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What is an Enzyme?
According to the American Pocket Medical
Dictionary, (Nineteenth Edition), "enzyme" is defined
as an organic compound, frequently a protein, which is able to accelerate
or to produce by catalytic action some change in a substrate for
which it is often specific.
Humans, animals and plants are composed
of cells with different activities, both inside and outside the
cell membrane. All these activities
need the presence of enzymes in order to function. Without
enzymes, there will be no cellular activities.A
cell without cellular activities is considered dead.
Enzymes, like vitamins and essential
minerals, are vital to all living things. It is just like a car
with an intact engine battery and a full tank of gasoline, but no
engine oil. The car with such configuration cannot run if there
is no engine oil for lubrication. The engine oil therefore, plays
a similar important role in a functioning car as the enzymes contribute
to the integrity of a living cell.
We have different enzymes in different
systems. Those that are concerned with digestion are known as digestive
enzymes which are secreted by special glands or mucosal cells along
the digestive pathway. Their chief function is to metabolize the
ingested food so that its components can be absorbed and utilized
by our body. This whole process of digestion, absorption and utilization
is known as "assimilation".
Food enzymes are digestive enzymes
present in food or food supplements. Their sources can be animal
(eg. uncooked meat) or vegetable in origin. In medical terms, digestive
enzymes secreted by our digestive system inside our body are "endogenous".
Those taken as food or food supplements (food enzymes) are "exogenous".
Some common characteristics of these digestive enzymes are:
1. they function best at certain pH
2. they are easily destroyed by high
temperature, such as cooking and food processing, and
3. once destroyed, they must be replaced.
Digestive enzymes into four main groups:
- Carbohydrase enzymes digest carbohydrates
which might be simple monosaccharides (glucose, fructose and galactose),
dissaccharides (sucrose, lactose and maltose) or complex polysaccharides
(starch and fibers). The end products are monosaccharides.
- Protease enzymes digest proteins
which are then broken down to proteases, peptones, polypeptides,
dipeptides and finally the end products, amino acids.
- Lipase enzymes digest fats, which
are composed of neutral fat (triglycerides), phospholipids and
cholesterols. The main end products of the digestion of fats are
fatty acids and glycerides which are not water soluble. It is
only with the aid of the bile acids that the majority of the fat
is absorbed through the intestinal epithelial cells into the lymphatic
system via the lacteals of the villi. About 10% of the fatty acids
are absorbed into the portal blood and carried to the liver for
further metabolism. Chylomicrons are small particles of fat formed
in the blood during digestion of fat. They are covered with a
protein coat which makes them hydrophilic (soluble), allowing
a certain degree of suspension stability in the fluid medium (blood).
- Cellulase enzymes digest cellulose
which is a complex carbohydrate forming the framework of plant
structures (fibers). It plays no significant role in human beings
and is not found in the endogenous secretion of the human digestive
enzymes. It may be an essential enzyme in herbivorous animals.
**When a baby is born, each one is
given a limited supply of digestive enzymes at birth. This supply
has to last a lifetime. The faster you use up your enzyme supply,
the shorter your life will be.
Your Enzyme Bank Account.
We are born with a limited supply of
enzymes at birth. To put it in banker's language, each of us has
a fixed amount of capital (enzymes). Our balance in the bank will
depend on the number of deposits and withdrawals.
We credit our account by continuously
ingesting raw food and food enzyme supplements. We debit our account
by draining away our precious enzymes when we routinely consume
cooked or processed foods. If the withdrawals are greater than the
deposits, we eventually come to a negative balance.
Dr. Howell stated clearly in his book
called Food Enzymes for Health and Longevity, "When we eat
cooked, enzyme-free food, the body is forced to produce enzymes
needed for digestion.
This depletes the body's limited enzyme
capacity. This 'stealing' of enzymes from other parts of the body
sets up a competition for enzymes among the various organ systems
and tissues of the human body. The resulting metabolic dislocations
may be the direct cause of ... many chronic incurable diseases."
Digestive enzymes are significant because
digestion of food is impossible without them. In a young and healthy
person, there may be an adequate supply of digestive enzymes to
handle the whole process of digestion.
In addition to the enzymes manufactured
within the body, enzymes are also obtained through foods. Raw foods
are full of live enzymes, but these are highly sensitive to heat
and therefore destroyed by processing and cooking. Conventional
wisdom uses digestive enzymes as a replacement supplement. It also
advocates the ingestion of raw fruits and vegetables which have
a high content of vitamins and food enzymes.
Dr. Howell's use of Food Enzymes suggests
that the supply of human enzymes is limited at birth. The faster
we consume our enzymes, the shorter will be our life span. Raw food
is a good source of food enzymes. Ingestion of raw food or enzyme
supplements will lessen the work of our digestive system so that
more energy is reserved for other metabolic activities.
Thus ingestion of Raw juices and foods,
refills our depleted Enzymal bank account, and gives us a longer,
healthier life. So we can say that Juicing for life is Anti-Ageing.
A kind of Nutritional therapy called
The Gerson Therapy, seeks to regenerate the body to health, supporting
each important metabolic requirement by flooding the body with nutrients
from almost 20 pounds of organically grown fruits and vegetables
daily. Most is used to make fresh
raw juice, one glass every hour, 13 times per day. Raw
and cooked solid foods are generously consumed as well. Oxygenation
is usually more than doubled, as oxygen deficiency in the blood
contributes to many degenerative diseases. The
metabolism is also stimulated through the addition of thyroid, potassium
and other supplements, and by avoiding heavy animal fats, excess
protein, sodium and other toxins.
Degenerative diseases render the body
increasingly unable to excrete waste materials adequately, commonly
resulting in liver and kidney failure.
To prevent this, the Gerson Therapy
uses intensive detoxification to eliminate wastes, regenerate the
liver, reactivate the immune system and restore the body's essential
defenses - enzyme, mineral and hormone systems.
With generous, high-quality, enzyme
packed juices and raw foods full of nutrition, increased oxygen
availability, detoxification, and improved metabolism, the cells
- and the body - can regenerate, become healthy and prevent future
Juicing is an essential component of
the Gerson Therapy. To ensure reliable results, you will need to
purchase an appropriate juicer. Dr. Gerson's research indicates
that cancer patients must have a two- stage juicer with a separate
grinder and hydraulic press. One-step juicers generally do not produce
the same quality of enzyme, mineral or micronutrient content, and
some patients have failed to experience results simply by using
the wrong juicer. To our knowledge, the only companies which manufacture
the grinder-press-type juicer are Norwalk and K & K.Centrifugal-type
juicers are not recommended are not acceptable for cancer patients.
They do not get the most enzymes out of the foods being processes,
and leave many behind. Other non-centrifugal juicers may be used
for health maintenance or non-cancer diagnoses.
The Gerson diet is naturally high
in vitamins, minerals, enzymes, micro-nutrients, extremely low in
sodium and fats, and rich in fluids.
In the Gerson regimen, there are certain basic amounts of nutrients
needed to effectively replace those that life has depleted.
To follow this regimen at home, it
is recommended that you ingest the following daily:
- Thirteen glasses of fresh, raw
carrot/apple and green-leaf juices prepared hourly from fresh,
organic fruits and vegetables.
- Three full vegetarian meals, freshly
prepared from organically grown fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
A typical meal will include
salad, cooked vegetables, baked potatoes, vegetable soup and juice.
- Fresh fruit and fresh fruit dessert
available at all hours for snacking, in addition to the regular
So you see, a proper heavy duty juicer
is imperative for the type of enzymal replacement therapy as described
Juicer Press: Juice pressing heals disease through regeneration
of the cells. Immunity comes from the soils. Pressing vegetable
juices releases the immune regenerative forces of the land.
6 in 1:
Not used as a juicer but as a grinder only; plus the Wells Juicer
Press (see above). Provides more fiber, enzymes, vitamins, and trace
minerals than Conventional centrifugal-type juicer. Darker, richer
colored juice, Sweeter, richer, more full-bodied flavor
This single gear, masticating juice
extractor is an appliance that will serve all of your juicing needs
and much more. The Omega Model 8001 Nutrition Center excels at all
of its functions. This single gear machine turns at a slow 80 RPM's
to ensure that nothing is lost through heated elements in your juice.
Price: $258.95 Used with the K & K Press as listed above.
Food Enzymes for Health and Longevity,
Omangod Press (1980)
Enzyme Nutrition, Avery Publishing
Group Inc. (1985)
Chiles, V., Canadian Self-Medication.
First Edition, Canadian Pharmaceutical Association 1980.
Howell, E., Food Enzymes for Health
and Longevity, Omangod Press. Page xiii, 1980
Skadhange, E., (Editor, Intestinal
Absorption and Secretion, MTP Press Limited, 1984
Howell, E., Enzyme Nutrition, Avery
Publishing Group Inc., 1985
Kromhout, D. et al, The Inverse
Relation Between Fish Consumption and 20-Year Mortality From Coronary
Heart Disease, New Engl. J. of Med. Vol, 312: 1205-1209, 1985
Gerson Institute archives