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Enzymes, the spark of life

The missing link in nutrition

Systemic Enzymes for Inflammation

While many people are familiar with the use of supplements to aid digestion, there are other important applications for supplemental enzymes. Enzymes can be used "systemically' throughout the body to treat and prevent various~ conditions. Unlike digestive enzyme therapy, which does not require absorption, the goal of systemic enzyme therapy is to get the enzymes into the blood­stream and to the various tissues to assist cellular functions. For systemic purposes, enzymes are taken on an empty stomach to facilitate entry into the circulatory system.

The key systemic enzymes are proteolytic (protein-digesting) enzymes derived from animal, vegetable or micro­bial origin. The three principal kinds of proteolytic enzyme supplements used are: bromelain (from pineapple), papain (from papaya) and combination products containing brome­lain, papain, trypsin and chymotrypsin. Trypsin and chy­motrypsin are derived from pancreatin, a mixture of enzymes from hog or ox pancreas.

Proteolytic enzymes cleave protein compounds by hydroly­sis-they split the material by incorporating water. In the bloodstream, the enzymes travel to specific sites where they break down and "digest" proteinaceous or fibrous waste mater­ial, including cell debris, bacteria, cysts, tumors, dead tissue, immune complexes and various toxins. They also stimulate phagocytos is, the swallowing of pathogens by immune cells in the bloodstream.

In the United States, systemic oral enzymes have been overlooked by most physicians. The clinical use of systemic enzyme supplements is most widely practiced in Germany where they are commonly used for pain, inflammation, swelling, blood-thinning and immune support. More than 50 studies have confirmed their use in treating rheumatoid arthri­tis and osteoarthritis, sports injuries and maintaining good heart health and immune function. One systemic oral enzyme preparation (Wobenzyme) is the No.1 nonaspirin, over-the-counter medicine for pain and inflammation and the ninth-leading natural medicine among all medical drugs in Germany.

In contrast to pharmaceutical anti-inflammatories, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like aspirin and ibuprofen, enzyme ~reparations support and accelerate the natural inflammatory healing response without let­ting it get out of hand, resulting in a pain-relieving effect. This is accomplished by improved microcircu­lation at the site of inflammation and removal of inflammatory products.

Systemic oral enzymes have been used success­fully for a variety of clinical conditions, including soft-tissue injuries and all types of inflammations (the "-itis"~conditions), as well as postoperatively to help alleviate pain and swelling and speed recovery.

Sports Injuries-European Olympic athletes are given systemic enzyme supplements to speed recovery from sports injuries.

Arthritis-One of the most important applications of systemic enzymes is with arthritis. Enzymes offer a viable alternative for those who do not wish to take painkillers on a long-term basis. NSAIDs can cause side effects including gastrointestinal upset, headaches and dizziness. Furthermore, studies show that NSAIDs actually inhibit cartilage synthesis and speed its destruction.

Heart Disease-The role of systemic enzymes in heart health is becoming more important as medical researchers uncover a newly emerging disease pathway in which uncon­trolled inflammation throughout the body can contribute to heart disease, stroke and other circulatory disorders.