Systemic and Digestive Enzymes
What are enzymes?
Whether breaking down foods or healing from injury, nearly every process in the human body involves chemical reactions. Enzymes are large proteins that are produced in living cells of plants, animals and microorganisms, that act as the catalysts for chemical reactions. Every cell in the body uses enzymes for building, maintenance, and repair. All living organisms require enzymes for growth and for the production andutilization of energy which is essential for life.
Enzymes are highly specialized proteins that are classified by the type of reaction they catalyze. For example, in the human digestive tract there are proteases, carbohydrases, and lipases that break down proteins, carbohydrates and fats, respectively, into smaller substances that can be absorbed into the bloodstream. Enzymes are available in food, and the human body produces many enzymes on its own. However, natural production of enzymes begins to decline as early as age 25. Joint pain, circulatory problems, slower healing, and an increase in the incidence of disease are all too common with people who are enzyme deficient and suffering the effects of aging.
What are the types of enzymes?
Enzymes fall into two main categories: systemic enzymes and digestive enzymes. Some enzymes are made by your body, other enzymes are found naturally in certain foods or available as a supplement. Getting the right amount of enzymes in your body can help support digestion, reduce inflammation, and boost your immune system.
Systemic enzymes support and maintain overall health. They help a wide variety of processes in the body and can be thought of like the lubrication that keeps the gears moving easy. Supplements with systemic enzymes may be taken to address specific health issues, but just as often are used to promote general body support. A few things that systemic enzymes help with include the breakdown of excess mucus, fibrin, toxins, allergens, and clotting factors.
Benefits of Systemic Enzymes
- Helpful for fibrosis conditions caused by the hard, sticky protein called fibrin.
- Reduces scar tissue, also made up of fibrin.
- Cleans the blood of cellular waste and toxins to support normal liver function.
- Promotes the immune system response by helping white blood cell efficiency.
- Manages the overgrowth of yeast, reducing stress on the liver.
Systemic enzymes specifically appear to target inflammation throughout the body. While it’s a natural response to injury, excessive inflammation can slow the healing process. Studies have looked at the effect of proteolytic enzymes on disorders which cause inflammation in the joints. The results suggest supplementing with proteolytic enzymes may reduce swelling and provide analgesic effects.
Digestive enzymes, true to their name, aid the digestive process. Enzymes help the body break down fiber (cellulase), protein (protease), carbohydrates (amylase), and fats (lipase). Digestive enzymes do all their work in the gastrointestinal tract and help combat common issues such as indigestion, bloating, abdominal discomfort, and gas. Many people find that their digestive system is more efficient and self-maintaining when their digestive enzymes are in check.
Benefits of Digestive Enzymes
- Easier breakdown of food for better absorption.
- Healthier relief in pancreatic insufficiency (PI).
- Better promotion of diet tolerance for vegetarians or vegans.
- Alleviates certain digestive intolerances.
- Supports a healthy balance in the body’s microbiome.
A problem need not be present to experience the benefits of enzymes. Since they help us absorb vital nutrients from the foods we need, they help a healthy body perform even better.