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The learning point for energy healers is that physical health conditions caused by enzyme deficiency need to be addressed by increasing the level of undamaged enzyme intake in the diet. Energy healing will not do anything to solve the root cause of enzyme deficiency related health conditions.
As will be seen later in this chapter, the physical body is dependent upon chemical reactions for its physical creation and for the ongoing operation of body processes. Enzymes have a critical role to play in the nearly all the chemical reactions that take place within a body. They help to digest food, help the processes that provide cellular energy, support the functioning of the brain as the command centre for the body, play a key role in the repair and healing processes within the body, break down toxins, cleanse the blood, and so on.
Enzymes act as catalysts. This means that they help to speed up chemical reactions in the body but do not become consumed by the chemical reactions themselves. Without the speeding up effect, most of the chemical reactions that would take place would be too slow to sustain life.
Enzymes are proteins and are found as long chains of amino-acids that are folded or shaped into three dimensional structures. They are in the body either because they have been ingested in the food or because they have been created within the body by organs such as the saliva glands, the stomach, the pancreas and the small intestine. There are hundreds of types of enzyme in each human body.
The chemical engineering in our bodies is such that each enzyme has a specific role to play in a particular chemical reaction and cannot be substituted by any other enzyme. Enzymes have been found to act as catalysts for around 4,000 chemical reactions within the body. The substances which enzymes are catalysts to are called substrates. The unique relationship between enzymes and substrates is influenced by a number of factors such as the shape of both enzymes and substrates to allow physical ‘locking’ together, relative energy charges, solubility in water, etc..
The physical locking or binding of the enzyme and substrate initiates changes in the electron distribution in the substrate’s chemical bonds, resulting in the chemical reactions need to sustain the body. We look at electron bonding later in this chapter. Once the reactions have taken place, the enzymes break the physical locks with what were the substrates. Essentially, nearly all the chemical reactions that take place within the body are started, controlled and ended by enzymes.
To understand a little about how enzymes work, we can look at the digestive system where three examples of enzymes made by the body can be found – amylase enzymes, protease enzymes, and lipase enzymes.
- Amylase enzymes are found in the saliva and in the juices of the pancreas and intestinal tract and help the digestive process by breaking down carbohydrates. There are different kinds of amylase. For example, the enzyme sucrase breaks down the sugar sucrose found in cane and beet sugar. The enzyme lactase breaks down the lactose sugar in milk. The enzyme maltase breaks down the malt sugar maltose.
- Protease enzymes are found in the juices of the pancreas, the stomach and the intestinal tract and help with the breakdown and the digestion of proteins.
- Lipase enzymes are found in the juices of the stomach and pancreas and help to break down fats.
An example of problems that occur in the digestive system when there is a deficiency of enzymes is lactose intolerance:
- Lactose intolerance results from a deficiency in the presence in the digestive system of an enzyme called lactase. The role of lactase is to break down lactose which is the main sugar in milk. If lactose cannot be broken down within the digestive system, symptoms such as nausea, cramps and bloating can result.
We can understand a little more about the role of enzymes elsewhere in the body processes by looking at some different examples:
- The blood in the body is continually passed through the kidneys where it is filtered to remove water, nitrogen-based compounds produced when proteins have been broken down, salts, acids and alkalines. After filtering, some of these substances are reabsorbed back into the blood to keep its water, salt and pH levels reasonably constant as required for the body to function properly. Adequate blood pressure is needed also. If blood pressure is dropping, the kidneys will secrete an enzyme called renin that works alongside this process to increase the level of salt and water reabsorbed.
- An enzyme called Coenzyme A is the most important food processing enzyme in the human body and is needed to create energy at the cellular level from the metabolic processing of fat, carbohydrate and protein.
- Hyaluronic acid helps to hold water in connective tissue within the body and is a key component within synovial fluid which acts as a bone joint lubricant. An enzyme called hyaluronic acid synthase is used to make hyaluronic acid molecules within the body and so helps to facilitate physical movement in the body.
- Blood clotting is the body’s natural way of stopping the loss of blood from wounds. When blood clots are no longer needed, fibrinolytic enzymes help to dissolve them. This prevents them from moving around the blood system where they could be come stuck and in some parts of the body cause serious damage.
Later in this chapter there is some commentary about how the body repairs damage to the DNA. This repair damage is facilitated by enzyme activity.
Examples of problems that occur elsewhere in the human body there is a deficiency of enzymes:
- The DNA in cells is constantly getting damaged but it has its own repair abilities in the form of repair enzymes. If there is a reduced presence of these enzymes, the level of DNA repair required will not take place with the potential for health conditions to develop.
- If there is enzyme deficiency within the reproductive system, there develops the potential for the splitting and recombination of chromosomes process not to work correctly with the resulting potential for defective genes to be passed on through the hereditary line with an impact upon the health of successive generations.
Most enzymes can be unfolded and inactivated in a number of ways including exposure to high temperatures. The destruction of the three dimensional nature of the enzymes means that they can no longer lock physically with the substrates and the catalytic relationship cannot take place.
Although the body produces its own enzymes, as a generalisation it is considered that these are not sufficient to meet the needs of the body and that additional enzymes need to be ingested with the food. Enzymes can be damaged by high temperatures and so cooking processes often destroy enzymes in the food. If there is enzyme deficiency within the food that we eat, the body will have to fall back on enzymes which it produces itself. If this enzyme production is not sufficient, then various body processes will not function as they should. For example, food passing through the digestive system might not be digested properly with good nutrients passing out in the faeces. In western societies where there tends to be a high proportion of processed food in the average diet, the issue of enzyme deficiency in the body and the subsequent impact upon physical health starts to take on a serious perspective. Solutions include taking enzyme supplements in much the same way as vitamin pills would be taken and by increasing the amount of raw food eaten. There are clearly health issues surrounding eating raw meat and unpasteurised dairy products due to the risk of bacterial ingestion. Similarly, raw vegetables will have grown in soil where bacteria are present. However, consideration given to increasing the amount of raw food taken in the diet in a safe way is likely to result in increased enzyme intake in the food and will support better physical health.
Please note that some raw foods contain what are called enzyme inhibitors which will inhibit the functionality of enzymes within your body. Raw seeds, nuts and wheat germ are very high in levels of enzyme inhibitors and peas, beans and lentils are moderately high in enzyme inhibitors. These foods contain coatings to protect them before they have sprouted. These coatings contain the enzyme inhibitors. As a general rule, the sprouts from such items are high in nutritional value but it is consumption before sprouting that is problematic for enzyme functionality. It is recommended that detailed research is undertaken by people considering switching to a raw food diet so that you can develop a high level of understanding of the benefits and disbenefits of various raw foods in your diet.
There seems to be a lack of extensive medical and scientific research in this area and most of the information and commentary available on the internet about raw food diets seems not to be referenced back to acceptable research findings. Some caution might be appropriate therefore when searching for information about enzymes in the diet on the internet.
Date of posting : September 2007