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Saturday, November 1, 2014

What is an Enzyme?

Enzymes speed up the thousands of chemical reactions our bodies need to function. They are like our vital force and are needed for cellular energy, repairing tissues, stimulating the brain, and digesting food. Without them, we'd soon die.

Enzymes were discovered by Dr. Edward Howell in 1920 who thought that humans are born with a certain amount of enzymes at birth and that we can only replenish them with certain healthy foods such as raw fruits and vegetables. Research now shows that as age, we produce fewer enzymes than in youth. Some people see that aging and enzyme production are closely linked.

There are 3 classes of enzymes:

1) Metabolic enzymes: help manage reaction between cells such as turning phosphorus into bone, attching iron to our red blood cells, healing wounds, and making sure our hearts beat.

2) Digestive enzymes: are formed in the pancreas and help break down foods so that we can assimmilate nutrients into the blood stream. There are different types of digestive enzymes which break down different type of nutrients and this is described in another post (see:  What are digestive enzymes?)

3) Food enzymes: come from raw food and is what helps uneaten food decompose. Food enzymes help us "predigest" our food, before the other enzymes kick in.  One theory says that if you eat lot's of uncooked food, you are helping prolong the number of other enzymes in your system, as they do not have to work as hard. Saving enzymes slows down the aging process.

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