Enzymes are needed for every chemical reaction that takes place in your body. They are connected with every working organ and facilitate all metabolism. Science has identified over 5,000 enzymes and there are thousands more yet undiscovered. They are biocatalysts, making internal chemical reactions work faster and more efficiently.
There are four different kinds of enzymes:
- Food enzymes are found in raw foods. There are sufficient enzymes in each raw food to digest it. The level of active enzymes in a food is affected by food additives, radiation, long term storage, and any kind of food processing, especially heat. Enzymes in foods are destroyed when they reach a heat over 116°.
- Digestive enzymes help break food down into basic components so you can absorb the nutrients that are required to build cells, maintain organs and repair tissue. These enzymes are present in the digestive juices your body produces, starting with the saliva in the mouth continuing down to and including the intestines. They include protease, amylase, lipase, malt diastase, invertase, lactase, pectinase and alpha galactosidase. These enzymes break down different food groups.
- Metabolic enzymes enhance and support metabolic processes. They are made by the body and drive chemical reactions within the cells. On the cellular level, enzymes direct body systems and are interconnected with every functional organ and biological system in the body.
- Supplemental enzymes are cultured from plant enzymes. Plant enzymes are grown from food such as mushrooms, soy and wheat in a laboratory setting with specific actions rendered in units. They are nonpathogenic Aspergillus Niger species and are free of mycelium contamination. Removal of all aspergilli and fungi leave only the enzymatic action. Supplemental enzymes are a concentrated form of enzymatic action.
“Commercial enzymes” are one product you may come across. Commercial enzymes are of a lesser grade and purity than pharmaceutical enzymes. They are less expensive to produce. They are also less potent. Enzyme Research® uses only pharmaceutical grade enzymes!
Another to watch for on the label is fillers. Fillers can be many things including leftover fibers or cellulose. Magnesium stearate is often added for no other purpose than to help the production machine move at maximum speed. Enzyme Research uses NO FILLERS in any of its enzyme formulations.
Looking at the label of an Enzyme Research product, you will find measurement units you may not be familiar with. These are from the Food Chemical Codex (FCC). The FCC is published by the National Academy Press and is the accepted standard of the Food and Drug Administration. The system for determining enzyme potency used by the American food industry is derived from the FCC. This is the ONLY National Standard for evaluation of plant enzymes. This system establishes activity levels and potency for enzymes.
With most foods, we are used to comparisons based on weight (mgs.). With enzymes, we are interested in the activity and potency available. There is no direct relationship between weight and units of activity (HUT’s, etc.).
The enzyme activity of all Enzyme Research products is measured and reported in FCC units. Every product batch is assayed to ensure the product contains what the label states.
- Amylase – SKB (Alpha-amylase-Dextrinizing Units)
- Bromelain – GDU (Gelatin Digesting Units)
- Cellulase – CU (Cellulase Units)
- Glucoamylase or AGU (also AU or AG) (Amylo-Glucosidase Units)
- Invertase – Sumner
- Lactase – ALU (Acid Lactase Unit)
- Lipase – FIP (Lipase Units)
- Maltase – DP (Degrees Diastaic Power)
- Pectinase – Endo-PGU (Endo-Polygalacturnonase Units)
- Protease – HUT (Hemoglobin Unit Tyrosine base)
- Alpha Galactosidase – GAL
When comparing enzyme products, make sure measurements are listed using FCC standard codes. Some manufacturers make up their own abbreviations. Others use weights such as milligrams (mgs.). Because of the variety of labeling formats used, it is important to read carefully and make sure you are not comparing apples to oranges.
- Amylase assists in the digestion of starches.
- Protease assists in the digestion of proteins.
- Lipase assists in the digestion of fats.
- Lactase assists in the digestion of milk sugar.
- Cellulase assists in breaking down fiber. (The body does not make cellulase.)
- Invertase (sucrase) assists in the breakdown of table sugar.
- Maltase assists in the breakdown of large starch-derived sugars commonly found in the diet.
- Pectinase with Phytase assists in the absorption of minerals.
- Alpha-galactosidase assists in the digestion of beans and legumes and helps prevent the undesirable effects produced.
Enzymes heal the gut and improve absorption, so you may be metabolizing more of your medications and supplements than in the past. Be knowledgeable about the side effects of your medication and monitor any increase of them as you begin enzymes. It may become possible to cut down or eliminate that medication. As always, please consult with your health care professional.
Most of our products do not contain any allergens. Here are the ones that do:
- Prodophilus has traces of milk products. In this case, the probiotics are grown on a dairy-based culture and then centrifuged to separate the culture from the probiotics that go in the bottle.
- Glucosamine/Chondroitin/MSM contains shellfish. Glucosamine is made from shellfish, but there is no evidence that it contains shellfish proteins which are usually responsible for causing allergy symptoms. There is a vegetarian form of glucosamine which has less efficacy. Anyone with a shellfish allergy would want to check with their health care professional.
- Vitazyme –according to FDA standards the following allergens must be listed, though they are not all an issue as we understand it: wheat, soy, dairy and shellfish. The wheat in the formula is from wheatgrass which does not contain gluten or gliadin and therefore should not cause any problems. The soy is from the Betatene (vitamin A), the Vitamin E, manganese, molybdenum and selenium. The Betatene and Vitamin E are allergen exempted because the soy is there at the start of manufacturing, but becomes a non-issue by the end. The three minerals are chelates which do contain soy. The dairy is used as a carrying agent in the Acerola Extract. The shellfish is in the glucosamine (see above explanation).
- Nattokinase with Herbs contains soy. The soy is fermented to grow the enzyme. The enzyme is separated from the growth medium at the end and should not be a problem.
- Enflamizyme contains corn (Non-GMO).
- Amylase contains corn (Non-GMO).
- The malt diastase which appears in several products is derived from barley used in the fermentation process. By the end of that process, it should be used up. However, we cannot state conclusively that it is gluten free.
Don’t forget the importance of pH balance. Pancreatin only works at a 7-9 pH range. Plant enzymes have the capability to work between 4 and 11 pH. They are blended as neutral, alkaline and acidic in our formulations to make sure enzyme activity can occur in a wide range of circumstances. This means they work throughout the entire digestive tract and in the blood.