Enzymes are the “spark plugs” of life.  Enzymes initiate every biochemical reaction in the body.  The enzymes that are naturally abundant in raw, uncooked food cause that food to be digested when we eat it.

Cooking, or any processing of food at temperatures above the boiling point, destroys enzymes, which then must be compensated for by the pancreas. The pancreas must use the body’s metabolic enzyme reservoir to make digestive enzymes – to compensate for the lack of enzymes in heat-processed foods.  Humans are the only species on the planet that tax the enzyme production of the pancreas and body tissues by cooking their food.  We also feed our pets cooked food, and they suffer from the same degenerative diseases as their human owners.

Blood enzyme levels are low in persons with chronic degenerative problems (from chronic allergies and arthritis to diabetes and cancer).  In older humans, the tissue enzyme reserve has been more or less depleted by a lifetime of eating cooked food.  An average of only 1% of ingested starch will be digested in the mouth and intestines of the elderly.

In research studies where animals are allowed only cooked food, the second generation on only cooked food began to manifest the whole range of chronic degenerative diseases.  The third generation was infertile.  Luckily we humans eat some uncooked food, so we continue to exist from generation to generation, though afflicted with degenerative disease.  Rats with enzymes added to their diet lived an average of 3 years, compared to a 2 year life-span for the placebo rats.

Enzyme therapy has been used in alternative clinics and hospitals in various countries with great success for all degenerative health conditions from psoriasis to multiple sclerosis and cancer.  Therapeutic doses of protein-digesting enzymes on an empty stomach are used by alternative practitioners for:  cleaning up the blood and body tissues of toxic and foreign proteins, clearing viral, bacterial and fungal infections, boosting the immune system, reducing inflammation, fibrosis and fibromyalgia (with none of the toxicity of NSAIDs), clearing up internal scar tissue, reducing arterial plaques, reducing ear, sinus and lung congestion (which is enhanced by herbal antibiotics), clearing the bruising, swelling and pain of injuries, relieving sun and thermal burns, and helping vitamin and mineral supplements be more effective.  Enzymes are also applied topically to clean out infected wounds.  Enzyme therapy is the main component in some anti-aging clinics.

A digestive enzyme formula taken right before a meal will aid in digesting the food, and will often clear up digestive problems and heartburn.

I recommend enzyme supplements for everyone, to replenish the body enzyme reserves used up on the cooked food diet we and our ancestors have existed on.  If nothing else, at least eat something raw (like a piece of fresh fruit, sprouts, cut-up raw veggies or salad) before eating cooked food.  This prevents the sharp increase in white blood cells in the blood, that occurs (as if in response to a toxin) when we eat cooked food.  Enzyme levels are highest in freshly picked fruits and vegetables.  Frozen foods have fewer enzymes than fresh, and canned foods are the most enzyme-depleted.  If vegetables must be cooked, lightly steam or sauté till barely soft, rather than till limp and soggy.  Many people who are allergic to pasteurized dairy products do quite well on raw milk dairy products.  Unfortunately, raw milk is banned in the state of Washington (see  www.RealMilk.com), but we can buy raw, organic butter and cheese in the health food sections of supermarkets.