This post is a work in process. It is to be updated and completed in a future article.
Digestive enzymes are also known as pancreatic or proteolytic enzymes. Certain raw foods have digestive enzymes. For example, apples have amylase. Pineapples and papaya have bromelain, which is useful to break down protein. At the same meal, it is better (for digestion) to eat fruits or vegetables, such as apple, pineapple, or papaya before the protein, such as meat, fish, eggs, or tofu, according to food combining.
You also secrete digestive enzymes naturally, starting with amylase in your mouth, when you chew your food. Amylase is used to digest fruits, vegetables, beans, and starch. To digest protein, you secrete pepsin and hydrochloric acid in your stomach and trypsin in your pancreas. To digest fats, you secrete lipase in your pancreas. Your capacity to secrete these enzymes can decline with age or with ill health.
Some people are able to secrete more or less of certain enzymes than others on account of biochemical individuality. Some people are acutely or chronically deficient in digestive enzymes.
Supplements are available on the market. Results of using supplements are variable. They depend on the individual. Furthermore, not all supplements have the same quality. What is the origin of the supplement? Has it been tested for heavy metals? Has it been tested for other possible contaminants, such as pesticides or fungus? There is no “magic pill”, compared with a change in eating habits, starting with food combining.
Enzymes have been researched therapeutically and reported years ago by Dr. John Beard MD in his 1902 book, “The Enzyme Treatment of Cancer” and by Dr. William Kelley DDS in his 1967 book “One Answer to Cancer“.
More recently, the late Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez MD described his protocol and use of enzymes in his books “Conquering Cancer” and “The Trophoblast and the Origins of Cancer“. For further details, read “The History of the Enzyme Treatment of Cancer” by Dr. Gonzalez, who also summarized his efforts to do clinical research into enzymes in his brief article “Enzyme Therapy and Cancer“.
A list of frequently asked questions about enzymes is here. “Enzymes for Digestive Health” by Karen DeFelice is also another excellent reference. Serrapeptase and nattokinase are two other enzymes. When taken on an empty stomach, they can circulate in your blood for up to twelve hours, breaking down fibrin and other accumulated proteins, which can result in healthier circulation and respiration and less inflammation.
Do your own research.
Polyphenols are substances found in plants that are neither vitamins nor minerals, but can be useful to maintain health. For example, lemons and other citrus fruit have vitamin C, but they also have polyphenols known as flavonoids. First identified in the 1930’s, flavonoids used to be called “vitamin P“. More than six thousands flavonoids have been found, mostly in fruits and vegetables. Anthocyanins are a type of flavonoids found in blueberries and red grapes. Catechins are another type found in green tea and chocolate. Isoflavones are found in soy and chickpeas and are known as a plant hormone. Pycnogenols are found in barley, cinnamon, cranberry, grape seed, grape skin, pine bark, and rhubarb. Quercetin is the most common flavonoid found in fruits and vegetables, such as apples, berries, citrus fruit, onions, and garlic. Animal and human studies show that polyphenols can enhance carbohydrate and lipid metabolism and reduce inflammation, among other uses and effects.
Polysacchaarides, also known as glycans, are long-chain carbohydrates. Cellulose, the starch of plants such as potatoes, rice, and corn, amylose, and pectin are examples of polysaccharides.
He shou wu (Polygonum multiflorum), also known as Fo Ti, is called the king of herbs. He shou wu can have a lot of zinc in it, depending on the soil it came from and the batch. The roots are harvested. Good quality is obtained with a process that includes cooking the roots with black beans (and only then drying and making powder). Among other uses, it is thought to be healthy for the hair, nails, and skin. I often add half a teaspoon (two grams) to smoothies.
Published research also indicates the utility of CBD to relieve various conditions.