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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Enzymes for a better life!

Hi Kids, it’s been a few weeks but I’m back and with some great new information. Traveling around the globe you tend to meet some great people and collect some even better Health tips. When I go out of town and am newly united with a new group of actors (yes…I perform musical theater) I’m quick to ask people to reveal their secret health tips and miracle cures. Whether it’s passed down from a great aunt or a grandmother or a newly found trend that seems to really work for them, I always listen with a special intensity.  I’ve found that health information from the front lines is the absolute best; it’s real, practical and not motivated by a drug company. So, back to my new find! I have recently come across a wonderfully talented Broadway performer who loves life after supplementing with Proteolytic enzymes. Cutting straight to the case, a Definition for you, Proteolytic enzymes (proteases) help you digest the proteins in food. Although your body produces these enzymes in the pancreas, certain foods also contain proteolytic enzymes. Papaya and pineapple are two of the richest plant sources, as attested by their traditional use as natural "tenderizers" for meat. That’s as simple as I can explain it. We’ll Freddie, “doesn’t my body already do this?” And I would say,” Yes, yes it does…but over time our bodies ability to break down food lessens, we absorb fewer nutrients that are required for proper cellular regeneration and in turn, great energy is required to make the same machine run. It’s a vicious cycle. So I began to read about this supplement….and as I said before, I will not recommend something until I try it.  So, as I’m ordering my bottle of Proteolytic enzymes I keep coming upon its use in sports medicine, which really starts to spark my interest. (You know how I love the games)  I did some digging…here is what I found!
Enzyme use in the OLYMPICS
Was anyone on board with me in watching the last winter Olympics in February? (It’s no secret that if you caught my facebook status it’s one of my favorite sporting events of all time.) Now if you happened to watch the NBC special coverage, documenting the athletes training video’s you’ll see that most contestants lifted weights at least 2 hours a day, ran over an hour of cardio in the am and pm, and then trained in their individual event for up to anther 6 hours.  I remember seeing this and wonder how their bodies were not breaking down. W.T.F?  In fact, quite the opposite was happening…they were getting stronger.  I dug deeper…Well it just so happens almost every athlete on that Olympic team was supplementing with some type of digestive enzyme.  The therapeutic effectiveness of enzymes is well understood in sports medicine.  Do you know that millions and millions of enzyme capsules are sent to the Olympic training camp for both the German and Austrian teams to aid the athletes in stamina and quick healing…. it would appear the proof is in the pudding. Proteases are also of interest because of their ability to support, enhance, and regulate the circulatory and immune systems – factors that help optimize workouts and muscle maintenance.
During training, the risk of muscle injury and deterioration is possible…in fact when you life heavy weight your essentially making micro tears in the muscle, which then repair themselves, and thus the muscle grows larger.  One issue is when proper recovery time is not taken or sufficient nutrients are not available for fuel, injuries happen.   People get sore and take Advil or a few Tylenol… the issue with some pain relievers is that they may not actually decrease the inflammation or promote healing. By lessening the pain response, you may simply not feel the pain, but risk re-injuring the muscle again before it has adequately recovered. Sports injuries are often treated with protease enzymes because of their ability to effectively reduce inflammation and at the same time speed the real healing of bruises, swelling, and other injuries. “A study conducted by Dr. M.W. Kliene in 1990 on the effectiveness of proteolytic enzymes in 100 athletes reported a 'good' success rate in 76 percent of those that took enzymes compared to only 14 percent of the placebo subjects.”

How and why enzymes work?
When your body is aided in enzyme supplementation for food breakdown, suddenly your body can put energy into other uses…like muscle building and stamina. Your body does not need to put its own raw materials and energy into digestion or producing the needed enzymes. Getting a boost in overall energy is a characteristic 'side-effect' of starting enzymes. Natural enzyme production decreases with age so digestive enzymes are suggested for anyone over 35 years of age as general rule.  Supplementing with plant-based enzymes is preferable over animal derived ones when possible. Pancreatic enzymes are destroyed by the stomach acid and must be protected (enterically coated) to reach the small intestine. Once in the small intestine they are released and begin the work of food breakdown. Plant enzymes are much more stable at different pH levels and temperatures. They are perfectly happy in the acidic stomach environment and begin food breakdown there. Food can be digesting for a good 60 minutes or more in the stomach before the food passes to the intestines (where plant enzymes continue working). Since nutrients are absorbed in the intestines, not in the stomach, this prolonged enzyme activity greatly enhances digestion. Nutrients are ready to be absorbed when they enter the intestines instead of waiting for food breakdown to start. Metabolism is optimized and your body's resources and energy are free for other tasks, such as muscle building or burning fat. Who wouldn’t want this???
Eating every 3-4 hours along with plant enzymes may enhance this steadier uptake of nutrients, essentially setting-up a natural 'time-released' system. It is an effective way to get the most out of whole foods or supplements. “Research shows that nutrition from whole food sources is preferable and better utilized by the body than synthetic counterparts. Whole foods are 'packaged' by nature for optimal use when eaten and science has yet to duplicate this. “
What is an enzyme?
Enzymes are proteins produced by all living organisms, and, like all proteins, they consist of amino acids. What makes enzyme proteins different is how they behave in the body. By definition= enzymes are catalysts that make many essential biochemical reactions ‘happen’ without being used up or chemically altered in the process. “As a catalyst, they help a chemical reaction take place quickly and efficiently. Eventually, the enzyme will wear out and the body uses the component amino acids as they would any amino acid resource.” Another way to get enzymes is by eating a raw food diet….now; unfortunately many of us do not have the luxury of doing this.  In the early hunter/gatherer way of living we had a wide array of natural enzymes being consumed on a regular basis. But the modern day food preparation, preservatives combined in our food and the good old microwave destroys many of these that are naturally occurring!

Studies and enzymes in the News
(1)  Enzymes tend to have the net effect of regulating body fat into an appropriate range for the individual. As long ago as 1932, *Sansum published results on weight from a number of cases at the Potter Metabolic Clinic. Of 197 individuals who were underweight, 91 percent improved by gaining weight with enzymes. Of 29 individuals who were overweight, 93 percent improved by losing weight. Of the 54 individuals who started at an appropriate normal weight, 100 percent (all of them) remained at a constant weight.
Proteolytic detoxification and cancer prevention study
Suggested Use: Take 2 capsules, 2-3 times per day at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after a meal.  May be taken before and after strenuous exercise to speed recovery. More may be taken as needed. 

My summary paragraph has to be one of praise. I have personally taken this supplement for a little less than a month and I have to say I feel great. My energy is up, I feel stronger and my mind is sharper.  I’ve been putting up much stronger weight in the gym and running a faster mile with far less fatigue.  I have noticed my hearing has been very sensitive…a common side effect which is supposed to regulate.  And my dreams have been incredibly vivid, which as an artist I have kind of enjoyed. For my new product rating I give proteolytic enzymes an 8.5 out of ten and I plan to update this blog in 2 months once more time has passed!

As always here's my suggestion for one of the best in the market. It's the brand that I have chosen.

**Please remember that I am neither a doctor, nor a scientist - just a health geek that reads a lot and comes to my own conclusions, so take what I say with a good dose of skepticism, just as I think one should of what anyone tells you, including your doctor and your government. Do your own research and make up your own mind about what feels right for you.