Monday, January 30, 2017

Top 10 Reasons to Eat Your Cruciferous Veggies

Top 10 Reasons to Eat Your Cruciferous Veggies

10 Reasons to Eat Your Cruciferous Vegetables
Everyone knows that eating vegetables has profound health benefits. But, like all foods, not all vegetables are created the same. Some are better than others in terms of nutritional content, and overall contribution to vibrant health. If you look more closely at their phytochemical [plant-based chemical] content, or the growing amount of research into their specific effects on the body and disease, a few vegetables appear to be downright “miracle” foods!
One such group of veggies are those of the Brassica family; commonly known as cruciferous. These include broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, radish, rutabaga, turnip and even arugula. 
What makes this group of veggies so special? Sulforaphane
Sulforaphane is a phytochemical abundant in cruciferous vegetables, and it’s been getting a ton of attention from researchers. But it all starts with glucoraphanin. 
Sulforaphane is produced when the enzyme myrosinase converts glucoraphanin, a glucosinolate (natural compound found in some plants), through a chemical reaction induced by damage to the plant, such as cutting or chewing. As such, glucoraphanin is known as the precursor to sulforaphane. 
It just so happens that cruciferous vegetables contain a remarkable amount of glucoraphanin. Which makes them powerhouses of nature. Let me tell you why. 
There is a growing body of research into the wide array of applications for sulforaphane across the gamut of diseases and health issues. In fact, hundreds of studies have been carried out across the globe, since the first scientist, esteemed John Hopkins researcher Paul Talalay, realized this chemical’s potential in 1992. [1] 
In this study, Talalay and his team explored and confirmed the anticarcinogenic properties of broccoli and sulforaphane. [2] So excited was the world at large, his findings were even featured in the New York Times. 
Since then Tulalay has dedicated many more years to researching sulforaphane, going so far as to found the The Brassica Chemoprotection Laboratory (he’s still on staff at John Hopkins, though he’s pushing 94) [3][4], no doubt helping inspire the continuing generations of scientists who want to know the truth about what plants and their compounds can do for the betterment of humanity. 
With that in mind, here are the top ten reasons to eat your cruciferous vegetables.

1. Anti-Cancer Benefits

Sulforaphane is increasingly referred to as an anticancer compound. This reputuation is linked mainly to sulforaphane’s potent antioxidant and antiflammatory properties, not dissimilar to turmeric (curcumin). In fact, one promising, albeit preclinical study found that the combination of sulforaphane, aspirin and curcumin was effective for the chemoprevention of pancreatic cancer. [5]
It doesn’t stop there, however. Sulforaphane has been studied for the prevention and treatment of several types of cancer, including stomach, bladder, breast, prostate, lung, colon  and skin. 
Specifically, research indicates sulforaphane “possesses the capacity to intervene in multistage carcinogenesis through the modulation and/or regulation of important cellular mechanisms” and “to be selectively toxic to malignant cells.” [6]
Other notable findings:
  • Evidence supports high intakes of Brassica vegetables reduce prostate cancer risk [7]
  • Potent doses of broccoli sprout extract activate a 'detoxification' gene and may help prevent cancer recurrence in survivors of head and neck cancer [9]
  • Cruciferous contain extracts that are effective at inhibiting lung adenocarcinomas (a malignant tumor formed from glandular structures in epithelial tissue) [10] colon polyps [11] and skin cancer [1214] 
  • In skin cancer research, the protection offered by sulforaphane “against a carcinogen in humans is catalytic and long lasting.”  [15]
  • Broccoli sprouts have been found to be as a rich source of antioxidants that improve the defensive system against oxidative stress in the human colon. In fact in a 2015 study, 57.33% reduction in oxidative DNA damage in NCM460 cells due to treatment with digested BS extract was observed. [16]
  • Combined Sulforaphane and selenium treatment enhanced protection against free radical-mediated cell death provided by the cotreatment. [17]

2. Depression Relief

Cruciferous and sulforaphane may also have significant benefit for depression. An animal study published in 2015 found sulforaphane “has antidepressant and anxiolytic-like [anxiety reducing] activities in stressed mice model of depression, which likely occurs by inhibiting the hypothalamic.” [18]
Inflammation has also been connected to depression, [19] and a 2016 study found broccoli sprouts effective to “prevent or minimize the relapse by inflammation.” [20] This same study found that the extracts of broccoli sprouts were so effective, they acted as a prophylactic that could “prevent the onset of LPS-induced depression-like behaviors” in the juvenile and adolescent mice they were testing, all the way into adulthood. [21] [note: LPS (lipopolysaccharide) is a bacterially derived inflammatory factor known to cause a wide range of  health issues]. More research is being done on the phytochemicals of cruciferous vegetables and depression.  

3. Pain Relief

This is some evidence that sulforaphane may have significant value in  pain, or pain management. A 2000 study on female fibromyalgia patients reported that the combination of ascorbigen (derived from Vitamin C) and broccoli powder “reduces pain sensitivity and improves quality of life” [22] for patients suffering from this challenging condition.
A 2016 publication also investigated the potential for sulforaphane via broccoli sprout extract, noting “significant” antinociception [pain blocking] results, that bode well for further study into the pain relieving benefits.  [23]

4. Cardioprotection

Cardiovascular problems remain a top health concern, especially in the United States. CVD, cardiovascular disease, is on the rise, with Ischemia-Reperfusion (I/R) injury (such as myocardial infarction (“heart attack”), stroke, and peripheral vascular disease) [24] and hypertension being main components. [25]
Research is showing that sulforaphane helps with inflammation of the arterial walls, inhibits obesity, relieves hypertension, and other conditions that are part of or lead to CVD. [26]
With regard to hypertension, a 2012 study reported sulforaphane “decreases renal and vascular oxidative stress and inflammation as well as blood pressure”, thus assisting in hypertension. r.[27] Similarly, but even more significantly, a 2006 study demonstrated the power of eating foods high in sulforaphane by observing significantly “lower blood pressure and less tissue inflammation in adulthood, regardless of their subsequent diet” in the offspring of pregnant rats fed foods rich in the compound. 
Also of special note, a 2009 study in Iran in which rats were given an extract containing 2% of broccoli sprouts for ten days. “[T]he results show that a relatively short dietary treatment with broccoli sprouts can strongly protect the heart against oxidative stress and cell death caused by ischemia-reperfusion.” [29] R Which is promising, indeed!
Sulforaphane may also protect arteries from disease by boosting a natural defense mechanism in the body. [30]

5. Antioxidants

It’s well known that cruciferous, especially broccoli, is a superior source of antioxidants. There are almost 300 studies on PubMed alone, referring to these vegetables and antioxidants. [31] 
One particularly interesting study was carried out on young male smokers, in which 250g/day of broccoli was consumed, for a ten-day period. At the end of the treatment, of the many observations, decreases circulating CRP (C-reactive protein) concentrations were noted. [32] This is significant because the measure of CRP indicates the level of inflammation in a body, and indirectly the oxidative stress status, with high levels of both being associated with long-term diseases.
In 2015 broccoli sprout extract was again found highly effective in reducing of oxidative stress, [33] in this case being observed to assist with healthy liver function.

6. Protection From and Elimination of Toxins

There are so many toxic substances present in our lives. Too many! Cruciferous veggies and their sulforaphane rich tissues can help, as noted in several studies. In 2014, a randomized clinical trial recruited 291 participants from a rural area of China, an area known for high levels of air-pollution. The non-placebo group consumed a broccoli sprout-derived beverage providing daily doses of 600µmol glucoraphanin and 40 µmol sulforaphane over a 12-week period. [So essentially they were given a concentrated extract of cruciferous vegetables for three months.] Urine testing found “rapid and sustained, statistically significant” increases elimination of toxic substances in those drinking the beverage, over the placebo group. [34]
Studies have also shown sulforaphane assists in protection from and elimination of arsenic [35] and pesticides. [36] The detoxifying qualities of cruciferous is thought to be directly connected to sulforaphane’s role in activation of Nrf2, which is known to have a critical role in the metabolism and excretion of toxic substances. 

7. Type II Diabetes and Insulin Resistance (IR) Support

It’s generally recognized that diet and exercise can profoundly assist with the prevention and treatment of Type II Diabetes. However, specific positive results have been seen with regard to sulforaphane and consuming cruciferous vegetables.
In particular, IR is an aspect of Type II that can cause havoc in a body. A 2016 study investigated the effects of broccoli sprout powder, containing high concentration of sulforaphane, on IR in Type II diabetic patients. In a randomized trial, 81 patients received either the high concentration of sulforaphane powder or a placebo, over four weeks. The end results gave clear indications of lowered levels of insulin resistance.[37]
Other studies have demonstrated similar results, showing decreased oxidative stress and IR and that “[s]ulforaphane could prevent nephropathy, diabetes-induced fibrosis, and vascular complications,” further empowering those with Type II Diabetes. [38] [39] [40]X x

8. Helicobacter pylori Support

The bacteria Helicobacter pylori is most famously associated with stomach ulcers, and, in many cases, gastric cancer. Our sulforaphane-laden cruciferous friends happen to offer distinct support in eliminating the colonization of this organism in our bodies. [41] This is most clearly demonstrated in a 2009 study citing:  
Forty-eight H. pylori-infected patients were randomly assigned to feeding of broccoli sprouts (70 g/d; containing 420 micromol of SF precursor) for 8 weeks or to consumption of an equal weight of alfalfa sprouts (not containing SF) as placebo. Intervention with broccoli sprouts, but not with placebo, decreased the levels of urease measured by the urea breath test and H. pylori stool antigen (both biomarkers of H. pylori colonization) and serum pepsinogens I and II (biomarkers of gastric inflammation).” [42] 
While the sulforaphane had measurable, positive results during the testing, levels reverted to their original amounts at the end of the two months following cessation. This indicates that continued consumption of the broccoli sprouts would have continued benefits.
Other research with sulforaphane rich sprouts reported 78% of patients showing negative stool antigen results after therapy, with 67% remaining negative another 35 days after stopping. [43] Research with human gastric xenografts on mice reported the  Helicobacter pylori “completely eradicated” in 73% of the sulforaphane-treated grafts. [44]

9. Alzheimer’s Applications

Studies suggest that sulforaphane might be a promising therapeutic agent for cognitive enhancement in Alzheimer's disease. [45] In 2015, researchers looked at the effects of sulforaphane compounds via the administration of broccoli sprout juices of varying concentrations. They reported positive effects against the measures of two major factors implicated in the pathogenesis of AD, as well as upregulation in the intracellular glutathione content and the activity of antioxidant enzymes -- both of which may contribute to improved tissue detoxification and function. [46]

10. Anti-Inflammatory Benefits

Dysfunctional inflammation has increasingly become identified  to be a driving factor at the root of most, if not all, chronic illness and disease. In some form or another, somewhere, a body that is unwell, is inflamed. Luckily, nature has provided us with several remedies for this scourge of our times. 
As anti-inflammatories go, sulforaphane is right up there with that king of all spices, curcumin (turmeric) giving our cruciferous vegetables the upper hand in the list of healing foods. “[T]he consumption of broccoli sprouts modulated the excretion of biomarkers linked to inflammation and vascular reactions,” [47] according to a 2015 study. 
A more recent cell-based study, published in 2016 reported, “clear evidence that pre-treatment with sulforaphane completely restored the antioxidant status and prevented inflammatory responses.” [48] They went on to say, “the protection offered by sulforaphane against acrolein-induced damage in PBMC is attributed to its anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory potential.” [48]
More and more data suggests that sulforaphane may be useful as a therapeutic agent for the treatment of inflammatory conditions and diseases. [49]
This is not, by far, an exhaustive list of the known benefits of eating your cruciferous. Studies are even showing sulforaphane has benefits for autism, which reportedly affects around 2% of Americans (mostly males) and costs the US around $100 billion, annually. 
Still, cruciferous for autism?
A study at the ChemoProtection Center, home of the “Father” of sulforaphane, Paul Tulalay, explains,
“The rationale for a clinical trial of sulforaphane in autism was based on evidence that autism is characterized by oxidative stress, depressed antioxidant capacity, and mitochondrial dysfunction. These pathological processes are antagonized by sulforaphane.” [50]
Seems they were right because in the resulting randomized, double blind, placebo controlled trial where they examined the effects of sulforaphane-rich broccoli sprout extract on autistic patients, they saw ‘dramatic’ improvement in 65% of those receiving it. These improvements diminished in the four weeks following the dosing period, solidifying the observed benefits of continued consumption. 
This just goes to show, the tremendous benefits of eating your sulforaphane-rich cruciferous vegetables should not be underestimated. Instead, take advantage of this bounty from nature by making them a regular part of your diet.
Cruciferous Vegetables Research Dashboard
For evidence-based research on the health benefits of cruciferous vegetables, visit the Research Dashboard.


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[32] Patrizia Riso, Stefano Vendrame, Cristian Del Bo', Daniela Martini, Antonia Martinetti, Ettore Seregni, Francesco Visioli, Marina Parolini, Marisa Porrini. Effect of 10-day broccoli consumption on inflammatory status (CRP) of young healthy smokers. Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2014 Feb ;65(1):106-11. Epub 2013 Sep 2.
[33] Masahiro Kikuchi, Yusuke Ushida, Hirokazu Shiozawa, Rumiko Umeda, Kota Tsuruya, Yudai Aoki, Hiroyuki Suganuma, Yasuhiro Nishizaki. Sulforaphane-rich broccoli sprout extract improves hepatic abnormalities in male subjects. World J Gastroenterol. 2015 Nov 21 ;21(43):12457-67.
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Importance of Enzymes for Health, Longevity and Chronic Disease Prevention

The Importance of Enzymes for Health, Longevity and Chronic Disease Prevention

January 30, 2017  
By Dr. Mercola
As the name implies, digestive enzymes are important for optimal digestion and nutrient absorption. But their functions and benefits do not end there. Enzymes are actually necessary for most cellular functions and biological processes.
Enzymes — proteins composed of amino acids — are secreted by your body to catalyze functions that normally would not occur at body temperature, making them vital to good health and longevity.1,2   Science has identified more than 3,000 different enzymes, yet we've likely only scratched the surface. Some believe we may have anywhere from 50,000 to 70,000 enzymes in our bodies.3   Each organ has its own set of enzymes, and each enzyme has a different function. In essence, they act like specialized keys cut to fit specific locks. In this analogy, the locks are biochemical reactions.

Enzymes Do More Than Aid Digestion

Over the years, researchers have discovered enzymes for all sorts of uses, from boosting athletic endurance by optimizing digestion and nutrient uptake4 to treating cancer.
According to some researchers, enzyme preservation is an important aspect of longevity, as younger people have far higher levels than older ones.
For example, young adults have about 30 times more amylase in their saliva than 69-year-olds, and 27-year-olds have twice the amount of lipase as 77-year-olds. Chronically ill people also tend to have much lower levels of enzymes.5
In one recent animal study,6 the nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) — an enzyme involved in energy metabolism, found in broccolicucumbers and cabbage — helped regenerate aging cells, making them behave as younger cells and preventing certain age-related genetic changes.
As a result, the NMN-treated mice gained less weight than untreated ones (likely a result of increased energy conversion) and experienced improved eyesight. Fortunately, optimizing your enzymes is as easy as eating plenty of fresh, raw and/or fermented foods. Sprouts are a particularly excellent source of live enzymes.
Fasting has also been shown to conserve enzymes. If you do not eat, you will not produce digestive enzymes, allowing metabolic enzyme production and activity to proliferate instead.

Types of Enzymes and Their Functions

Enzymes can be broadly divided into the following categories:7
Digestive enzymes, involved in digestion; the breaking down of foods into nutrients and elimination of waste products. Digestive enzymes are extra-cellular, meaning they're found outside your cells.
There are eight primary digestive enzymes, each designed to help break down different types of food:
Protease: Digesting protein
Maltase: Converting complex sugars from grains into glucose
Amylase: Digesting carbohydrates
Lactase: Digesting milk sugar (lactose) in dairy products
Lipase: Digesting fats (If you have IBS, cystic fibrosis, celiac disease, no gallbladder or gallbladder dysfunction and/or obesity, you may benefit from higher levels of lipase.
Also beware that fluorinated water may decrease lipase and protease production)8
Phytase: Helps with overall digestion, especially in producing the B vitamins
Cellulase: Breaking down fiber
Sucrase: Digesting most sugars
Metabolic enzymes, involved in energy production and detoxification. Metabolic enzymes are intra-cellular, meaning inside your cells, where they help the cell carry out a variety of functions related to its reproduction and replenishment.
Food-based enzymes, contained in raw, uncooked/unprocessed foods and/or supplements. Dietary enzyme supplements are derived either from plants or animals.
For example, enzymes can be extracted from certain fungi and bacteria, raw foods, such as the bromelain in pineapple and papain from papaya. Pancreatic enzyme supplements, such as pepsin and trypsin, are obtained from the stomach, small intestine and pancreas of animals.
People who may benefit from eating more raw foods and/or taking a food enzyme supplement include those who:
Eat cooked, microwaved or processed foods. The more raw foods you eat, the lower the burden on your body to produce the enzymes it needs, not only for digestion, but for practically everything.
Whatever enzymes are not used up in digestion are then available to help with other important physiological processes.
Are over the age of 30. Studies show your body's production of enzymes decreases by about 13 percent every decade. So by age 40, your enzyme production could be 25 percent lower than it was when you were a child.
By the time you're 70, you could be producing only one-third of the enzymes you need for good health.
Making matters worse, your stomach produces less hydrochloric acid as you age, and hydrochloric acid is crucial in activating your stomach's digestive enzymes.
When digestion of foods requires such a heavy demand, enzyme supplies run short and your enzyme-producing capacity can become exhausted.
Struggle with toxicity.
Are acutely or chronically ill, including those with digestive problems, endocrine gland imbalances, high blood sugar, diabetesobesity, high cholesterol, stress-related problems, arthritis and other inflammatory conditions.
Supplements containing amylase, lipase and proteases (enzymes that help break down starches, fats and proteins respectively) have been shown to benefit those with food sensitivities.9 For optimal digestion, you need all three. Other less well-known digestive enzymes include ribonuclease and deoxycyribonuclease-I, which digest nucleic acids and DNA/nuclease respectively.

Enzymes and Coenzymes Play Important Roles in Health

Enzymes are catalysts that cause biochemical reactions to happen. In other words, they assist and accelerate reactions, sometimes to a mind-boggling several million reactions per second. In this way, enzymes significantly lower the amount of energy needed for a reaction to occur. And, without them, some reactions would not even be able to take place at all. Here's a sampling of activities in your body that require enzymes in order to occur:
Energy production
Carrying away toxic wastes
Absorption of oxygen
Dissolving blood clots
Fighting infections and healing wounds
Breaking down carbohydrates, proteins and fats, and regulating cholesterol and triglyceride levels
Reducing inflammation
Hormone regulation
RNA/DNA functioning
Nerve impulse regulation
Getting nutrients into your cells
Slowing the aging process
As important as they are, enzymes do not work alone. They rely on other elements to accomplish their tasks, such as certain vitamins and minerals. These elements are called coenzymes.10 One of the most well-known coenzymes is coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), found in the mitochondria (power centers) of your cells where it is involved in making ATP, a principal energy source. Another example is magnesium, which participates in over 300 enzyme reactions.
However, while your body produces its own enzymes, this ability begins to decline as early as your late 20s. The situation is worsened if you eat primarily processed foods, as viable enzymes are only found in fresh foods. This is yet another reason why diet has such a tremendous impact on disease risk, as enzyme imbalance or deficiency can significantly raise your risk of cancer and autoimmune diseases.
Annesse Brockley's and Kristin Urdiales' book, "Autoimmune," explores the link between digestive enzyme deficiency and autoimmune disease. While still controversial, the link between digestive enzymes and immune dysfunction is quite compelling, and helps us understand why and how diet can be such a powerful intervention.

Cancer Fighting Benefits of Pancreatic Enzymes

A large portion of your digestion occurs in your duodenum, the early part of your small intestine. Your pancreas secretes digestive juices in response to food in your stomach. These digestive juices contain the eight groups of enzymes responsible for breaking down carbs, protein, fats and other nutrients.
When your pancreas is not working well, a deficiency in pancreatic enzymes can lead to malabsorption of nutrients and overgrowth of bacteria in your small intestine, a condition that presents itself as gas and bloating, fatigue and constipation. It may also play a role in irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).11 Pancreatic insufficiency may be treated by taking a pancreatic enzyme supplement.
Interestingly, pancreatic enzymes may also be very useful in the treatment of cancer. When used for this purpose, pancreatic enzymes are taken between meals rather than with them. When taken at a time when they're not needed for digestion, the enzymes have been shown to go to work systemically, affecting your body organs via your blood.
One of the mechanisms by which enzymes fight cancer is by stripping away the fibrin coating that cancer cells protect themselves with. Fibrin is a fibrous protein that cancer cells wrap themselves with in order to protect themselves against attack by your immune system. Due to its fibrous nature, this coating is 15 times thicker than the outer layer of a normal, healthy cell.
By stripping off this layer, enzymes help your immune system detect the antigens contained within the cancer cell, thereby allowing your immune system to kill the cell and dispose of it naturally. Moreover, certain enzymes trigger macrophage to release tumor necrosis factor (TNF), which plays an important role in downregulating an overactive immune system, thereby helping those with autoimmune conditions.

Enzymes Used in Leukemia Treatment

L-asparaginase, an enzyme isolated from the bacteria Escherichia coli and Erwinia chrysanthemi, has a long history of use in the treatment of acute lymphoblastic leukemia, the most common form of childhood leukemia in the U.S. It's also widely used in veterinary medicine to treat certain types of cancers in cats and dogs, specifically cancers involving the immune system.12 L-asparaginase works by "starving" the cancer cell of asparaginase, an enzyme needed in the production of proteins.
Healthy cells need only a small amount of asparaginase, and can produce what it needs internally. Cancer cells not only need hefty amounts; they also cannot produce this enzyme internally and must obtain it from outside sources.
L-asparaginase works by eliminating asparaginase and, by depriving the cancer cell of it, the cell dies since it cannot produce what it needs to thrive. Researchers have now found an L-asparaginase-like enzyme found in baker's yeast may be a less toxic alternative to the bacteria-derived enzyme. As reported by Medical News Today:13
"First study author Iris Munhoz Costa … explains that unlike bacteria, yeast is eukaryotic. This means that it contains a membrane-covered nucleus consisting of genetic material, as is the case with human cells. As such, it is hypothesized that yeast-derived enzymes are less likely than bacterial enzymes to trigger severe immune responses."

The Kelley Treatment — Cancer Treatment Using Enzymes

Total Video Length: 1:42:22

Download Interview Transcript
In 2011, I interviewed Dr. Nick Gonzalez, a prominent cancer doctor who specialized in alternative treatment methods. Gonzalez died in 2015 from what appears to have been a heart attack. Prior to his untimely death, he'd had remarkable success treating cancer patients with a three-pronged nutritional approach based on the groundbreaking work of Dr. William Kelley, a dentist who co-founded nutritional typing.
Many of these patients were diagnosed with highly lethal forms of cancer that conventional medicine cannot effectively address, including pancreatic cancer, brain cancer and leukemia. Gonzalez's program consisted of three basic components:
  • Individualized diet based on nutritional (metabolic) typing
  • Individualized supplement program, which includes vitamins, minerals, trace elements and pancreatic enzymes
  • Detoxification, which includes coffee enemas and colon cleanses
In regard to the enzymes, he stressed the importance of taking the correct ratio of active and inactive enzymes. Interestingly, the inactive precursors are particularly active against cancer. They also have far longer shelf life, and are more stable than the active ones.
According to Gonzalez, pancreatic enzymes are not only useful as treatment for active cancer but are also one of the best preventive measures. Before his death, Gonzalez published two highly rated books, "The Trophoblast and the Origins of Cancer," and "One Man Alone: An Investigation of Nutrition, Cancer, and William Donald Kelley."

The Many Benefits of Seaprose-S

Seaprose-s (also known as protease-s) is one proteolytic, meaning systemic, enzyme with powerful health benefits.14 It's particularly effective for breaking up of mucus15 and reducing inflammation.16 Some studies also suggest it may have antibiotic properties. Its anti-inflammatory and mucus-dissolving activities have been shown to benefit conditions such as:
Pleurisy (inflammation of your lung lining)
Peritonitis (inflammation of your abdominal lining
(pain and inflammation in your veins following a blood clot)
Pulmonary tuberculosis
Pulmonary emphysema
Bronchial asthma
Wound complications following vaginal birth or C-section17
Venous inflammatory disease18
This enzyme is one you would take in-between meals, not with your meals, as it's not aimed at improving digestion but rather doing its work systemically. By passing unused into your digestive tract, seaprose-s can enter your bloodstream, thereby reaching all the tissues in your body.

How to Boost Your Enzyme Levels Naturally

There are four ways to naturally increase your enzyme levels:
  • Increase your intake of raw, living foods
  • Fast
  • Chew your food thoroughly
  • Avoid chewing gum
The very best way to get enzymes into your body is by consuming at least 75 percent of your foods raw. For many of you, you'll have to work toward this goal gradually. While all raw foods contain enzymes, the most powerful enzyme-rich foods are those that are sprouted (seeds and legumes). Sprouting increases the enzyme content in these foods tremendously. Besides sprouts, other enzyme-rich foods include:
Papayapineapple, mango, kiwi, and grapes
Extra virgin olive oil
Raw meat and dairy
Bee pollen
Fish sauce19,20,21 and other fermented fish products22
By eating these types of foods, you supply your body with the amino acids and the enzyme co-factors needed to boost your own natural enzyme production. Another way to lower your body's demand for enzymes is to reduce your caloric intake. Did you know the average person spends 80 percent of his available energy simply digesting food?
By reducing overall consumption, as well as introducing more living foods, you reduce your need for digestive enzymes, which allows your body to put more of its energy into producing metabolic enzymes. Which brings us to chewing: Quite apart from the esthetic pleasure of an unhurried meal, there are important physiological reasons to chew your food well.
Chewing stimulates saliva production, and the more time you spend chewing, the longer your saliva enzymes have to work in your mouth, lessening the workload of your stomach and small intestine. This is also the reason for the recommendation to avoid chewing gum. Chewing gum fools your body into believing it is digesting something, so it pumps out digestive enzymes unnecessarily.

Digestive Enzyme Supplementation

If you suffer from occasional bloating, minor abdominal discomfort and/or occasional constipation and suspect your enzyme production is low, you might want to consider a digestive enzyme supplement in addition to eating more of your foods raw.
Keep in mind that digestive enzymes should be taken WITH a meal, whereas systemic enzymes, taken for other health reasons, are taken between meals (see following section). There are hundreds of digestive enzymes on the market. Ideally, look for an enzyme formula with the following characteristics:
  • It should contain a mixture of different types of enzymes, to help digest all of the different components of your diet (including lipase, protease and amylase)
  • The ingredients should be high quality, all-natural, and free of allergens and additives
  • The supplement should be labeled as to the enzymatic strength of each ingredient, not just its weight
  • It should be made by a reputable company with rigorous quality control and testing for potency

Use of Systemic Enzymes May Improve Your Health

Besides digestive enzyme supplementation, oral enzymes can be used systemically. This requires taking enzymes on an empty stomach between meals so they can be absorbed through your gut into your bloodstream, where your cells can use them metabolically to clear away debris and accumulated metabolic buildups.
However, getting enzymes from your digestive tract into your bloodstream isn't as easy as it would seem. Enzymes are very susceptible to denaturing and must be helped to survive the highly acidic environment in your stomach. For this reason, they're often given an "enteric coating" to help them survive the journey through your digestive tract.
Systemic oral enzymes have been used to treat problems ranging from sports injuries to arthritis to heart disease and cancer, particularly in European countries. But most of the research has been published in non-English language journals.
This systemic use of enzymes is still in its infancy in the U.S. Keep in mind that in order for enzymes to be used systemically, they must be ingested on an empty stomach. Otherwise, your body will use them for digesting your food, instead of being absorbed into the blood and doing their work there.