Enzyme News Bulletin:(HealthNewsDigest.com) - Enzymes are the catalysts, the sparkplugs, of life. Perhaps this is why people who eat raw foods, full of enzymes, report feeling “switched on,” as if a key has turned on the light and energy. But when they backslide into cooked foods, it’s “power down.”
We use three kinds of enzymes: metabolic enzymes to run our bodies, digestive enzymes to digest food, and food enzymes in raw foods that enable the food to partially self-digest, thus conserving our bodies’ limited enzyme-producing capacities.
Food enzymes are active, or “alive,” in uncooked food. Once a food is heated, they chemically degrade, or “die.” By conservative estimates, enzymes may begin dying at temperatures as low as 105° F; within 30 minutes at 119°-129° F, all are dead.
Cooking alters an enzyme’s “lock and key” configuration so that it can no longer perform its intended function. For all practical purposes, the enzyme is “dead.” The protein molecule is still present, but its life force is gone, much like a battery that has lost its power or a spark plug that has worn out.
Dr. James B. Sumner, a Nobel Prize winner in 1946, claimed that the easily-fatigued feeling of being middle-aged or older is due to diminished enzymes as you add years to your life.
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Dr. Edward Howell was the 20th century’s foremost researcher on food enzymes and their significance to human nutrition. He discovered that food heated above 118° F for any extended period of time is devoid of active food enzymes.
If we eat cooked food, we force our pancreases to crank out more digestive enzymes than they were designed to. By age 40, the average person has only 30% of his digestive enzyme production potential left. This is a major reason for increasing tiredness with age. According to Dr. Howell, “The length of life is inversely proportional to the rate of exhaustion of the enzyme potential of an organism.”
In other words, the more cooked food you eat, the sooner you exhaust your limited digestive enzyme potential, and the sooner you begin to disintegrate and die.
Howell believed that there is no way to replenish this enzyme potential. Therefore, the best strategy is not to abuse it with cooked food but to eat solely of raw food and no more of it than necessary.
Declining enzyme reserves are directly associated with aging. People who are 25 have about 30 times more amylase in their saliva than people in their 80s for example. Each child is born with an inherited amount of enzyme potential. When it is used up, he will die of some degenerative disease that will correlate with his inherited predisposition and/or weak areas in his tissues and/or depleted and toxic condition. If he is a raw fooder, eating primarily or only raw, unheated food, he will more likely reach his optimal lifespan free of degenerative diseases. The more cooked food he eats, the shorter and/or more diseased will be his life.
It was formerly believed that enzymes were expendable, unimportant because the body could create them without limit and could waste them without concern. Later, it was proven that the more digestion that is accomplished by food enzymes, enzymes inherent in raw food, the fewer digestive enzymes must be pumped out by the pancreas and intestine.
The body “knows” it has a limited amount of enzyme potential and secretes only the particular enzymes it needs at any given meal. It is as though the body has a limited bank account, a limited savings it can draw upon. Most researchers believe there is no way to make a “deposit,” or to add to that limited enzyme-generating potential. We can only refuse to dive into our “savings” by eating raw food exclusively and no more of it than the body needs.
It was also formerly believed that eating cooked food was irrelevant to the enzyme question because enzymes were destroyed in the digestive process. Starch digestion begins in the mouth with salivary enzymes, but many of the enzymes lost in cooking are those that help further digestion in the “food enzyme,” or cardiac, stomach (its upper section) for the first 30-60 minutes of the digestive cycle, before the hydrochloric acid and protein-digesting enzymes secreted by the lower stomach could destroy them.
Moreover, numerous meticulous studies on humans and animals have proved that some enzymes survive digestion and are reused. Some of them escape gastric breakdown and reactivate in the small intestine where they continue to facilitate further digestive processes. Extensive European studies (Raw Energy, p. 57) have confirmed the durability of most of the enzymes throughout the digestive process.
Dr. Lorraine Day, MD, claims, “It takes the same amount of energy to make the enzymes for three meals a day of cooked food as it does eight hours of hard labor. Is it any wonder people are suffering from fatigue?”
Susan Schenck, LAc, is a raw food coach, lecturer, and author of The Live Food Factor, The Comprehensive Guide to the Ultimate Diet for Body, Mind, Spirit & Planet, known as the encyclopedia of the raw food diet. Go to LiveFoodFactor Special Offer to get a some free bonuses with her book.
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