need, depending on how many pHi-Zymes you take, so you keep minerals in your bones for strength.
The addition of CMIK-pH+ to a proteolytic enzyme formula is so revolutionary and so effective, it has been patented.
Upgrade in key enzyme
We have talked before about the powerful ingredients used in the original Proteolytic Enzyme formula. In this newsletter I want to update you on a change we made in one of the key enzymes, Seaprose-S.
Seaprose-S was integral to the original formula because of its remarkable anti-inflammatory and anti-fluid retention activity. In addition to reducing inflammation, it has a profound ability to reduce pain, clear mucous from the lungs, and break down sputum in patients with chronic airway diseases. And unlike serrapeptase, it is not affected by stomach acid so it does not require enteric coating. It is also much less upsetting to the stomach.
But from a manufacturing point of view, it is like a high-strung racehorse -- difficult to work with. So I looked for an alternative (for over a year) before discovering Endonase™ (aka Protease-S).
Endonase has all of the benefits of Seaprose-S (and is in fact closely related to it), but offers the advantage of being less concentrated so it's much easier to work with in manufacturing, resulting in a much more consistent final formulation.
Bottom line: Endonase allows us to get all of the benefits of Seaprose-S, but with much more precise tuning. For that reason, I replaced Seaprose-S with Endonase in the new pHi-Zymes formula.
Proteolytic enzymes and health
With an understanding of how your body utilizes proteolytic enzymes, what interferes with their potential (an acid body), and what maximizes their potential (an alkaline body), it becomes clear that the advantages of supplementing with a good systemic proteolytic enzyme formula with an added pH buffering system are profound. Possible benefits include:
- Reduce inflammation for: Increased heart health, Cancer prevention and recovery, Alzheimer's prevention, Fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, and more
- Cleanse the blood of debris
- Break down and remove Circulating Immune Complexes
- Dissolve arterial plaque
- Dissolve fibrin in the blood, reducing the risk of clots
- Eliminating the risk of DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis)
- Raise the immune system
- Kill bacteria and viruses
- Improve circulation
- Eliminate autoimmune diseases
- Speed up recovery from sprains, strains, fractures, bruises, contusions, and surgery
- Speed up recovery time from workouts
- Help with MS
- Help with arthritis
- Remove plaque from teeth
- Help with sinusitis and asthma
- Dissolve scar tissue
- Aid in detoxing
- Improved body alkalinity
- Reduced risk of osteoporosis
From removing dental plaque to protecting your cardiovascular system, from reducing inflammation throughout the entire body to speeding up the recovery times of athletes, the bottom line is that supplementation with a good proteolytic enzyme formula like pHi-Zymes is essential.
- Add more raw foods to your diet.
- Cut out (or at least cut down) processed foods.
- Cut out (or at least cut down) cooked foods.
- Chew your food properly.
- Drink alkalinized water.
A couple of years ago, we issued a challenge to dentists to validate the ability of systemic proteolytic enzymes to dissolve plaque. As far as I know, no dentist has ever taken up the challenge -- but some of our readers have.
"Five months ago I had my teeth cleaned. At that time I had the expected, usual amount of plaque on my teeth. So the hygienist cleaned it up. One month ago I began taking the Proteolytic Enzymes for some joint inflammation I was experiencing after taking a round of antibiotics for a strong kidney infection. With the help of the Proteolytics, the pain went away very quickly, as I thought it would. Then 2 days ago, I went to the dentist again to have my teeth cleaned and sealed. The hygienist said I did not need my teeth cleaned because there was no plaque on my teeth at all!"
Caitlin W., OH