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In my last posts I covered colon health and liver maintenance to tune up our body and detoxify from inflammation.

The next critical step in detoxification is maintaining digestive and proteolytic enzymes levels at their peak.

Optimal digestion is critical for nutrient absorption, toxin detoxification, energy and our immune system.   
Incomplete digestion can be triggered by low metabolism, processed foods, chemical toxicity, certain medications, digestive disorders, stress, etc.    
What happens when food is not digested properly?                      
If food is not digested completely, then nutrients are not absorbed properly and toxins are not eliminated correctly.
Toxins that are not cleared and processed properly can be reabsorbed into the blood supply by the small intestine, and accumulated waste can be reabsorbed to the blood supply from the colon.
The long term results are toxins and oxidized matter circulating in the blood impacting tissues, organs and blood vessels.
Over time this accumulation can cause low energy, abdominal pain , heartburn, constipation, food allergies, weight gain, joint and tissue damage, a weak immune system, autoimmune diseases, metabolic disorders, and of course chronic inflammation.

What are enzymes?                                             
Enzymes are protein molecules found in every cell. They activate and mediate most of the biochemical cellular reactions in our body.
There are three types of enzymes: metabolic, digestive and food supplied.
Our bodies make two kinds of enzymes: metabolic and digestive.
Metabolic enzymes are present and are made in every living cell. The pancreas, liver and gallbladder are also involved in determining their supply potential.
They maintain all cellular energy, increase cell oxygen intake, metabolism, and control the biochemical reactions in every cell. They are called the spark of life.               
Digestive enzymes are made and found along the digestive tract. They are secreted mainly by the pancreas and the small intestine.
They break down protein, carbohydrate and fats into nutrients that can be absorbed and used by the body.
Proteolytic enzymes (proteases) break proteins into small peptides and amino acids.
Carbohydrases break carbohydrates to simple sugars. Lipases break fats and lipids into essential fatty acids.
They extract the nutrients from food to give to the body and reject what is toxic.
Food enzymes are the third type.
Raw food contains only the digestive enzymes needed to break it down. When food is cooked their digestive enzymes are destroyed by heat.
Eating cooked food puts all the work on the digestive enzymes secreted by our body.


Over the years we make less digestive enzymes. Everyone has an individual enzyme making capacity. The law of adaptive secretion states that the body will adapt to or only provide the amount of digestive enzymes it needs to digest the food at hand. It does this to preserve its enzyme making capacity.
What this means is that as we get older we have less  digestive enzymes available to be able to properly break down food and get rid of toxicity.   

What happens when metabolic enzyme production is compromised for digestive enzymes?   

Digestion consumes around 80% of our energy!   
When the pancreas has to compensate by making and secreting more digestive enzymes, the energy needed to make metabolic enzymes is shifted.
The metabolic enzyme’s role in cellular enegy, maintenance and activity in biochemical reactions is compromised.
The energy supply needed to make metabolic enzymes for structure, repair, detoxification, and remodeling of every cell and tissue is challenged by the energy required to make more digestive enzymes.
It is easy to see how this can translate into further chronic inflammatory conditions.
Eating foods with viable digestive enzymes and taking digestive enzyme
supplements gives the body more room for energy spent in cellular energy
maintenance, repair and detoxification.
What foods contain digestive enzymes?
Fruits and vegetables, raw and fermented foods contain digestive enzymes.
Papayas contain papain and pineapples have bromelain which are proteolytic digestive enzymes and also potent detoxifiers.
Digestive enzyme supplements:
Most digestive enzyme food supplements are plant sourced. Plant derived enzymes come from Aspergillus (fungus) sources grown on a plant. Plant sourced enzymes have the greatest range of pH activity. Some supplements may contain animal glandular (porcine) products.
Digestive enzyme supplements contain mainly proteases, carbohydrases (amylase), lipases and cellulase.
They can be taken before a meal to enhance digestion, nutrient absorption, and to maintain optimal metabolic enzyme levels.
Some great digestive enzyme supplement products are:
–  Omega-zyme by Garden of Life – plant based
–  Digest by Enzymedica – plant based
–  Udo’s Choice Enzyme Blend by Flora – plant based

–  Jarrowzymes by Jarrow Formulas

What are proteolytic enzyme supplements?

Proteolytic enzymes (also called proteases) are digestive enzymes that can break up protein bonds.
Proteolytic enzymes include bromelain from pineapples, papain from papaya,
trypsin, pepsin, chymotripsin, and pancreatin from animal sources.
When proteolytic enzymes are taken on an empty stomach (no digestive function is needed) they are extracted from the small intestine to the blood supply for systemic use.
They can be very beneficial in detoxification.
They dissolve toxins, damaged tissues, and oxidized cellular matter.
Proteases do not damage a normal cell.
Most toxins: bacteria, viruses, mold, fungus, parasites and dead cellular matter and tissue consist of protein structures. Heavy metal toxins like mercury and lead also bind to proteins.
Since most toxins are protein based, and proteolytic enzymes break up protein bonds, they help to flush them out.
In addition to proteolytic enzymes, other digestive enzymes that can help in detoxification are lipases.
Lipases break down fat to essential fatty acids . When lipids are not metabolized correctly this causes residues of fatty deposits. Lipases help to break up these fatty deposits.
Fat that is not metabolized well also causes weight gain and inflammatory skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema.
Most proteolytic enzyme supplements are combination products.
They can be taken every 3 to 4 months for 7 days for detoxification.
Examples of proteolytic enzyme supplements are:
– Repair by Enzymedica
– Medizym Proteolytic Systemic Enzymes
– FYI Restore by Garden of Life

Note: Do not take digestive enzymes if you are pregnant, taking blood thinners or have been diagnosed with a peptic ulcer.

This tune up will work like a fuel injector cleaner restoring power and spark to your health!
Camille Medina, RPh
Natural Pharmacy C.l.i.n.i.c.  llc
The information provided here is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Suggestions and ideas presented in this document are for information only and should not be interpreted as medical advice, or for diagnosing  illness. Seek advice from a health care professional before administering any dietary supplements.
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