EnzymesCrucial for Health

Enzymes are naturally occurring substances that are found in every living thing and are essential for life. Each enzyme has a different job, και, as of the present date, researchers have identified over three thousand different enzymes in human beings. Enzymes are catalysts needed to promote the metabolic processes that are critical for life and have many functions, including the building and repair of tissue, digestion, and metabolism.

Digestive Enzymes, Food Enzymes, & Metabolic Enzymes

There are three groups of enzymes that operate our bodies: Digestive enzymes break down carbohydrates, fat, and protein from our diet. Amylases aid in the digestion of carbohydrates, lipases break down fats, and proteases break down proteins. Food enzymes found in raw foods, such as bromalain, an enzyme in pineapple, initiate digestion. Providing our bodies with a sufficient amount of food enzymes found in raw fruits and vegetables not only aids in digestion, but takes some of the slack off the body, allowing it to redirect its energy toward metabolic processes. Last, but not least, metabolic enzymes run our bodies. Perfectly summarized by Dr. Anthony Cichoke: “Without enzymes, there would be no breathing, no digestion, no growth, no blood coagulation, no perception of the senses, and no reproduction.” Considering the fact that we cannot exist without enzymes, they are the perfect candidate to aid in cancer therapy.

Cancer cells are aware that the body’s immune system is capable of searching them out and destroying them because they’re different. This is true because the immune system is able to distinguish between that which is self and that which is foreign. Antigens are foreign substances that stimulate the immune system to defend itself from substances such as bacteria, viruses, and neoplasms, also known as cancer cells. When the immune system encounters a foreign substance or antigen, it activates lymphocytes, white blood cells that produce antibodies that seek out and destroy antigens. Ωστόσο, cancer cells are smart and try to hide from lymphocytes by coating themselves with a thick, gluey, fibrin layer that hides their antigens. The reason enzymes are important is that they are capable of eating away the fibrin layer that protects cancer cells, thus exposing their antigens so that the immune system can attack and destroy them.

One form of cancer whose diagnosis is often considered a death sentence is pancreatic cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, the one-year survival rate is approximately 20 percent, and the five-year rate is only 4 percent. Ωστόσο, researchers Gonzalez and Isaacs have had some promising results using enzyme therapy. Their observation of combining large doses of pancreatic enzymes with aggressive nutritional therapy “led to significantly increased survival over what would normally be expected for patients with inoperable pancreatic adenocarinoma.” The researchers conducted a two-year pilot study using proteolytic enzymes in ten patients whose cancer was considered inoperable. The one-year survival rate was 81 percent, 45 percent at two years, and four subjects survived three years. Compared to conventional treatment, these results are astounding.

References: 1) Cichoke, A. (2000). Enzymes & Enzyme Therapy. (p 5). Illinois: Keats Publishing. 2) Howell, E. (1985).
Enzyme Nutrition. (p 3-4).
New York: Avery. 3) Merck Manual. (1992). 17th edition, Merck & Co., Inc. Rahway, NJ. p 279-81. 4) Gonzalez, N.J., & Isaacs, L.L. (2000). “Evaluation of Pancreatic Proteolytic Enzyme Treatment of Adenocarcinoma of the Pancreas, With Nutrition and Detoxification Support.” Nutrition and Cancer, 33(2), 117-124.