By Rob Vaughan


Of all the major elements of nutrition, enzymes are the least understood, the least written about, and they provide the most underestimated contribution to our life and our health.   There are few sources in medical science or nutritional health that offer an in-depth understanding to even begin to thoroughly answer the seemingly simple question of What is an enzyme?


But once we review what is known about enzymes, you may want to ask?  Are enzymes the very secret to life itself?


Everyone has heard of protein, carbohydrates and fats, which are the biggest components in food.   Most people also are familiar with mico-nutrients called vitamins and minerals.  All of these food components are understood to be important and vital to life and should be supplied in the food we eat.


But how many people have heard of enzymes?  And of these people, how many know what enzymes are and how they fit into the nutritional picture?


Are enzymes just another piece in the puzzle of life, like vitamins and minerals?


No!  Enzymes are what make all the other pieces work.  Enzymes are not tangible, physical substances.   Enzymes are the very life force that activate vitamins, minerals, protein, and other physical components in our body.   Enzymes are the key to understanding the difference between life and death, and between sickness and health.


Every breath you take, every move you make, every thought you think and every action you take requires enzymes.  Enzymes are the work force of the body.   No vitamin, mineral, protein or hormone can do work without enzymes.


Enzymes have been studied since the early 1900s, but even today this is a field of research still in its infancy.   In 1930, only about 80 enzymes were known to exist.    Today, there are thousands of enzymes known, and many reactions have been identified for which the enzymes responsible are not yet know.   Every year, more new enzymes are discovered.   But even with all its technology, modern science is no closer than it was 60 years ago to knowing what makes an enzyme work.  We can only discover the enzyme and give it a name.


Enzymes are still thought of by many to be catalysts.  But catalysts work by chemical action only.   Enzymes function not only on a chemical but on a biological level also.   The chemical part of the enzyme can be synthesized by chemists, but the biological part cannot be.  If this life principle could be synthesized, then man could create life.  The only way inanimate objects can be brought to life is through God: like when man was created:   “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”   Genesis 2:7


The best explanation of enzymes I have found are the words of Humbart Santillo in his Book, Food Enzymes:  The Missing Link to Radiant Health.  “It has always been felt that enzymes are protein molecules,.   This is incorrect.   Let me clarify this by giving you an example:  a light bulb can only light up when you put an electric current through it.   It is animated by electricity.   The current is the life for e of the bulb.   Without electricity we  could have not light, just a light bulb, a physical object without structure, and a non-physical electrical force that expresses and manifests through the bulb.   The same situation exists when trying to describe what an enzyme is within our body structure.   A protein molecule is a carrier of the enzyme activity, much like the light bulb is the carrier for an electrical current.”


In “The Energetics of Juicing” audio cassette Santillo further explains, An enzyme is the electromagnetic energy that manifests itself in a protein molecule that controls the chemical and biochemical processes of life….Pure nutrition, except when the body is depleted of enzymes, when it’s depleted of energy, it can’t absorb the nutrition.  All our lives we have been thinking, “What vitamins, what minerals should I be taking?”  when the bottom line is enzymes , because enzymes digest the food, enzymes break the food down, enzymes carry the nutrients to the cells, then the enzymes in the cells take all these nutrients and build the bone, teeth, heart, etc.”


But the reason you don’t hear much about enzymes from the medical establishment is there is nothing solid that you can put your hands on.  It is very hard to explain and impossible to duplicate all their processes.   Scientists who fail to recognize the action of enzymes in our body also fail to realize the action of enzymes in food and how they fit into the nutritional picture.


There are three different kinds of enzymes: metabolic enzymes, to keep our body functioning properly; digestive enzymes, to digest food; and food enzymes found in raw (live) food, which also help to digest food in our body.   Food enzymes are only found in raw food, which is food that has not been cooked or heated above 118 degrees, they are destroyed in a half-hour.  You can imagine what cooking temperatures, which start at 212 degrees (the boiling point of water), do to an enzyme.   At the temperature of 130 degrees, enzymes are destroyed within seconds.


Absolutely, beyond the shadow of a doubt, yes, Yes, Yes!  This is the whole point behind what Dr. Howell calls “The Food Enzyme Concept,” and this is what I will try to explain.


Or bodies are constantly building and replacing living cells at an unbelievable rate; some estimate hundreds of millions of cells a minute.   Within a one year period, almost every cell in our body will have been replaced.   So., since we have a whole new body every year, there is nothing to worry about, right?


WRONG!  We have a new body, but whether it is better or not is up to us and how we use our enzyme potential.   We can spend this potential making metabolic enzymes to rebuild healthy new cells or we can deplete it trying to digest enzyme deficient food(in which case, the dead food we eat would be ultimately robbing us of energy rather than giving us energy).  Every part of our body has its own metabolic enzymes to do its work.   One person found 98 different enzymes in the blood alone.   Since metabolic enzymes do the work of repairing body organs and fighting disease, we must make sure nothing interferes with the body making enough metabolic enzymes.   This is why eating raw food with enzymes is essential for building a healthy body.   If the food we eat contains enzymes, then our body doesn’t have to waste its enzyme potential making digestive enzymes.  Our bodies were designed to receive food with enzymes, which means food in its raw form.


Human bodies and animal bodies are designed to use the enzymes in food as a means of conserving their own enzymes.   A good example of this in the animal world is the cow, which has four stomachs.   The first three stomachs secrete no enzymes, which gives the enzymes in the grass a chance to break down the grass, saving the cow’s own enzymes for more important work.


Although humans have one stomach instead of four, the relationship between enzymes and digestion is similar.   We have two sections in our stomach.  Dr. Howell calls the upper section the enzyme stomach, which is where our food stays for 30 to 60 minutes after we eat it.   The purpose of the enzyme stomach is to give the enzymes in the food a chance to predigest the food before our body has to work on it.   The enzyme stomach does not secrete any enzymes from our lower section, which is where our body secretes digestive enzymes.


I we eat raw, enzyme-rich food, most of the work of breaking the food down is done for us.  If we eat cooked food, devoid of enzymes, our body does all the work.  This puts a big strain on our bodies and it is a very inefficient process with a lot of waste.   It is such a burden that the immune system is called in to help.   This is why the white blood cells of our body multiply when we eat enzyme-deficient food we have eaten.   The main three enzymes that are a normal part of our white blood cells are protease, amylase and lipase.   These are the enzymes to digest protein, carbohydrate and fat, which make up the biggest percentage of our food.   The white blood cells go to the digestive tract to aid the digestive process.  In other words, you are weakening your immune system when you eat large amount of cooked food.


How can we even be sure if this enzyme – deficient food can be properly broken down by our own digestive enzymes?   We can’t! In fact, some of this enzyme-deficient food does not get assimilate, which leaves fat and cholesterol clogging our arteries, while undigested protein and carbohydrates cause allergies and countless other problems.


Eskimos are a good example of the difference in eating ra and cooked food.   Before civilization invaded the north, early Eskimos lived almost entirely on raw meat and fat diet, because there was nothing else to eat.   Their arteries remained free of fat and cholesterol because they ate their meat raw.   This is not to say that I recommend eating this way, because there are other problems associated with this type of diet, but it shows that with enzymes in the raw food, it can be properly broken down, unlike the enzyme-deficient diet most Americans are trying to live on today.


The digestive enzymes produced in our body do as good a job as they can in breaking down our food, but if we eat too much enzyme-deficient food, our bodies can’t handle it all.  There are also a lot of waste products when breaking down this type of food, which produce a burden for our body to clean up.  We also have to consider the expense of producing digestive enzymes in our body.   They do not come without a price.  Our enzyme potential, the “bank account,” is what has to pay the price for the extra work.   Since there is only a certain amount of enzyme potential, when we have to produce digestive enzymes in our body.   They do not come without a price.   Our enzyme potential, the “bank account,” is what has to pay the price for the extra work.   Since there is only a certain amount of enzyme potential, when we have to produce digestive enzymes, this diminishes our body’s capability to make the metabolic enzymes needed for rebuilding and detoxification.   When the metabolic enzyme level is low enough that the metabolism suffers, we will eventually die.   The good part is that if we notice the problem in time, we can reverse this process by using the enzyme potential for what is intended.


We can choose to eat raw fruits and vegetables, which make superior quality cells, leave no harmful waste products and result in exceptional health and a long life.   Or we can continue eating enzyme-deficient food, which produces poor quality cells with a lot of waste that cause physical problems and a premature death.


Dr. Norman W. Walker was an early proponent of the advantages of eating a die dominated by live foods containing enzymes.  In Fresh Vegetable and Fruit Juices, published in 1936, Dr. Walker writes:  “The basic key to the efficacy of nourishing your body is the life which is present in your food and of those intangible elements, known as enzymes.   In other words, the element which enables the body to be nourished and live,  that element which is hidden within the seeds of plants and in the sprouting and growth of plants in a life principle known as enzymes.”


Dr. Walker emphasizes, “enzymes are not ‘substances.’   Enzymes are an intangible magnetic Cosmic Energy Life Principle…which is intimately involved in the action and activity of every atom in the human body, in vegetation, and in every form of  life…Where there is life, there are enzymes.”


So, with all this considered, I ask you again: Are enzymes the secret to life?  Decide for yourself.   The reason I do what I do is not to fill people’s heads with knowledge, but to make people think about what they are doing.   This is a concept I learned from one of my professors in college.   You don’t go to school or read to fill your head with knowledge.  You do this to learn how to learn.   Another good teacher in high school taught me to think in terms of concepts.   Don’t worry about the ABC’s and formulas – use your brain to learn what will get the results you are looking for.

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