21 Benefits of Enzymes and Why You Need Them

May 18

by Dr. Bo Wagner, Ph.D., D.N.M., N.D. on 18 May 2012 in , , , with 0 Comments

In my previous articles I gave an overview of the 7 steps I feel are imperative to achieve total body wellness. In this and my following articles I am going to expound upon these 7 steps. Generation Rescue has had the most requests to explain more about nutritional supplements, and have asked me to start with this subject.  

Enzymes – A Major Key To Life

I have already written a summary of the importance of enzymes in Step 6 “Essential Supplements.” Here is more detailed information explaining the value of enzymes in the diet for people of all ages.

Enzymes are protein-based substances found in every cell of every living plant and animal, including the human body. Without enzymes, life would cease to exist. All life processes, such as digestion and breathing are regulated in part by a complex series of chemical reactions we refer to as metabolism.

Despite their importance in metabolism, according to Dr. Edward Howell, considered the father of enzyme research, the number of enzymes each cell can produce is limited. To multiply our "enzyme store," we must replenish them from our foods.


Deficient Diet

Today's diet can be deficient in enzymes. Instead, the popular diet consists of hamburgers, french fries, sugar loaded soft drinks, coffee and other fast foods. Moreover, most of our foods are fried, microwaved, baked, canned, frozen, dried or irradiated, all processes that deplete valuable enzymes. With our food potentiators destroyed, vital nutrients are not available to fuel the body. This puts the body's digestive system under stress, which can manifest itself in fatigue, headaches, excess weight, heartburn, bloating, constipation, gas, allergies and other digestive disorders.

Therefore, many children and adults are lacking digestive enzymes that are sufficient for proper digestion and assimilation of nutrients. This can show up as chronic bowel dysfunction. Thus, in some children and adults, enzyme replacement therapy may be crucial for good health.

Signs Of Enzyme Deficiency

While not all signs of enzyme deficiency are obvious, the following symptoms can be considered early warning signs:

  • Disturbed Digestion
  • Weight Problems
  • Allergies
  • Indigestion
  • Low Energy
  • Bloating
  • Heartburn
  • Fatigue
  • Gas
  • Slow to Heal
  • Excessive Aging
  • Headaches
  • Stomach Upset
  • Slow Recovery
  • Constipation

Proper Process

The role of digestive enzymes is to break down the foods that we eat into smaller compounds that can be readily absorbed and put into the bloodstream. The enzyme class of proteases breaks down proteins into amino acids. The enzyme class of lipase is responsible for breaking down fats to fatty acids, and the carbohydrases break down carbohydrates into simple sugars. The body will then be able to reassemble these components into specific forms it needs. If this process does not function properly, the body will lack the building blocks needed for growth and health maintenance. Another consequence is that the food not absorbed will trail down to the bowels and provide nutrient rich materials that foster the growth of unhealthy bacteria and yeast.

Enzymes To The Rescue!

The addition of full spectrum enzymes to each meal can significantly assist digestion and help to alleviate digestive disorders.

A good enzyme formula is a complete food grade multi-enzyme complex composed of all plant based enzymes. It should be a broad-spectrum blend of enzymes that are normally found in a healthy child and adult’s body. These enzymes are of critical importance for everyone’s body to help properly digest and assimilate food and food supplements they are taking.

Look for an enzyme complex that is formulated to work in a wide pH range (from 3 to 9+, this is the most common range in the body). This complex should include:

  • Proteases (protein digesting enzymes)
  • Carbohydrases (carbohydrate digesting enzymes), including amylase, cellulase, lactase, maltase, invertase or diastase.
  • A proprietary acid stable lipase along with peptizymes SP (peptidase) or alpha-galactosidase.
  • Bromelain and/or papain.
  • Hemicellulase to assist in the breakdown of indigestible fiber.
  • A prebiotic blend that helps cultivate healthy probiotics, which aid in digestion and absorption.
  • The Benefits of these ingredients that have been shown to help include:
  • Peptizymes SP enzymes hydrolyze (break down) difficult-to-digest proline-containing peptides
  • Amylase assist in the hydrolysis of carbohydrates and starches
  • Proteases help keep the intestines free of parasites, bacteria, yeast and protozoa
  • Proteases help break down proteins
  • Proteases are stable through a wide pH range of the digestive tract
  • Lipase works with the bile from the liver to break down fat
  • Lactase assists in the breakdown of lactose
  • Invertase Diastase and Maltase assist in the digestion of carbohydrates, beans & legumes
  • Invertase and Diastase catalyzes (causes or accelerates) the hydrolysis of sucrose
  • Maltase catalyzes the hydrolysis of the disaccharide maltose
  • Maltase and Alpha-Glucosidase in relieving gas, bloating and upset stomach
  • Hemicellulase assist in the breakdown of indigestible fiber
  • Hemicellulase catalyzes they hydrolysis of hemicellulose
  • Hemicellulase aids the digestion of the cell wall of Candida, helping the yeast die
  • Hemicellulase helps support the intestines, reducing gas and bloat
  • Cellulase catalyzes the hydrolysis of cellulose
  • Bromelain aids digestion, helps reduce inflammation and helps digest proteins
  • Papain aids digestion and helps you break down proteins so they can get to your muscles.
  • Papain has been shown to help make nutrients available for your body’s energy needs.
  • Papain may help support joint health.
  • Prebiotic enhancers (Jerusalem Artichoke and/or Fructooligosaccharides) that help cultivate healthy probiotics, which aid in digestion and absorption.

Quality Matters

Look for products that are formulated in FDA registered manufacturing facilities using Current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP). A full spectrum enzyme complex formulation should contain no artificial ingredients, colors, flavors, additives, stimulants, gluten, casein, wheat, dairy, gliadin, avenin, sugar, or preservatives that can rob you of your good health, and should be manufactured with a process that does not require the use of lubricants or flow agents assuring the purity of the enzymes and bypassing the need for any superfluous ingredients.


If your family diet is enzyme deficient that can trigger or aggravate uncomfortable symptoms. These common symptoms often signal digestive insufficiencies that can lead to more advanced metabolic challenges.

By adding a pancreatic blend of food grade multi-enzymes and synergistic co-factors to optimize digestion of fats, starches, carbohydrates, proteins (including gluten, casein and soy) and sugars (including lactose) with Prebiotics that help maintain digestive health through a wide pH range (3-9), you and your entire family will see a world of difference, have much better digestion, help overcome metabolic challenges and reward your bodies with the necessary digestive nutrients to assist your whole family  to achieve total body wellness.

To Your Good Health,
Dr. Bo

About the Author:

Dr. Bo Wagner holds a Doctor of Natural Medicine, a Doctor of Naturopathy, a Ph.D. & Diplomate in Clinical Nutrition, is Board Certified in Integrative Medicine, a Fellow of the American Association of Integrative Medicine and a former Dean of Internal Wellness & Professor of Functional Medicine and currently serves as an Adjunct Faculty member at the University of Natural Medicine. Visit: www.drbo.com for more information and resources, and connect with Dr. Bo on Facebook and Twitter.


*These statements in this blog have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Consult your physician if you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication or have a medical condition before beginning supplementation. Information contained in this bulletin is for informational and educational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician.

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