There are many different types of enzymes but basically they are energized protein based molecules that are responsible for carrying out chemical reactions in living cells. They regulate all biochemical reactions that occur within the human body.
There are 3 main types of enzymes that I will explain here today. Metabolic enzymes which are naturally produced within the body, digestive enzymes which are also produced within the body, and food enzymes which have to be consumed from our diet or supplements.
Metabolic Enzymes: These are produced within our cells walls and are responsible for the growth, repair, maintenance and detoxification of the body's cells, organs, and tissues.
Digestive Enzymes: These are secreted along the digestive tract and are needed for the proper breakdown of food into particles so they are small enough to pass through the lining of the digestive tract and into the bloodstream. The most important digestive enzymes include:
- Protease: breaks down proteins
- Amylase: breaks down starch into sugar
- Lipase: breaks down fat
- Cellulase: breaks down cellulose (fibre)
Food Enzymes: These are similar to digestive enzymes but they come from the foods we eat and are needed to help break down the nutrients in that specific food. They enable the body to digest food, breaking it into smaller particles for absorption which is essential for maintaining optimal health. These enzymes are most abundant in raw plant based foods. Man-man, refined and packaged foods have very little to no enzymes occurring naturally. Cooking raw food at temperatures above 118 degrees destroys all natural enzymes, therefore it is important to include some raw foods into your diet.
An enzyme deficiency can lead to many health and digestive issues including constipation, gas, bloating, poor intestinal health, weight gain, and headaches. Lack of enzymes and the resulting poor absorption of nutrients can be an underlying cause of fatigue, allergic reactions, and skin problems.
If you are not getting enough live enzymes from your food then you may choose to supplement your diet with digestive enzymes.