By Acupuncturist Dr. Jeannette “Jett” Kerns, AP, DOM, L.Ac., St. Cloud, FL owner of East Lake Acupuncture
Most Americans are familiar with the importance of enzymes to aid digestion, but many aren’t aware that enzymes are necessary to all physiological processes in the body, including wound healing and pain control and immune function. Enzymes are lumped into two main categories: Digestive and proteolytic. Proteolytic enzymes are often referred to as systemic enzymes due to their effect on the entire body.
Digestive Enzymes: A lack of digestive enzymes in the gut causes food to rot inside the intestines, which can lead to bloating, indigestion, gas and abdominal pain. The focus of this article is proteolytic enzymes. Be sure to watch for my upcoming article on digestive enzymes vs. probiotics and the benefits of both.
Proteolytic Enzymes: A lack of proteolytic enzymes allows waste to build up throughout the bloodstream and lymph system, stressing the immune system’s ability to keep up. In your blood, they act as blood cleansers that combat inflammation and rebalance your immune system and dramatically reduce the amount of adhesions and scar tissue in the body.
The list of benefits of proteolytic enzymes is extensive. To give you an idea of how powerful they can be, I’ve compiled a partial list of some of my favorite benefits:
· Reduction of post-operative scar tissue and abdominal adhesions
· Provides an effective alternative to NSAIDS by reducing pain and inflammation in conditions ranging from injuries to rheumatoid arthritis
· Toxin and cellular debris removal including allergens, fungi and bacteria
· Breakdown of clotting factors (fibrin) to improve heart health, clean out arteries and lower blood pressure
· Significantly boosts the potency of macrophages and killer cells to fight disease
Proteolytic enzymes have been routinely prescribed for pain, inflammation and post-operative wound healing since the 1950’s and have been heavily researched by Japanese and European scientists since the 1980’s. In fact, they found that some proteolytic enzymes may be as effective as NSIADS, but without the side effects.
Important Information—Before you buy enzymes it’s important to be aware of a few key factors:
· Quality matters. Low-cost, over-the-counter digestive or proteolytic enzymes may not work at all or may have been coated with synthetic substances to prevent them from being destroyed by stomach acid. If you are new to enzymes and require assistance, please feel free to drop in at 1401 Budinger Ave., Ste. B, St. Cloud, FL, and we’ll be happy to assist you. If we don’t have what you need, we’ll be happy to help you find a safe and reliable source.
· The FDA estimates that 2 out of 3 supplements purchased online are counterfeit or repackaged, expired products. The more popular the brand, the higher the likelihood of unwittingly purchasing a fake. If you wish to purchase supplements online, you may do so safely by visiting: https://wellevate.me/eastlakeacu#/
· Enzymes may interact with certain medications or aggravate conditions such as stomach ulcers.
· Stomach acid can destroy proteolytic enzymes, preventing them from working at all. For this reason, systemic and digestive enzymes are formulated differently and must be taken differently (with or without food will heavily impact the enzymes).
Cautions: If you’re currently taking a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug for pain and want to add a systemic enzyme, be sure to take them at least one hour apart from each other. Do not take enzymes if you’re on prescription blood thinners, within two weeks of a surgery, if you have a stomach ulcer, are pregnant or breastfeeding, currently taking antibiotics or are allergic to pineapple or papaya.