Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Enzymes and Their Purpose!

Boosting Your Immunity With Enzymes

By Steven Lamm, MD, practicing internist, faculty member at New York University School of Medicine, and the Director of Men's Health for NYU Medical Center.
Posted on 1/24/2013 | By Steven Lamm, MD

Enzyme Supplements

Good health is dependent on a healthy digestive and immune system. Taking supplemental enzymes, especially when eating foods that are highly processed, cooked improperly or difficult to digest, reduces stress to the digestive system, supports the proper uptake of nutrients and creates an ideal environment for 70% of your immune system. But there are other compelling reasons to take them.

One has to do with age. As you get older, your supply of enzymes begins dwindling. It’s like everything else in your body – your eyes, heart, and other organs all show diminished function with time. Studies suggest the same is true of your enzyme-making organs. In fact, by age 50 you may be making half the amount you did when you were younger. This means you may not be digesting and absorbing all the nutrients you need as you age, lowering your immune fighting capacity and actually hastening the aging process.

Yet another reason to take enzyme supplements is the epidemic of relative enzyme deficiencies. Enzyme deficiencies are the result of genetics, too much stress, unhealthy foods, environmental toxins, and poor lifestyle habits. Signs of a deficiency can include gas, constipation, diarrhea, skin rashes, bloating, gastric upset and lowered immune function. I recommend starting with a free online test to help pinpoint which deficiencies might be at play (

Enzyme supplements are produced from plants, fungi, bacteria, and animal sources and usually come in pill form. You take them right before meals to heighten the action of your own digestive enzymes. (By the way, you can also take them therapeutically on an empty stomach so they’re absorbed into your bloodstream to boost other systems in your body including your immune system.)

Supplements are available for nearly every need: those with a full blend of enzymes to digest carbs, fats, proteins, and fiber; enzymes tailored to help you just digest fats or carbohydrates; and even those for digestion of problem substances like gluten and lactose. Some enzyme supplements have been formulated specifically to support immune function.

Tom Bohager, in his book Everything You Need to Know About Enzymes explains there are five main things to look for when choosing an enzyme supplement:
Look for a company that specializes in enzymes
Check the potency and look for “blended” enzymes
Find a product with no fillers
Find a company that tests its product to ensure it meets label claims
Buy enzymes in capsules

If only I had discovered enzyme supplements earlier - what a difference they might have made to my after-meal comfort level and my overall health. I’m just happy I have them now.


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