The Role of Digestive Enzymes

Loomis 24 Hours Urinalysis

The 24 hour urinalysis according to Loomis is a very important test used as part of a method to determine enzyme deficiencies. This test is not a medical diagnostic test. It prognostic rather than diagnostic. It is fundamentally about Digestive Competency. In other words, this test provides foresight as to what may occur if diet and digestion are not adjusted accordingly. This test is not to be confused with the 24¬hour urinalysis test that is done by medical doctors to determine kidney function, or with the Reams urinalysis test, which is based on a single random catch and varies widely according to whether the person has recently eaten. Urine samples collected every two hours will be significantly different. Everything changes: the pH, specific gravity, calcium content and so on.

The Loomis method requires collection of all urine produced in 24 hours. These fluctuations are averaged to give a complete picture of digestive and absorptive functions. Looking at a Loomis 24¬hour urinalysis is also a functional way of examining the blood (the ECF or extracellular fluid). Why? The blood holds nutrients it needs and disposes of what it doesn’t want into the urine. If a substance does not appear in the urine, we know the blood needs it and has kept it. Conversely, sometimes we see higher levels of substances in the urine than should be there, plus things that shouldn’t be there at all (abnormal solutes). This indicates that the blood has disposed of them. The blood also takes what it needs from the cells. In fact, cells will sacrifice themselves to the blood in order to maintain homeostasis. Similarly, the blood also dumps what it doesn’t want into cells. Conclusively, if something unfavorable is found in the urine, it can also be found in the cells.

What can be measured in a urine analysis test?

Total Sediment

By measuting total sediment we can see exactly which foods are being digested and which aren't and what specific ratio of digestive food enzymes or enzyme combination formula is needed to correct this imbalance. There are four food enzymes required for bringing about optimal digestion and assimilation of nutrients, reducing stomach acidity and discomfort, restoring appetite, and assisting in balancing the body's natural pH (acid/base) balance: Lipase for fats, protease for protein, amylase for carbohydrates, and cellulase for fiber.

1. Fats and fat soluble vitamins are digested by lipase enzymes. People deficient in lipase enzymes have a tendency towards: * High cholesterol, high triglycerides, difficulty losing weight, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Poor digestion of fats can cause a deficiency in essential fatty acids (EFA's)? EFA's take lubrication and moisture to the skin, preventing dryness; joints, preventing inflammation; and cardiovascular system, preventing heart disease. EFA's bind oxygen to hemoglobin increasing oxygenation and circulation which definitely decreases coldness in the hands and feet.

2. Poor digestion of proteins, either due to a deficiency of protease enzymes, or an imbalance in pH can create a variety of weaknesses or disease states, including:

  • Loss of muscle mass (muscle wasting or breakdown and increase of fatty deposits).
  • Poor recovery time after exercise.
  • Hypoglycemia (blood sugar imbalances, sugar cravings, or mood swings).
  • Poor utilization of calcium/magnesium. These minerals must bond with amino acids (proteins) to be fully assimilated for bone strength (prevention of osteoporosis, and arthritis); and calming the nervous system (prevention of anxiety, irritability, and insomnia).

 

3. Poor digestion of Carbohydrates, sugars and starches, are caused by a deficiency in amylase enzymes which can create symptoms such as:

  • Abscesses, infections, and inflammation.
  • Skin conditions, including eczema, psoriasis, hives, dermatitis, and herpes.
  • Asthma, and emphysema (may be exacerbated by amylase deficiency).

4. Poor digestion of Fiber or Plant Substances are caused by a deficiency in cellulase enzymes (due to congenital defect or lack of raw food in the diet) and may cause a person to experience malabsorption syndrome:

  • Increased sugar, dairy, gluten (wheat, oats, rye, barley) intolerance or allergy, which is associated with celiac disease, or Crohn's disease.
  • Abnormal gas, pain, and bloating.
  • Impaired absorption of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals.

Calcium and Magnesium

The optimal levels and the correct ratio of calcium and magnesium are needed to support the skeletal, muscular, and nervous system. An imbalance in either can create anxiety, nervousness, irritability, insomnia, muscle tension, spasms, cramps, low back pain, constipation, hypertension, or heart palpitations.

Measuring Vitamin C

Optimal levels of vitamin C are needed in maintaining healthy connective tissue, adrenal glands, red blood cells and capillary walls. Vitamin C deficiency can cause bruising, joint pain, stiffness, gum disorders, lowered resistance to infections, slow healing of wounds and fractures, impaired digestion, shortness of breath, adrenal insufficiency, sore throat, laryngitis, tonsillitis, scurvy, weakness, aching joints, loss of bone mass, and tissue and collagen disorders.

Electrolyte or trace minerals

A deficiency in electrolytes can cause low energy, significant stress in brain, nerve and muscular function. Electrolyte deficiencies increase edema, bloating, water retention and even cardiac arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat). A deficiency in electrolytes can also cause thyroid stress creating thickening and coarsening of the skin and other body tissues, obesity, hair loss, sensitivity to cold, muscle weakness, mental dullness, circulation problems such as cold hands and feet, edema, bruising, and increase in blood lipids and cholesterol.

Colon toxicity

Colon toxicity is caused by poor digestion, constipation, exposure to excessive chemicals in the water, food, and air, or drugs, yeast/candida, parasites or abnormal flora in the gut, and can be recognized in the urine analysis. Partially digested food may directly enter the blood, causing allergic food reactions. Undigested food may never be utilized by the body, instead it may decompose (rot) in the colon producing highly toxic substances which are then reabsorbed into the blood. This toxicity can present symptoms ranging from gas, diarrhea, constipation, bad breath, bloating, weight gain, allergies, asthma, arthritis, headaches, skin conditions, nervous system problems, and colon toxicity which are directly associated with low back pain and sciatica.

"Disclaimer: I am a acupuncturist and an enzyme nutritionist, not a medical doctor. I do not diagnose, prescribe for, treat or claim to prevent, mitigate or cure any human diseases. I do not prescribe prescription drugs nor do I tell you to discontinue them. I provide acupuncture, enzymes and other dietary supplements to improve digestion and to nourish and support normal function and structure of the body. If you suspect any disease, please consult your physician."

“Disclaimer” These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. They are not intended to diagnose, prescribe for, treat or claim to prevent, mitigate or cure any human disease. They are intended for nutritional support only. The FTC requires that we tell you that the results in case notes and testimonials published here are not typical, however, they do show what some people have been able to achieve. Individuals vary, which is why we must always consider the whole person when recommending a course of action. The third party information referred to herein is neither adopted nor endorsed by this web site but is provided for general information purposes. The listing of specific disease terms is based upon medical literature and is not a substitute for competent medical advice. If you suspect a medical condition, you should consult a physician.

ENZYMES: A Dead Diet's Necessary Companion

© Paula Rothstein

The old saying, "You are what you eat" no longer holds true with regards to today's modern diet of over-processed/cooked food. Our diet is for the most part comprised of dead food. More appropriately, "We are what we are able to digest".

Enzymes are complex proteins in the body that cause chemical changes in other substances which in turn provide the labor force and energy necessary to keep us alive. They are energy catalysts that are essential to the successful occurrence of over 150,000 biochemical reactions in our bodies, particularly involving food digestion and the delivery of nutrients to the body. Enzymes help convert food into chemical substances that pass into cell membranes to perform all of our everyday life sustaining functions.

By supporting normal function, enzymes keep our immune system strong enough to fight off disease. Enzymes help to nourish and clean the body, making possible the human body's miraculous capacity for self-healing. They also make available the energy needed for a normal body to burn hundreds of grams of carbohydrate and fat every day. Without enzymes, life could not be sustained.

Enzymes perform so many important functions in the body that they have been called "the basis of all metabolic activity." In other words, enzymes deliver nutrients, break down and carry away toxic waste, digest food, purify the blood, deliver hormones, balance cholesterol and triglycerides levels, feed the brain, build protein into muscle, and feed and fortify the endocrine system.

Enzymes save people’s lives by restoring energy and homeostasis, reversing the aging process, turning a dysfunctional digestive system into a healthy one, and strengthening the immune system.

Enzymes enable our bodies to digest the food we eat. They break down the various foods we consume proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins—into smaller compounds that the body can absorb. They are absolutely essential in maintaining optimal health. When digestion is not properly completed, partially digested proteins putrefy, partially digested carbohydrates ferment, and partially digested fats turn rancid. These toxins remain in the body, harming the system. Fermented toxins in the digestive tract can be absorbed into the blood and deposited as waste in the joints and other soft tissue areas. The results of enzyme deficiency include digestive disturbance, fatigue, headaches, constipation, gas, heartburn, bloating, colon problems, excess body fat, and problems as serious as cardiovascular or heart disease.

TWO MAJOR PROBLEMS WITH AN ENZYME DEFICIENT DIET

Now that you better understand the role of enzymes in your diet, the following will begin to explain what occurs in their absence.

A diet lacking in enzymes can actually do double damage to your health. First, the enzymes that exist naturally in your own body, the endogenous enzymes, are called upon by your vital organs to digest the food you eat, instead of doing the important job they were meant to perform—providing energy, fighting disease and ensuring the proper functioning of your cells. This inability to break down can rob you of vitality, make you feel listless, and lead to premature aging.

Secondly, without enzymes, the food you eat goes partially undigested and will stay in your intestinal tract for months, where it can actually putrefy. This can lead to releases of the harmful bacteria that can literally start to poison your health and lead to far more serious problems.

It has been estimated that 80% of all diseases start in the intestinal tract!

Because your immune system will attack and defend your body against partially digested foods that get into the bloodstream, the immune system does not recognize it as food. It sees a toxic invader, and destroys the food. When this happens you fail to get the benefit of that food, and you weaken your immune system by using it inappropriately.

In other words, you are using the immune system and metabolic enzymes daily to clean the bloodstream of undigested food particles, instead of having their full attention on protection and repair of your body.

Dr. Edward Howell, the individual responsible for pioneering enzyme research, said that the digestive system is designed to break down approximately half of the food we eat.

As explained in his book "Enzyme Nutrition", before fire was discovered, man and animals alike could only eat raw food, like raw meat, plants or fruits, and vegetables.

He further explained how raw foods have a 40/60 ratio of enzymes which means a raw food like an apple has live food enzymes within the apple which break down and digest 40 to 60 percent of that apple leaving the remaining 40 to 60% of the apple to be broken down by the digestive system.

Raw foods are enzymatically alive which means these foods have live enzymes within them to help digest 40 to 60% of that particular food. Cooked and processed foods are enzymatically dead which means there are no live enzymes within that food to help digestion.

These dead foods place stress on the digestive system, pancreas, immune system, and your whole body.

Before genetic engineering and irradiation, our raw foods had the proper 40/60 ratio. However, today many raw foods are genetically altered or they have been irradiated for longer shelf life, killing the enzymes in the food which means that even the raw food we eat today could be in a 20/80 ratio or worse.

In addition, we are already asking the human body to break down 100% of the cooked and processed foods and supplements we eat, and now, possibly 80% or more of the raw foods we eat.

Imagine the stress this puts on your body on a daily basis!

Basically, here is how the digestive process works: First, you chew your food, and it mixes with the saliva in the mouth. The saliva has an enzyme called amylase which starts the predigestion of carbohydrates. The more you chew, the better.

Secondly, the food is swallowed and goes down the esophagus into the upper portion of the stomach. The food remains for about 45 to 60 minutes to predigest. That is, it will predigest if you are eating foods containing live enzymes because the body does not supply any enzymes at this stage of digestion.

Thirdly, the food goes into the lower part of the stomach where trypsin, pepsin and hydrochloric acid break it down further. The food then moves into the small intestines where the pancreas produces digestive enzymes to complete digestion.

Lastly, the nutrients pass through the intestinal wall and into the blood stream where metabolic enzymes utilize these nutrients in all parts of the body and in every living cell.

WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR DIGESTION

First you need to affect the predigestive stage which lasts approximately 45 to 60 minutes in the upper part of the stomach. Dr. Howell calls this the enzyme stomach because this is where the live enzymes within a raw food start predigestion of that food.

You can improve your digestion by adding a digestive enzyme to break down the food as it sits in the upper stomach. It can then predigest completely, which improves the entire digestive process, and your health.

This is very important as it helps conserve your body’s enzyme supply.

Lack of digestive enzymes affects the pancreas. Remember the digestive system is designed to break down approximately half of the food. When we eat cooked and processed foods, we're asking the digestive system to break down 100% of the food we have eaten. This means every time we eat these foods, the pancreas must produce twice as many enzymes and the pancreas is working double time. Doing this year after year puts a tremendous strain on the pancreas and eventually stresses our immune system and reduces our metabolic enzyme supply.

Autopsies have been done on people that eat mostly cooked and processed foods. The results show the pancreas is dangerously enlarged, poorly functioning, and quite often on the verge of breaking down.

There are three ways to conserve your enzyme supply.

Eating organically grown raw food is one way. The second is to take digestive enzymes every time you eat, or to take digestive enzymes on an empty stomach.

Dr. Howell said, "If we don't replenish our enzyme supply, we run the risk of ill health."

In other words, the faster your enzyme supply depletes, the faster you age and the more likely you will get disease. On the other hand, when you conserve and even increase your enzyme supplies, you increase the odds you will live a longer and healthier life.

Dr. Howell stated that the underlying cause of almost all degenerative diseases is the depletion of the enzyme supply caused by eating cooked foods which ends up causing premature aging and early death.

He also said, "We know that decreased enzyme levels are found in a number of chronic ailments, such as allergies, skin disease and even serious diseases like diabetes and cancer.” If your enzyme supply is low, you will have problems. But, if your enzyme supply is high, you will be healthy.

Some problems show up in the long term while others show up in the short term. For example, frequent colds and flus are a very good example of what can occur in the short term as an indication that your immune system is not functioning properly.

FAT AND ENZYMES

Fat in its raw form is the best source of energy. However, when fat is cooked or processed, it no longer has the 40/60 ratio and quite often gets stored in the body and is one of the reasons why many people are overweight.

Dr. Howell's research has also shown that a diet of cooked foods causes rapid, premature death in mice. In fact, rats on a cooked and processed food diet live about two years. While the rats that eat raw food live about three years. The rats eating raw food live 50% longer. Dr. Howell also noted that the brain weight of rats eating cooked food went down and their body weight went up.

Another study was based on two groups of hogs. The first group ate cooked potatoes and gained weight rapidly. While the second group ate raw potatoes and didn't get fat. Dr. Howell stated, based on his work in a sanitarium, "It is impossible to get people fat on raw foods, regardless of the calorie intake."

At the Michael Reese Hospital in Chicago experiments were done on two groups of people. The first group was 21 to 31 years old. The second group was 69 to 100 years old. They found the younger people had 30 times more amylase in their saliva than the older people. This is why when we're young, we can handle a diet of bread, pasta, pastries and cooked foods without much problem. But this type of diet can cause rapid aging and depletion of our enzyme supplies.

Without taking digestive enzymes, you can't digest food properly, especially when the food is cooked. Because the enzymes in the food have been killed by the processing and cooking. Even fresh fruits and vegetables, unless they are organically grown, are usually irradiated, which kills the enzymes in them.

NOW FOR THE GOOD NEWS—ENZYMES SUPPLEMENTS WORK!

For years, most so called "experts" believed that if enzymes were taken orally, they simply passed right through the body without being absorbed. Many also believed that all enzymes from ingested food were destroyed in the stomach. Yet independent research shows that neither is the case.

In one experiment, authors of Enzymes Therapy, Max Wolf, M.D. and Earl Ransberger, Ph.D, tagged certain enzymes with radioactive dye and determined that they could later be found in the liver, spleen, kidneys, heart and other vital organs of the subjects who ingested them. A Northwestern University study showed that the enzyme amylase, from germinated barley, digested starch in the stomach and then passed into the small intestine where it continued digestion.

THE REAL CAUSES OF SERIOUS, LIFE THREATENING ILLNESSES

Most medical experts believe that toxicity and genetics are the primary causes of diseases. While this may be true, it doesn't tell the whole story. Remember that enzymes are involved in every metabolic and cellular process in the body, including maintaining your immune system. Among other things, they attack and break down toxic substances so that the body can eliminate them safely.

During acute illnesses and common infections, such as fevers, flu and pneumonia, the body's enzyme levels are actually increased. That is because your white blood cells (often called leukocytes) which are responsible for destroying disease producing substances in your blood, increase to help your body fight off the invasions that cause these temporary illnesses.

Conversely, people suffering from chronic illnesses like diabetes and cancer have been shown to have greatly reduced levels of certain enzymes. Their pancreas and digestive tracts are often in a weakened state and their immune systems show signs of depletion, probably from having to fight the disease for a long period of time.

WHITE BLOOD CELLS: YOUR BODY'S ENZYME TRANSMITTERS

Dr. Willstatter, in an early enzyme research study, found that there are eight different anylase enzymes in white blood cells. Other investigations have also shown that white blood cells, or leukocytes, contain proteolytic and lipolytic enzymes, which are common to those secreted by your body's pancreas.

These enzymes act very much like the ones in your body's digestive tract which break down proteins, fats and carbohydrate that have been absorbed by the blood causing diseased conditions.

Enzymes in your white blood cells are the scavengers of the body. They attach themselves to foreign substances and reduce them to a form the body can dispose of safely. They also prevent the arteries from becoming clogged up and the joints from becoming gummed up.

ENZYMES PROVEN TO COMBAT ABNORMAL CELL GROWTHS

Abnormal cells in the body erect a fibrin shield that hides them from your body's white blood cells which would normally destroy them. Yet, research by German scientists has shown that certain enzymes, taken orally, can detect abnormal cells and eat away the fibrin shield, allowing your body's natural immune system to demolish them.

RELIEF FROM FIBROCYSTIC OR CYSTIC BREAST DISEASE IN WOMEN

Fibrocystic disease occurs in almost 50% of premenopausal women. Although benign, it can cause pain and discomfort. Enzyme therapy has been successfully used as treatment. Drs. Wolfgang, Scheef and Konig studied 247 women over a period of five years. After six weeks, more than 65% of the women taking the enzyme therapy were free of complaints.

Multiple Enzyme Formula Information:

It is recommended to use a multiple formula enzyme on a daily basis with your meals. There is some thought amongst the medical community that the pancreas may have a "preprogrammed" ability to produce a certain amount of enzymes in a lifetime. This is especially important for patients that are prone to diabetes. Regular use of a quality multiple formula enzyme supplementation may possibly lesson the demands on your pancreas over your lifetime, which may therefore prolong the ability of your pancreas to continue working strongly into old age. This has not been proven, but is considered a reasonable explanation as to why some older people have a harder time digesting foods.

Individuals with extreme cases of Gastritis, Gastric or Duodenal Ulcers should begin their enzyme supplementation with a formula void of Protease and gradually transition over to a formula with Protease in about four weeks. This is due to the situation that Protease may temporarily have a burning sensation for individuals with these situations.

There is evidence that a quality multiple formula enzyme, taken on a daily basis, provides nutritional support for most digestive disorders; prevention of malabsorption; food allergies; gallbladder stress; sugar intolerance; dairy intolerance; and intestinal disorders.

A quality blend should contain the following plant enzymes:

  • Protease Responsible for breaking down proteins into amino acids.
  • Amylase Aids in the digestion of carbohydrates by breaking them down into simple sugars.
  • Lactase Assists in the digestion of milk and dairy products and may help overcome dairy intolerance.
  • Cellulase Essential in digesting fibers. It is found in all vegetables but is not produced by humans or animals.
  • Lipase Assists in the digestion of fats by breaking them down into essential fatty acids and smaller chains of fatty acids like triglycerides.

IN CONCLUSION:

There is no doubt, enzymes are critically important to maintaining optimal health. They are the work force and life force of the human body. To be at your very best, continue to supplement with vitamins and minerals, glyconutrients to aid in cellular repair and communication, detoxify your body of heavy metals and environmental pollutants, AND for efficient and proper digestion, add a quality enzyme product which contains an efficient blend of ingredients. 

When you add digestive enzymes to your diet, your vitamins will work better, your minerals will work better, and you will gain more from the food you eat. These important supplements are a necessity in today’s toxic world, as we consume a diet which is, for the most part, dead food.

Pro inflammatory Enzyme Linked To Diabetes; Immune System's Macrophages May Be Key To Treatment

Source: University Of California  San Diego Date: February 3, 2005

Science Daily — An enzyme that initiates inflammation has been directly linked to insulin resistance and resulting type II diabetes by researchers at the UCSD School of Medicine. In addition, the team suggests that inhibition of the enzyme in the immune system's macrophages may be a new diabetes therapy.

Both control mice and mice with Ikk ß deleted in specific types of cells were fed a high fat diet that normally causes metabolic syndrome and type II diabetes. While the control mice developed the diabetes and insulin-resistant symptoms, mice in which the Ikk ß was deleted from microphages retained their healthy insulin levels.

"The potential for a new diabetes treatment is great," said one of the study's senior authors, Jerrold Olefsky, M.D., chief of UCSD's Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism in the Department of Medicine, and associate dean for scientific affairs for the School of Medicine. "An inhibitor of Ikk ß could be used, or an inhibitor of any other molecule in the inflammation pathway."

Affecting 18.2 million Americans, diabetes is a disease in which the body does not produce or properly use insulin, a hormone necessary to convert sugar, starches and other food into energy needed for daily life. Previous studies in the past few years have implicated inflammation as playing a role in diabetes, but just how this occurred was unknown.

The researchers generated mice without Ikk ß in liver cells that play a direct role in insulin regulated glucose metabolism, and in systemic myeloid cells, pivotal players in inflammatory responses as they produce macrophages.

In response to challenges with a high fat diet, mice with Ikk ß deficient myeloid cells retained insulin sensitivity in all target tissues. Because the myeloid cells (and their macrophages) are systemic able to travel throughout the body they were identified by the researchers as the best target for diabetes treatments.

The mice lacking Ikk ß only in the liver retained their insulin sensitivity in the liver but became insulin resistant in fat and muscle. Other tissue, such as muscle, was not tested in this study, because a previous study has shown that deletion of Ikk ß in muscle has no effect on obesity induced insulin resistance and type II diabetes, although muscle is a major insulin responsive tissue.

In addition to Olefsky, a senior author of the paper was Michael Karin, Ph.D., UCSD professor of pharmacology, an American Cancer Society Research Professor, and the scientist who first discovered IKK and its subunits. The paper was a collaborative effort between the diabetes lab of Olefsky and Karin's molecular signaling lab in the department of pharmacology.

Additional authors included first author Melek C. Arkan, UCSD Department of Pharmacology; and Andrea L. Hevener, UCSD Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Medicine; Florian R. Freten, Shin Maeda, Zhi Wei Li, UCSD Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Medicine; Jeffrey M. Long, Ph.D., and Anthony Wynshaw Boris, M.D., Ph.D., UCSD Departments of Pediatrics and Medicine; and Giuseppe Poli, S. Luigi Hospital, University of Turin, Italy. The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health.

Note: This story has been adapted from a news release issued by University Of California  San Diego

What Are Systemic Enzymes and What Do They Do?

By: Dr. William Wong ND, PhD

The word “systemic” means body wide. Systemic enzymes are those that operate not just for digestion but throughout your body in every system and organ. But let’s take first things first, what is an enzyme?

An enzyme is a biocatalyst  something that makes something else work or work faster. Chemical reactions are generally slow things, enzymes speed them up. Without enzymes the chemical reactions that make up our life would be too slow for life as we know it. (As slow as sap running down a tree in winter). For life to manifest as we know it, enzymes are essential to speed up the reactions. We have roughly some 3000 enzymes in our bodies and that results in over 7000 enzymic reactions. Most of these enzymes are derived or created from what we think of as the protein digesting enzymes. But while digestion is an important part of what enzymes do, it's almost the absolute last function. First and foremost these body wide proteolytic (protein eating) enzymes have the following actions:

Natural Anti Inflammatory.

They are the first line of defense against inflammation. (1,2,3). Inflammation is a reaction by the immune system to an irritation. Let’s say you have an injured right knee. The immune system sensing the irritation the knee is undergoing creates a protein chain called a Circulating Immune Complex (CIC for short), tagged specifically for that right knee. (The Nobel Prize in biology was won in 1999 by a scientist who discovered this tagging mechanism). This CIC floats down to the right knee and causes pain, redness and swelling are the classic earmarks for inflammation. This at first is a beneficial reaction; it warns us that a part of ourselves is hurt and needs attention. But, inflammation is self perpetuating, itself creating an irritation that the body makes CIC’s to in response!

Aspirin, Ibuprofen, Celebrex, Vioxx and the rest of the Non Steroidal Anti Inflammatory Drugs all work by keeping the body from making all CIC's. This ignores the fact that some CIC’s are vital to life, like those that maintain the lining of the intestine and those that keep the kidneys functioning! Not to mention the fact that the NSAID’s, along with acetaminophen, are highly toxic to the liver. Every year 20,000 Americans die from these over the counter drugs and another 100,000 will wind up in the hospital with liver damage, kidney damage or bleeding intestines from the side effects of these drugs. (4,5).

Systemic enzymes on the other hand are perfectly safe and free of dangerous side effects. They have no LD 50, or toxic dose. (6). Best of all systemic enzymes can tell the difference between the good CIC’s and the bad ones because hydrolytic enzymes are lock and key mechanisms and their "teeth" will only fit over the bad CIC’s. So instead of preventing the creation of all CIC’s, systemic enzymes just “eat” the bad ones and in so doing lower inflammation everywhere. With that, pain is lowered also.

Anti Fibrosis.

Enzymes eat scar tissue and fibrosis. (7). Fibrosis is scar tissue and most doctors learn in anatomy that it is fibrosis that eventually kills us all. Let me explain. As we age, which starts at 27, we have a diminishing of the bodies’ output of enzymes. This is because we make a finite amount of enzymes in a lifetime and we use up a good deal of them by the time we are 27. At that point the body knows that if it keeps up that rate of consumption we’ll run out of enzymes and be dead by the time we reach our 40’s. (Cystic Fibrosis patients who have virtually no enzyme production to speak of, even as children usually don’t make it past their 20’s before they die of the restriction and shrinkage in the lungs from the formation of fibrosis or scar tissue).

So our body in it's wisdom begins to dole out our enzymes with an eyedropper instead of with a tablespoon; as a result the repair mechanism of the body goes out of balance and has nothing to reduce the over abundance of fibrin it deposits in nearly every thing from simple cuts, to the inside of our internal organs and blood vessels. This is when most women begin to develop things like fibrocystic breast disease, uterine fibroids, endometriosis, and we all grow arterial sclerotic (meaning scar tissue) plaque, and have fibrin beginning to spider web its way inside of our internal organs reducing their size and function over time. This is why as we age our wounds heal with thicker, less pliable, weaker and very visible scars.

If we replace the lost enzymes we can control and reduce the amount of scar tissue and fibrosis our bodies have. As physicians in the US are now discovering, even old scar tissue can be “eaten away” from surgical wounds, pulmonary fibrosis, kidney fibrosis and even keloids years after their formation. Medical doctors in Europe and Asia have known this and have used orally administered enzymes for these situations for over 40 years!

Blood Cleansing.

The blood is not only the river of life, it is also the river through which the cells and organs dispose of their garbage and dead material. Enzymes improve circulation by eating the excess fibrin that causes blood to sometimes get as thick as catsup or yogurt, creating the perfect environment for the formation of clots. All of this material is supposed to be cleared by the liver on its "first pass", or the first time it goes through but given the sluggish and near toxic or toxic states of everyone's liver these days that seldom happens. So the sludge remains in the blood waiting for the liver to have enough free working space and enough enzymes to clean the trash out of the blood. This can take days, and in some cases, weeks! (8).

When systemic enzymes are taken, they stand ready in the blood and take the strain off of the liver by:

  1. Cleaning excess fibrin from the blood and reducing the stickiness of blood cells. These two actions minimize the leading causes of stroke and heart attack causing blood clots. (8).
  2. Breaking dead material down small enough that it can immediately pass into the bowel. (8).
  3. Cleanse the FC receptors on the white blood cells improving their function and availability to fight off infection. (9).

 

And here we come to the only warning we have to give concerning the use of Vitalzym or any other systemic enzyme  don't use the product if you are a hemophiliac or are on prescription blood thinners like Coumadin, Heparin and Plavix, without direct medical supervision. The enzymes cause the drugs to work better so there is the possibility of thinning the blood too much.

Immune System Modulating.

Enzymes are adaptogenic seeking to restore a steady state to the body. (9). When the immune system is running low we become susceptible to infectious disease, when it’s cranked up too high then the system creates antibodies that attack it's own tissues as are seen in the auto immune diseases of MS, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and Lupus. Here the enzymes will tone down immune function and eat away at the antibodies the immune system is making to attack its bodies own tissue.

Virus Fighting.

Viruses harm us by replicating in our bodies. To do this a virus must bond itself to the DNA in our cells through the medium of its exterior protein cell wall. Anything that disrupts that cell wall inhibits the ability of viral replication by rendering individual viruses inert. (10,11). Systemic enzymes can tell the difference between the proteins that are supposed to be in your body and those that are foreign or not supposed to be there, (again the enzyme lock and key mechanism). Vitalzym has the strongest protein eating effect of any enzyme due to its Serrapeptase content and can be of help in combating viruses.

One note: many in the States have learned in school that enzymes are too big a protein to be absorbed through the gut. The pioneering research done in the US by Dr. Max Wolf (MD & PhD x7) at Columbia University in the 40’s through the 70’s has not made it to the awareness of most doctors. There are currently over 200 peer reviewed research articles dealing with the absorption, utilization and therapeutic action of orally administered systemic enzymes. A search through Pub Med using the key words: serrapeptase, papain, bromelain, trypsin, chymo trypsin, nattokinase and systemic enzyme will yield some of the extensive work. Systemic enzymes now have a 4 decade plus history of widespread medical use in central Europe and Japan.

Vitalzym with it's serrapeptase based blend of enzymes is the strongest and fastest working systemic enzyme on the planet with research to prove it.

References:

1) Carroll A., R.: Clinical examination of an enzymatic anti inflammatory agent in emergency surgery. Arztl. Praxis 24 (1972), 2307. 2) Mazzone A, et al.: Evaluation of Serratia peptidase in acute or chronic inflammation of otorhinolaryngology pathology: a multicentre, double blind, randomized trial versus placebo. J Int Med Res. 1990; 18(5):379 88. 3) Kee W., H. Tan S, L., Lee V. Salmon Y. M.: The treatment of breast engorgement with Serrapeptase: a randomized double blind controlled trial. Singapore Med J. 1989:30(l):48 54. 4) Celebrex article Wall Street Journal 19 April 1999. 5) No author listed: Regular Use of Pain Relievers Can Have Dangerous Results. Kaleidoscope Interactive News, American Medical Association media briefing. July 24, 1997. 6) Enzymes ñ A Drug of the Future, Prof. Heinrich Wrba MD and Otto Pecher MD. Published 1993 Eco Med. 7) Kakinumu A. et al.: Regression of fibrinolysis in scalded rats by administration of serrapeptase. Biochem. Pharmacol. 31:2861-2866,1982. 8) Ernst E., Matrai A.: Oral Therapy with proteolytic enzymes for modifying blood rheology. Klin Wschr. 65 (1987), 994. 9) Kunze R., Ransberger K., et at: Humoral immunomodulatory capasity of proteases in immune complex decomposition and formation. First International symposium on combination therapies,

Washington, DC, 1991. 10) Jager H.: Hydrolytic Enzymes in the therapy of HIV disease. Zeitschr. Allgemeinmed., 19 (1990),

160. 11) Bartsch W.: The treatment of herpes zoster using proteolytic enzymes. Der Informierte Arzt. 2 (1974), 424 429.

The Effect of Body Acidity on Health

Excess body acidity is thought to be the first step towards premature aging, the interference with eyesight and memory, the beginning stages of wrinkling, age spots, dysfunctioning hormone systems, and a host of age related phenomena. Medical studies are confirming that body acidity is implicated in almost all diseases.

As we age we become more acidic. The body of most aged individuals is very acidic, loaded with toxic wastes in the blood stream, cells and lymphatic system. These acidic wastes come from many sources. If you were to keep your skin, muscles, organs and glands alkaline like they were when you were a baby, you would dramatically slow down the aging process.

  • Initial signs of body tissue acidity include:
  • Feeling weak, tired and having low energy
  • Experiencing agitation, anxiety, panic attacks and depression
  • Having skin problems like eczema, psoriasis, acne and hives
  • Suffering generalized aches and pain
  • Experiencing diarrhea, constipation or bloating
  • Suffering from cramping before or during periods
  • Experiencing heartburn
  • Needing more sleep
  • Having increased dental decay
  • Feeling nauseous
  • Suffering from loss of libido

Signs of long term body acidity are far more serious and include:

  • Osteoporosis
  • Weak immune system
  • Chronic digestive problems
  • Arthritis, joint and ligament problems
  • Kidney stones, kidney diseases and gout
  • Heart and circulation problems
  • Fungal and bacterial infections
  • Cancers
  • Acidosis

Excess acidity is a condition that weakens all body systems. Excess acidity forces the body to borrow minerals including calcium, sodium, potassium and magnesium from vital organs, bones and teeth to buffer (neutralize) the acid and safely remove it from the body. As a result, the body can suffer severe and prolonged corrosion due to high acidity a condition that may go undetected for years. Acidosis leads to serious problems with major organs such as the liver, heart or kidneys. In this article, we will be looking into some of the reasons as to why we should avoid acidosis.

It leads to weight gain and diabetes

An acidic pH may result in weight problems such as diabetes and obesity. When our body is too acidic, we suffer from a condition known as Insulin Sensitivity. This forces excessive insulin to be produced. As a result, the body is flooded with so much insulin that it diligently converts every calorie into fat.

It is very likely that an acid pH, from an imbalanced diet, produces a condition, which stimulates the predetermined genetic response to starvation and famine. Thereafter, the body will have to increasingly hoard every calorie consumed and store it as fat.

Some people reckon that an acid pH immediately signals the powerful genetic response to an impending famine, directly interpreting with the all-important and very sensitive Insulin-Glucagon Axis. When this happens, it makes the body produce more insulin than usual, and in turn, produce more fats and store it.

On the other hand, a healthy and slightly alkaline pH will yield normal fat burning metabolic activities, making no demands on the body to produce extra insulin and make fats. As such, this allows fat to be burned and naturally lost. A healthy pH diet is also less likely to have any yo-yo effects, or rebounding from a diet with additional weight gain.

We should try to maintain a healthy slightly alkaline pH so as to allow fats to be burnt normally for energy, rather than hoarded and stored under the mistaken biochemical belief of an impending famine.

Acidosis also disrupts the insulin producing pancreatic beta cells

These beta cells are especially sensitive to pH and cannot survive if the body is too acidic. When this occurs, beta cells will lose phase with one another. Their cellular communication will be thwarted and the body's immune system will start to over-respond. Stress within the cells will increase, making them more difficult to perform adequately and survive.

It accelerates free radical damage and premature aging

Acidosis leads to partial lipid breakdown and destructive oxidative cascades accelerating free radical damage of cell walls and intracellular membrane structures. In this process, many healthy cells are destroyed.

Acidosis is the first step towards premature aging and accelerated oxidative cascades of cell wall destruction. Signs of acidosis may include wrinkling, age spots, failing hormonal systems, interfering with eyesight, memory, and a host of other age-related phenomena. Unwanted wastes not properly eliminated from the body actually poison the cells.

It disrupts lipid and fatty acid metabolism

Acidosis generally disrupts lipid and fatty acid, which are involved in nerve and brain function. This disruption causes neurological problems such as MS, MD as well as problems with hormonal balance within the endocrine system.

An acidic environment also causes LDL-cholesterol to be laid down at an accelerated rate in the heart, inappropriately lining and clogging up the vascular network. In other words, an acid pH initiates electrostatic potential, damaging arterial walls, which in turn initiates a PDGF-dependent immune response, causing cholesterol oxidation and the formation of plaque with heavy metals.

It corrodes arteries, veins, and heart tissues

Like acid eating into marble; acidosis erodes and eats into cell wall membranes of the heart, arteries and veins. During this process of erosion, our heart structures and inter connective tissues are weakened.

All living tissues are sensitive to their chemical environment. The muscle cells of the heart are no different. The entire cardiovascular system is directly affected by blood plasma pH and works as one large working "system of tubular muscles" to carry blood and nutrients to all living tissue in the body. The pumping of the heart drives blood through the arteries, veins and capillary beds and helps to regulate blood pressure and the flow of blood circulation.

The heart is normal when the pH of blood plasma is slightly alkaline, having a pH of 7.35 to 7.41. When the heart plasma rises to an acidic pH of more than 7.35, it gradually erodes away the smooth muscle tissues of the inner walls of the arteries and veins, as well as the heart itself. This process will start to weaken the structural composition of the heart, arterial and venous walls, causing lesions and microscopic tearing throughout its framework.

At the same time, an acid pH destabilizes free ionic balances within circulation, increasing the populations of positively charges particles (cations, an ion with a positive charge of electricity: H, Ca) which directly interfere with the muscle contractility (contraction and relaxation) of the heart and arteries.

Acid pH changes of blood are now thought to result in the following:

A. Development of arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries)

B. Aneurysm (widening and ballooning of artery walls)

C. Arrhythmias (abnormal rhythms of the heart including tachycardia)

D. Myocardial infarction (heart attacks)

E. Strokes (a cardiovascular accident).

The structural weakening of the cardiocascularity also creates irregularities of blood pressure, which further exacerbates the above problems.

It alters the energy metabolism and reserve

When your body has an acidic pH, it will prevent efficient cellular and body metabolism. Acidosis results in chemical ionic disturbances, interfering with cellular communications and functions. Acidosis reduces plus calcium binding of plasma proteins, therefore reducing the effectiveness of this intracellular signal. It also results in a disease of calcium cations (positive calcium) entry through positive calcium channels. This leads to a reduction of cardiac contractibility, or the ability of the heart to pump efficiently and rhythmically.

Positive calcium and hydrogen regulate the activities of intracellular proteins and are driven out of the cells by the "Sodium-Potassium pump" (Na-K pump). This pump provides a strong incentive for sodium to be driven into cells. It also regulates the amount of both sodium and potassium in the body stores, and uses as much as 25 percent of our caloric input daily.

Positive calcium exchanges the plus sodium, being forced out of cells, but naturally, the electrochemical gradient for positive calcium favors both positive hydrogen and positive calcium entry into cells, as there is less calcium and positive hydrogen in cells than in the extra-cellular fluids. In extra-cellular fluids, there is 10 times more the amount of positive sodium.

In acidic solutions, less plus sodium is available, therefore slowing down the processing and induction of nutritional items going into the cells. This increases positive hydrogen and calcium buildup within the plasma, making it more available to electro-statically bind with LDL-Cholesterol.

As a result, with free positive calcium populations and channels being disrupted, calcium may become inordinately leached from the bone masses. This causes osteoporosis. In a nutshell, an acidic pH drains us of energy and disallows stored energy reserves to be used.

It slows the delivery of oxygen into the cell

Acidosis reduces oxygen in the blood. As all living tissues, especially the heart and brain need oxygen to function; a lack of it will lead to eventual death. Having an acidic pH will reduce the amount of oxygen that is delivered to the cells. They will eventually die.

Diseases associated with acidosis

It is important to note that the body's biochemistry is an important but just one of many tools to help the physician understand the whole body. A pH result on its own is not a diagnostic tool and is not a medical diagnosis of any disease. What then happens when the body is too acidic? An acidic balance will:

  1. Decrease the body's ability to absorb minerals and other nutrients
  2. Decrease energy production in the cells
  3. Decrease the body's ability to repair damaged cells
  4. Decrease the body's ability to detoxify heavy metals
  5. Enable tumor cells to thrive
  6. Make the body more susceptible to fatigue and illness.

Some people who have high acidity levels tend to exhibit these symptoms such as: anxiety, diarrhea, dilated pupils, extroverted behavior, fatigue in early morning, headaches, hyperactivity, hyper sexuality, insomnia, nervousness, rapid heartbeat, restless legs, shortness of breath, strong appetite, high blood pressure, warm dry hands and feet.

Most of the time, the body becomes acidic due to a diet rich in acids, emotional stress, toxic overload, and/or immune reactions or any process that deprives the cells of oxygen and other nutrients. When this happens, the body will try to compensate for acidic pH by using alkaline minerals such as calcium. As a result, calcium is removed from the bones, causing osteoporosis. Acidosis, which is an extended time in the acid pH state, can result in rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, lupus, tuberculosis, osteoporosis, high blood pressure and most cancers.

Two main factors leading to cancer are an acidic pH and a lack of oxygen. As such, are we able to manipulate these two factors so as to prevent and control cancer? Everyone knows that cancer needs an acidic and low oxygen environment to survive and flourish. Research has proven that terminal cancer patients have an acidity level of 1,000 times more than normal healthy people. The vast majority of terminal cancer patients have a very acidic pH.

Why is this so?

The reason is simple. Without oxygen, glucose undergoing fermentation becomes lactic acid. This causes the pH of the cell to drop to 7.0. In more advance cancer cases, the pH level falls further to 6.5. Sometimes, the level can even fall to 6.0 and 5.7 or lower. The basic truth is that our bodies simply cannot fight diseases if our pH is not properly balanced.

(About The Author Michael Lam, M.D., M.P.H., A.B.A.A.M. is a specialist in Preventive and Anti-Aging Medicine. He is currently the Director of Medical Education at the Academy of Anti-Aging Research,

U.S.A. He received his Bachelor of Science degree from Oregon State University, and his Doctor of Medicine degree from Loma Linda University School of Medicine, California. He also holds a Masters of Public Health degree and is Board Certification in Anti-aging Medicine by the American Board of Anti-Aging Medicine. Dr. Lam pioneered the formulation of the three clinical phases of aging as well as the concept of diagnosis and treatment of sub-clinical age related degenerative diseases to deter the aging process. Dr. Lam has been published extensively in this field.

He is the author of The Five Proven Secrets to Longevity (available on-line). He also serves as editor of the Journal of Anti-Aging Research.)

The Long Term Effects of Living with Excess Acid

Structural System

The calcium stored in bones is released when serum and soft tissue calcium is decreased, binding and neutralizing excess acid in the tissues. This initial calcium depletion in the muscle can cause muscle cramps. As calcium is pulled from the bones to neutralize more acid, the bone stores of calcium become depleted causing osteoporosis, weakened and collapsed vertebrae and, often, poor posture and back pain. The calcium mobilized from the bones gets deposited as calcium-acid salts in the joints, leading to degenerative arthritis.

Nervous System

When brain cells are too acidic, they don’t function correctly. This results in the inability to produce the appropriate chemicals (neurotransmitters) to communicate with adjacent brain cells. This can result in insomnia, anxiety, depression, neuroses, psychoses and impairment of memory. Since the brain is supposed to communicate through the spinal cord and other nerves to every cell in the body (heart cells, intestinal cells, muscle cells, glandular cells, etc.), every body system can dysfunction if the nervous system is not functioning optimally due to acidic imbalance.

Circulatory System

During conditions of excessive acidity, bacteria, fungi and/or viruses can attach themselves to the inner wall of arteries. This then attracts white blood cells, clotting proteins, clotting cells, etc. to the area. This may cause a plaque to form in the artery, thus narrowing the artery and restricting the flow of blood, oxygen and nutrients to the tissues supplied by that artery. If the coronary artery is involved, a heart attack

can occur. If excess acidity is present, calcium, which was mobilized out of the bone to buffer the acid, can deposit in the arterial plaque, thus converting the plaque from soft to hard. The plaque makes the arteries stiff, which can cause an increase in blood pressure.

Digestive System

When the pH is too acidic, the cells lining the stomach and small intestine, along with the cells in the pancreas that are responsible for producing and releasing digestive enzymes, don’t function correctly. This results in indigestion, gas, bloating and abdominal cramping. If a sufficient amount of nutrients are not being absorbed by the body from food, the entire body can experience malnutrition. Undigested foods may ferment in the intestines causing toxicity.

Intestinal System

Excessive acidity causes the cells of the colon to dysfunction, which can result in diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome, constipation or diverticulitis. A disturbed acid balance in the colon can also cause unfriendly microbes to grow and thrive, which can result in colitis, inflammatory bowel disease (including Crohn’s) or hemorrhoids.

Immune System

Immune cells that are too acidic do not produce antibodies or cytokines (chemical messengers to regulate other immune cells), and they have impaired phagocytosis (the ability to engulf and destroy microbes). As a result, the effected individual becomes susceptible to viral, bacterial, and fungal microbes, as well as cancer.

Respiratory System

The binding of oxygen to hemoglobin in the lungs operates in a fairly narrow pH range. If the pH is too acidic, microbes in the airways can grow much more easily, invade human cells, cause bronchitis, pneumonia, sinusitis, etc., and in doing so, can result in cough, bronchial spasms (asthma) and increased susceptibility to allergens (hay fever).

Urinary System

The urinary system helps to eliminate toxic waste products from the body. Women have bacteria and/or fungi in their bladders because of their shorter urethra which connects the urinary bladder to the exterior of the body. These microbes can grow rapidly if the urine’s pH is not in the proper range. In excessive acidic conditions, calcium, which is mobilized from the bone to buffer the acid, can form calcium crystals and stones in the kidney’s collection system.

Glandular System

All of the endocrine glands produce hormones through enzymatic action. If the pH is too acidic, the glandular cells cannot produce and release sufficient hormones for the body’s needs. This results in mood swings, blood sugar imbalances, fatigue, reproductive difficulties, etc.

Weight Loss

When the pH is too acidic, the metabolic enzymes inside the cells do not work efficiently, which impairs the proper breakdown of fats, etc.

DIM (Di­Indoly Methan) For Natural Protection From Estrogen’s Effect

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Frequently Asked Questions

Compiled by Thomas Stearns Lee, NMD

What do perimenopause, premenstrual syndrome, enlarged prostate glands, and early heart attacks have in common? Estrogen. A new understanding of healthy estrogen metabolism is providing a natural treatments for these and other important conditions confronting both women and men.

Fortunately, phytonutrients discovered in cruciferous vegetables offer a natural approach to resolving estrogen imbalance. Dietary supplementation with an absorbable form of one of these phytonutrients, called Di­Indoly Methane (DIM), helps promote healthier estrogen metabolism. DIM's hormonal balancing effects have revealed these midlife problems are not due to estrogen itself alone, but rather, to estrogen metabolism imbalances.

Q. What is DIM, and how can it help hormones?

A. DIM is a phytonutrient (plant nutrient) found in cruciferous vegetables. These include cabbage, broccoli, bok choy, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, kale, kohlrabi, mustard, rutabaga, and turnip. These plants have been cultivated for thousands of years and were initially used for their medicinal benefits. The connection between DIM and hormones like estrogen has to do with similar characteristics between them at the molecular level. DIM is not an estrogen or a hormone, but like estrogen it shares the common characteristic of being poorly soluble in water. Like estrogen, DIM can be metabolized only by a special class of cytochrome enzymes that reside in cell membranes in the non-water part of cells. It turns out that DIM, when consumed in food or in absorbable formulations, encourages its own metabolism. This special metabolic pathway for DIM, and the enzymes involved, precisely overlap with the pathway needed for healthy estrogen metabolism.

Stated simply, supplementing the diet with DIM specifically promotes beneficial estrogen metabolism and helps restore a healthy hormonal balance.

Q. What is estrogen dominance?

A. Middle-aged men and women experience changes in hormone production and metabolism resulting in excess estrogen action. There are three basic forms of this common imbalance known as estrogen dominance.

Perimenopause. In women, slower hormone metabolism in midlife can mean higher-than-normal levels of estrogen and a deficiency in its healthy metabolites. Faltering estrogen metabolism often occurs in women during perimenopause, the years before menopause, and is characterized by higher monthly estrogen levels prior to estrogen's dramatic fall at menopause.(2) Additionally, progesterone levels fall during perimenopause, resulting in a rising estrogen-to-progesterone ratio.

Middle­aged men. Rising estrogen also becomes a problem for men during their 50s and 60s. In overweight men, testosterone is increasingly converted into estrogen by aromatase and rising estrogen also competes with falling testosterone. This corresponds to a time during which estrogen accumulates in the prostate gland. Estrogen is believed to contribute to benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH).(3)

Acquired estrogen imbalance. This important form of estrogen dominance has to do with inherited problems in estrogen metabolism and influences of diet and chemicals on beneficial metabolite production. Acquired estrogen imbalance affects both men and women. Almost 20 years ago, H. Leon Bradlow, Ph.D., a renowned breast cancer investigator, discovered women with breast and uterine cancer made too little of the 2-hydroxy or "good" metabolite of estrogen and too much of the 16-hydroxy or "bad" variety.(4)

Since 16-hydroxy is an unregulated form of estrogen prone to behave like "super-estrogen," higher levels create a particularly unhealthy form of estrogen dominance. 16-hydroxy estrogens can result in mutations, abnormal growth (as in cervical dysplasia),(5) and an increased risk of future breast cancer.(6) Overproduction of 16hydroxy estrogen is also seen in obesity,(7) high-fat diets,(8) and exposure to a host of "estrogenic" environmental chemicals.(9) Therefore, this dangerous form of estrogen dominance can result from inheritance, diet, and environmental chemicals.

Q. What benefits can DIM offer?

A. Supplementing our diets with DIM can shift the production of estrogen metabolites away from dangerous 16-hydroxy in favor of beneficial 2-hydroxy metabolites. Taking DIM in an absorbable formulation encourages active and healthy estrogen metabolism. DIM supports estrogen balance by increasing beneficial 2-hydroxy estrogens and reducing the unwanted 16-hydroxy variety.

This improves estrogen metabolism and helps resolve all three forms of estrogen dominance.

NaturoDoc Note: Remember, 2-hydroxy is good; 16-hydroxy is bad.

Q. Why not just eat more cruciferous vegetables?

A. Recent reports, like one from the Fred Hutchison Cancer Center in Seattle, Washington indicate a higher intake of cruciferous vegetables is associated with a lower risk of prostate cancer.

This study indicates cruciferous vegetables are protective for hormone-sensitive cancers. However, direct measurements of upward, beneficial shifts in estrogen metabolism indicate you would have to eat at least two pounds per day of raw or lightly cooked cruciferous vegetables to derive the same benefit as two capsules of specially formulated DIM. Benefits for cervical dysplasia, PMS, BPH, and other conditions have not been seen with the use of broccoli, cabbage juice, or dried powders or extracts from vegetables.

Absorbable DIM formulations overcome the need for active enzymes within the vegetable and chemical reactions in your stomach to produce DIM. For similar reasons, absorbable DIM provides many advantages over indole-3carbinol (I3C), another cruciferous phytochemical available as a supplement. I3C is an unstable precursor that requires activation in the stomach to be converted into DIM. This means I3C must be taken at a much higher dose and can undergo unpredictable and undesirable chemical reactions in your stomach and colon. DIM, in a delivery system to assure absorption, is by far preferable to the supplemental use of I3C.

Q. How much DIM is recommended?

A. To replace the DIM from healthy amounts of cruciferous vegetables in the diet, women should take a starting dose of about 15 mg per day of actual DIM in an absorbable formulation. Men should take about 30 mg per day of actual DIM in the same absorbable or bioavailable formulation. These amounts can be increased three to four times on an individual basis to derive needed benefits for hormonal balance and metabolism. Based on testing in men, improved estrogen metabolism, easier weight loss, and prostate health require a higher dose of DIM than in women.

Since pure DIM must be provided in an absorption-enhancing formulation, the dose for DIM sometimes specifies the weight of the absorbable formulation, which is only one-fourth, or 25 percent DIM. In the book, All About DIM, the suggested dose of 100 to 200 mg per day for women and 200 to 400 mg of DIM per day for men refers to milligrams of such an absorbable formulation.(15) This dose range for hormonal balance corresponds to 25 to 50 mg per day of actual DIM for women and 50 to 100 mg of actual DIM for men.

Q. What’s exciting about the effect of DIM on premenstrual syndrome (PMS)?

A. PMS symptoms of irritability, aggression, tension, depression, mood swings, water retention, and breast pain or swelling are frequently seen in perimenopausal women.(16) While a reduction in PMS severity has been seen with nutritional therapy, full resolution has been elusive. These interventions have included lower-fat diets,(17) and supplementation with minerals, Vitamin D,(18) and herbal extracts.(19)

PMS symptom improvement has been noted after beginning dietary supplementation with absorbable DIM. These results suggest DIM is able to correct the estrogen imbalance in PMS. Torbjorn Backstrom, M.D., an eminent researcher in the field (20), and others (21) have documented that estradiol, the primary active form of estrogen, is elevated in PMS. Backstrom also has shown the degree of estradiol elevation correlates with symptom severity.(22)

Also encouraging is the observation that the enzyme pathways promoted by DIM help metabolize pregnenolone sulfate.(23) Pregnenolone sulfate is a brain hormone important for memory, but which causes anxiety if levels are too high. Like estrogen, pregnenolone sulfate is elevated in PMS.(24) Its healthy metabolism produces beneficial, immune stimulating metabolites and may help relieve anxiety. Absorbable DIM supplementation promotes healthier metabolism of both estrogen and pregnenolone in PMS.

Q. What's the best supplementation approach to PMS?

A. A strong nutritional approach to PMS includes bio-available DIM, chaste berry extract, Vitamin D, calcium, and magnesium. Synergistic interaction of these ingredients benefits PMS. An example of this synergy is the ability of beneficial 2-hydroxy estrogens to increase progesterone production (25), potentiating this effect by chasteberry extract.(26) This new nutritional approach to PMS helps with mineral and hormonal balance. DIM works in conjunction with chasteberry extract to resolve the dominance of estrogen over progesterone.

Q. How can helping estrogen metabolism benefit men?

A. Everyone knows estrogen is an important hormone for reproduction in women. What is not often appreciated is that estrogen levels, though lower than those in women, are also essential in men. However, midlife changes in men result in excess estrogen production beyond its minimal essential level.

Like perimenopausal women, men experience a tendency to gain weight in midlife. Rising estrogen production can result, since fat cells contain the aromatase enzyme that converts testosterone into estrogen. Unmetabolized estrogen creates a vicious cycle resulting in further estrogen production. This

occurs because fat is one source of more active aromatase enzymes, causing further estrogen production and continuing weight gain.(27) An open label study of DIM in overweight men and women showed it promoted more efficient weight loss and more active fat metabolism.

In this regard, DIM is similar to green tea extract (28) and spices like cayenne pepper.(29) DiindolyImethane may have a role in helping to intervene with excess estrogen production associated with obesity and male aging. Besides weight gain, another aspect of early aging in men is prostate gland enlargement.

It has been clearly established that estrogen accumulates in aging prostate glands at the same time enlargement occurs.(30) This process is linked to difficulty with urination and frequent urination at night. The role of estrogen is still being established in this process, but research using estrogen binding substances shows lowering estrogen levels improves the symptoms of nighttime urination.(31) Use of absorbable DIM by men with these same symptoms has proven beneficial.

Q. Can DIM help improve the safety of hormone replacement therapy (HRT)?

A. Despite a growing list of benefits attributed to estrogen, which include younger-looking skin, more comfortable sex, and better memory, women often view its potential side effects as unacceptable. Study of postmenopausal women receiving long-term HRT with estrogen and estrogen/progesterone combinations has revealed an unequivocal increase in breast cancer risk.(32)

NaturoDoc Note: These studies were done with Premarin, horse estrogens, and synthetic progestins, NOT progesterone.

Added concerns relate to the increase in the incidence of uterine cancer, and increased risk of life-threatening blood clots, especially after bone fracture.(33) Most recently, the nationwide HERS study reported the concerning finding that women with a history of heart disease had an increased risk of heart attack in the first year after starting estrogen.(34)

Many of estrogen's risks can be related to a lack of its beneficial metabolites. It is now known that a lower risk of future breast cancer is associated with higher 2-hydroxy estrogen levels. Supplementation with bioavailable DIM increases protective 2-hydroxy estrogen and therefore may reduce the risk of HRT-related cancer. Reduction in the risk of abnormal blood clot formation related to HRT estrogen would benefit women who suffer fractures while on HRT, but also may benefit women with early heart disease. It has been known since the Framingham Study in Massachusetts that men with the highest estradiol level had the highest risk of early heart attack.(35) DIM may help normalize the cardiac risk in both men and women related to unhealthy or underactive estrogen

metabolism. Also, the beneficial 2-hydroxy metabolites have been shown to be powerful antioxidants,(36) which may contribute to protecting against the early stages of atherosclerosis and subsequent heart attacks.

Conclusion

DIM supplementation is a nutritional approach to achieving a safer and healthier estrogen metabolism, or of protecting it. Many of the benefits traditionally ascribed to estrogen (protection from heart disease, healthy skin, bones, and brain) may actually reside with its beneficial metabolites, the 2-hydroxy estrogens. DIM supplementation is a natural promoter of this specific pathway of healthy estrogen metabolism.

Why Should I Detoxify?

Never before in human history have we been exposed to so many environmental toxins!  The air we breathe and the chemicals in our food, water, houses, and workplaces – as well as the various products we put on our bodies – all expose us to environmental toxins.  Low-level bioaccumulation from multiple sources increases our toxic food, which may have the potential to affect our health.  This is especially true with persistent bioaccumulative toxic (PBT) chemicals, since they are not readily destroyed and can remain in our systems for a long time.  According to the Environmental Protection Agency, many chemicals that can be harmful to humans, including PBT chemicals, are not even subject to reporting under the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) program.

Our bodies’ detoxification organs – the kidneys, liver, lymph, lungs, intestines, and skin – are equipped to neutralize these toxins and work hard each day to either clear them out or store them.  However, due to factors such as genetics, stress levels, dietary issues, lifestyle practices, nutritional balance, and exposure, our ability to neutralize and excrete these toxins may vary.  Unless we take active steps to address toxic exposure, our health may be affected to varying degrees.

The best approach is to support the body on many fronts.  A simple cleansing diet or supplements, although helpful, may not be enough to make a major difference.  The Detox 360° program has been designed by healthcare and nutrition experts to provide a coordinated, multifaceted approach.

More Than a Cleansing Program

The goal of Detox 360° is to provide dietary and lifestyle recommendations, with supportive nutritional formulas, to support health and wellness.  It is a multifaceted program that is intended to support the immune, filtering, cleansing, and metabolic systems, as well as much more.  The program helps anchor health-supporting habits, so that dietary adjustments can be easy to follow.  It can be used as a stand-along program or in conjunction with the regimen designed by your healthcare professional and can be repeated periodically.  The dietary recommendations in this program help reduce problematic foods in one’s diet.

This four-week program includes educational DVDs, a manual with easy-to-use food guides and recipes, daily journals, detailed explanations of sources of toxicity, detox mechanisms, detox-supporting lifestyle practices, targeted nutrition, and nutritional and homeopathic products.  You are taken through a simple, step-by-step approach with clear explanations of how to complete each week’s regimen. 

How Low of a Low Carb Diet is Correct for You?

As most of you know, I am a strong proponent of the Paleo lifestyle. My practice is very Paleo focused. Paleo eating leans heavily on veggies, fruits, nuts, seeds, eggs and grass fed protein. It strongly suggests a very limited consumption of grains, simple carbs and little dairy. Having said that, there is an important place for carbohydrates in your diet. They play are critical roles in many aspects of our health and metabolism. So the real questions is “What is the correct about of carbs you should be consuming?” This is the first of two news letters that will examine living a truly healthy life in relationship to the role carbs play in our diet.

Chances are, you have, at least once, been solicited to buy into some sort of miracle diet touting low-carb high protein intake as a fast and painless way of losing weight, such as Atkins or Southbeach. Many of you may even have entertained trying out this kind of extreme diet for yourself.  What most people don’t realize is that carb-intake can affect everything from your gut to your brain. Have your been feeling sluggish, anxious, or depressed? Having problems with digestion? These issues and more can all be influenced by carb-intake. When you choose to go low-carb, you are actually inviting a host of risks upon yourself. Let’s explore how to clarify the low-carb myth:

Let’s begin with the basics. For the sake of simplicity, carbohydrates are sugars, fibers, and starches. They can be found in a huge variety of foods including bread, potatoes, beans, milk, vegetables, pasta, and fruits, with the unhealthiest carbs being found in highly processed, refined foods like white bread, pastries and soda. When you eat any carb-containing food your body is provided with glucose, which is converted to energy. Our bodies need this energy to support daily bodily functions and physical activity. However, choosing unhealthy and too easily digested carbs (like white bread and soda) is a proven cause of weight gain, diabetes, and even heart disease (Harvard). In light of this new-age plague of obesity and heart disease that has stricken the country, it is no surprise that low-carb diets have been thrown into the spotlight in the past decade or so.

Low-carb diets are, obviously, based on limiting carbohydrate intake, while also encouraging consumption of foods high in protein and fat, like meat, eggs, and cheese. Most diets will give you a certain percentage of your daily calorie intake that should come from carbs. A diet low in carbohydrates would typically require somewhere around 10-20% of your daily calories to come from carbs (whereas the typical American will consume 45%-65% of calories a day from carbs) (Mayoclinic). These diets can be quite tricky, as avoiding carbs is surprisingly hard to do for most people. Imagine going to the grocery store and having to walk past all the grains, beans, nuts, fruits, pastas and starchy vegetables!

However, ad campaigns and the media will have you believe that managing to attain the sort of excessive discipline a low-carb diet requires can have great pay-offs. Carbs, particularly refined ones, can cause a quick rise in blood sugar and subsequently an increase in insulin, which can then lead to an increase in hunger and naturally, weight gain (UMM). Therefore avoiding carbs supposedly forces the body to burn stored fat for energy due to lower insulin levels, which in turn encourages weight loss (Mayoclinic). Some people have reported shedding up to 15 pounds in two weeks on the Atkins diet. However, it would be a fallacy to judge diets based on only the first few weeks of trials, for a lot can change—and reverse—when held to the test of time (US News). That being said, if a low-carb diet sounds a little too good to be true to you, you’re absolutely right! The following is a carefully researched list of what really takes place when you make the choice to go low-carb:

-As I hinted at before, low-carb diets seem a bit less promising when evaluated over long periods of time. In the short term, much of what’s shed on low-carb diets is actually just water-weight (US news). Most studies find that, after 12-24 months, low-carb diets don’t produce significantly more weight-loss when compared to diets based on mere increases in protein-intake unaccompanied by a carb decrease (Mayoclinic).

-A sudden and drastic decrease in carb-intake can inspire some pretty bad side effects including weakness, fatigue, bad breath, and headache. Severely restricted carb-intake has also been shown to result in vitamin or mineral deficiencies and/or bone loss over time (Mayoclinic). Further, carbohydrates contain valuable probiotics that help keep our guts healthy, so avoiding them could lead to an alteration of gut-flora, which often manifests as diarrhea or constipation. (Kresser).

-If you engage in moderate exercise several times a week, restricting your carb-intake can lead to severely damaging conditions, including but not limited to: decreased thyroid output, decreased testosterone, impaired cognitive function, suppressed immune function, and slowed metabolism. In other words, depriving your body of one of its main sources of energy is likely to make you feel sick and sluggish, and inspire more than just your average bad mood.

-Women are particularly prone to experiencing the negative side effects of carb deficiencies. Unbeknownst to many, low-carb diets can disrupt hormone production, leading to a stopped or irregular menstrual cycle, more body fat, and, more gravely, lowered fertility, hypoglycemia, anxiety, and depression (Precision Nutrition). 

-And finally, while low-carb diets almost always promise you heart-healthy benefits, a report from the American Heart Association concluded that there is not enough evidence to say whether or not diets low in carbohydrates are, in fact, good for the heart (Mayoclinic).

Given the evidence, it is safe to say that low-carb diets are not a good choice for most people, despite all that jazz you may hear about the Paleo diet and carb-free diets being “man’s original way of eating.” 

I would like to stress that, regardless of whether you need to diet or not, every one of you should be aware of the amount of carbs you are in fact ingesting. Many people who experience physical and mental ailments may not consider the possibility that the culprit is their diet; even worse, many are blissfully unaware of how skewed their diet is from the national recommendation, and how profound an effect these small divergences can have on the body. So if you find yourself suffering from any of the aforementioned symptoms (lethargy, indigestion, anxiety, etc.) please stay tuned for part two of this newsletter, which will be out in December and contain a guide on how to find your optimal carb–intake, without having to go to any extremes.


Needle Techniques

Skya Gardner­Abbate, DOM
Executive Director, Southwest Acupuncture College

Gentle Treatment for General Anxiety Disorder, Posttraumatic Stress and Episodic Anxiety

As the Lingshu so wisely stated centuries ago, "To every needling, the method is above all not to miss the rooting in the Spirits. To be effective and at the same time not to violate the organism goes all the way to the origin of the patient's life, to the place where the Spirits are rooted.

"The Spirits, vacillating under the emotional shock of apprehension and worry, are no longer guarded in their place and can no longer guarantee the person. There is a dispossession of that which makes the person; one loses possession of oneself."1

These ancient and astute words certainly speak to our times, not just for the 10 million Americans who suffer on a daily basis from generalized anxiety disorder (a sustained acute disorder defined as lasting six months or longer), but likewise the millions who experience posttraumatic stress (defined as symptoms persisting for longer than a month after a traumatic or catastrophic event) and episodic anxiety (a normal type of anxiety linked to an extraordinary life event). Such anxiety can be overwhelming to the person and can manifest as further social isolation; uncontrollable worry; tension; irritability; fatigue; muscular aches and pains; sleep disorders; restlessness; extreme anxiety; numbness to the event; palpitations; and being easily startled.

While each of these varieties of anxiety have nuances in terms of their definitions, they share more in common than not. Western treatments tend to center around prescription drug therapy to assist in restoring chemical balance to the brain. Most of these drugs are meant to be used in the short­term; some can become addictive, such as benzodiazepines like valium and ativan. Many produce other undesirable side­effects such as decreased appetite; dry mouth; sweating; constipation; tremor; fatigue; sexual side­effects; and more.

Dr. Allen Keller, a primary care physician at New York's Bellevue Hospital who heads up a group called Survivors of Torture, recommends the following mechanisms as ways to cope with these disorders:

1.       Encourage the patient to maintain social connections in the wake of these problems.

2.       Don't force the patient to talk about the traumatic event that is affecting them. (The keyword here is force ­my italics.) However, allow them to talk about it even if all you can do is listen. You do not have to have a solution, just a compassionate ear.

3.       Acknowledge the person's experience of the event and support them in their experience over emphasizing the medicalization (somatatizing) of their condition.

4.       Periodically check in with the person on the somatic symptoms of their distress.

 

As practitioners, I believe these principles can be applied by us as well. This is not to say that the experience of anxiety is not real, nor that the somatized symptoms are likewise false, for they are very real physically and can be problematic to the functioning of the person and his or her health. Our aim as

practitioners is to bring them back to balance. The strength of our medicine is twofold: its energetic paradigm, which recognizes patterns of disharmony, and the gentle treatment tools we employ.

While a nonspecific stress reaction serves to disturb the flow of energy in the body, a specific stress reaction may involve various zang­fu organs. They typically involve the liver, spleen, heart, lung and kidney. The correct differentiation of signs and symptoms can reveal their roles. Such stress can lead to symptoms of stagnation, particularly of the blood. Various acupuncture points may be selected for treatment based on proper discernment of the pattern of disharmony, with the generalized aim of treatment to move the blood, strengthen the organs (if need be), and redistribute and balance the qi.

In my experience with all three varieties, both personally and professionally, I have found that there is room for the judicious use of Western medications for the initial phase of shock and stabilization, the therapeutic advice of stress experts, and the unsurpassed efficacy of acupuncture for rebalancing the patient's energy and promoting recovery.

Certainly as practitioners, we must treat what we see and do no harm, so there are no set formulae for treatment. Treatments should be conservative (that is, the use of few needles). My repertoire of preferred point selection includes the ones that follow. For space considerations and clinician convenience, their unique energetics, preferred locations and needling techniques are summarized in table format. Due to the nature of the problem being addressed, and for patient comfort, use #1 30mm Seirin needles. Needles may be retained for 10­15 minutes.

 

Points Energetics Locations Needle Techniques
HT7(Shenmen) Heart 7, the earth point and
sedation point of the heart meridian
quiets the heart, calms the spirit
and puts the patient into a state
of receptivity for treatment.
Standard Chinese location:
in the depression at the wrist
crease between the pisiform
and the ulnar bones on the radial
side of the tendon of the muscle flexor carpi ulnaris.
Puncture perpendicularly 0.3 in.
SP6(Sanyinjiao) As group luo of the three leg yi
(LR, SP, KI), SP6 nourishes they
in of the entire body. It regulates
the blood.
Standard Chinese location:three cun
above the tip of the medial malleolus,
on the posterior border of the fibula,
on the line drawn from the medial
malleolus to SP9.
Puncture perpendicularly0.3¬0.5 in.Contraindicated in
pregnancy.
Yintang As the reflex point of the pituitary
gland, it regulates the blood.
By doing so, it controls hormonal
secretions and the chemical composition
of the blood. It calms the spirit and
promotes relaxation. It is the
so-called "happy point."
Standard Chinese location:
In the center of the glabella,
between the medial end of the
eyebrows.
Puncture subcutaneously
and transversely downward(toward the nose) with a threading
technique 0.5¬0.8 in.
(Baihui) Awakens the brain, strengthens
the brain as a sea of marrow
Opens the orifices, clears the mind,
stabilizes the will and purifies
the spirit. Expels liver wind,spreads
liver qi, restores collapsed yang
Regulates the qi of the heart
Clears heat, stops spasm.
Standard Chinese location:
five cun within the anterior
hairline on the midpoint that
connects he apex of the two
auricles.
Massage deeply or puncture
gently with a#1 Seirin needle
030.5 In.
KI1(Yongquan) As the sedation point, tonifies
yin,clears heat, subdues wind
and empty heat, clears the brain,
restores consciousness. Suppresses
the liver,regulates blood to the
upper part ofthe body
Standard Chinese location:
On the sole of the foot;when
the foot is in plantar flexion,
the point is located at
the upper third and middle
two thirds of the sole.
Puncture perpendicular0.30.5 in.Contraindication in pregnancy.
KI16(Huangshu) Strengthens root qi, tonifies
the kidney, connects to the heart.
Tonifies lung, spleen and kidney
because the navel = earth element;
earth is mother of lung and grandmother
of kidney.
Japanese location:
0.5 cun all around the center of the umbilcus.
Puncture obliquely0.5-1.0 in.
towards the navel

In summary, Oriental medicine has tremendous clinical relevance for the normal stresses of daily life and the inordinate stresses of the 21st century. It is efficacious physically and psychologically, yet gentle, and nourishes on the deepest level of our existence ­the Spirit.

Reference

1. Quoted in Rooted in Spirit, by Jean Claude Larre and Elizabeth Rochat de la Valle. Barrytown, NY: Station Hill Press, 1995, pp. 4­5.

Skya Gardner­Abbate, DOM Executive Director, Southwest Acupuncture College Santa Fe, New Mexico

Editor's note: If you would like to comment on Dr. Abbate's article, please contact Acupuncture Today by fax (714) 899­4273 or e­mail (Editorial@AcupunctureToday.com). You are also encouraged to discuss Dr. Abbate's article at her "Talk Back" forum at www.AcupunctureToday.com/columnists/abbate.

Enzyme Nutrition: Your Key to Unlocking Better Health

When you first read the words “Enzyme Nutrition,” you might say to yourself, “What’s the big deal? I eat healthy foods. Why do I need Enzyme Nutrition?”

Here’s the answer:

What you eat is important, but it’s what happens to food after you eat it that’s even more important. If your body can’t absorb your food’s essential nutrients because of a compromised digestive system, you can eat the healthiest diet imaginable and still not receive adequate nutrition to keep your body healthy.

Enzyme Nutrition, then, is the process through which we can begin restoring a compromised digestive system. Before we go any further into a discussion of how Enzyme Nutrition works, though, let’s take a look at the function of digestion itself.

The Importance of Digestion The digestive system plays two essential roles in our bodies:

  1. It is responsible for ingesting, digesting, absorbing, transporting, utilizing, and eliminating food.
  2. It houses the majority of the body’s immune system, serving as its defense against disease.

 

When the digestive system becomes compromised by stress, these critical functions can become impaired and a host of conditions can arise, including:

  • Allergies (both food and environmental)
  • Arthritis
  • Asthma
  • Bronchitis
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Gastro Intestinal Disorders (Crohn‘s, Colitis, IBS)
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Sinus problems
  • Skin problems such as psoriasis, eczema, and acne
  • Stomach problems (gastritis, ulcers, acid reflux)
  • Unresolved Muscular Skeletal Pain

All of these conditions can be difficult to recover from, especially when the body’s ability to heal has already been reduced by the compromised digestive system.

So why can’t the body heal? What is hindering its ability to return to homeostasis, the state of balance wherein all bodily functions are working in harmony? The answer lies in the body’s inability to absorb, assimilate and utilize the nutrients it needs from food as well as to eliminate all the waste associated with digestion. These tasks are critical for the normal healthy functioning of the body. Treatments such as chiropractic and acupuncture can provide temporary relief, but eventually the original symptoms return. Why? Because the core of the body’s healing powers—the digestive system—has been compromised, and until its proper function is restored, its ability to heal will be impaired.

Returning to Well-Being

Every person is affected differently by the intersection of age, gravity, stress, and genetics; each of these factors conspire to deplete our bodies of the vital nutrients we require, and each of us reacts in our own unique way to these situations. In addition, our bodies experience a wide range of stresses on a daily basis: emotional, biomechanical (such as an accident or repetitive sports injury), and biochemical (overexposure to pharmaceuticals, alcohol, or drugs).What happens to the body when it is constantly subjected to these stresses?

The answer, in every case, is that the body is depleted of vital nutrients. When the body doesn’t have what it needs to heal, nourish and return to homeostasis, symptoms of underlying illness arise. You don’t want to chase symptoms—you’ll never catch them. You must treat the illness, not the symptom, and that can’t happen without a proper understanding of the underlying situation.

And that’s where Enzyme Nutrition comes in.

Enzyme Nutrition: The Value of Form and Function Enzyme Nutrition provides a methodology to help understand what nutritional deficiencies the body is experiencing and how to address them. At its foundation, Enzyme Nutrition is about understanding the relationship between the form and function of the body. Improper function of the body’s various systems such as digestion is reflected in very precise ways in the body’s form. By analyzing and observing the body’s form, we can learn how it is functioning, make the proper adjustments through enzyme supplementation, and empower the body to heal itself to restore health.

There are three steps in the process of assessing the body’s function through its form:

  1. A 24-hour urinalysis
  2. 12-hour-fasting reflex exam
  3. A “signs and symptoms” survey

The 24-hour urinalysis is a biochemical analysis that provides insight into the body’s condition by noting what is (and is not) in the urine. If a substance does not appear in the urine, we know the body needs it and is retaining it. Conversely, if there are higher levels of substances than should be present in the urine (plus substances that shouldn’t be there at all), we know the body is eliminating them. If we see undesirable substances in the urine, we know they are in the body, too. The urinalysis is a prognostic test rather than a diagnostic test, in that it can predict what diseases might occur if the situation remains untreated.

At a second appointment, the 12-hour-fasting reflex exam is performed. This thorough assessment measures 30 pressure points that help identify nutritional deficiencies. As each pressure point is manipulated, you are asked for a response. After all points are measured, a plant-based nutritional drink is administered. After you have digested the drink (roughly 45 minutes), the pressure points are retested to see which points duplicate the initial responses.

Lastly, a 10-page “signs and symptoms” survey is completed. The signs and symptoms survey gathers a wide range of information about your health, habits, and history. It starts with the basic information like medical history and diet, then goes deeper with questions about your immune system and your ability to heal, your state of mind, and digestion.

These three tests, taken as a whole, provide a complete overview of the body’s condition. At a follow-up appointment, we present a complete “statement of findings,” explain the results, and suggest the appropriate Enzyme Therapy to address the conditions revealed. Depending on the condition, it can take from several weeks to several months of Enzyme Therapy to achieve resolution. Recommended enzymes can be obtained at local pharmacies; the Acupuncture Center of Ann Arbor does not sell enzyme supplements to assure we have only your health in mind.

The Science of Enzymes With the importance of enzymes established, it is helpful to learn a little more about them. Enzymes are present in all living animal and plant cells. They are the primary motivators of all natural biochemical processes; their function is to catalyze chemical reactions within the cells so that all physiological processes can occur. Life literally cannot exist without enzymes because they are the essential components of every chemical reaction in the body.

When it comes to digestion, the human body makes approximately 22 digestive enzymes. Among them are protease (capable of breaking down protein), amylase (for breaking down carbohydrates), and lipase (for breaking down fats). When taken with food, they break down food according to their specific function; when taken on an empty stomach, however, enzymes can perform additional essential functions.

Protease taken on an empty stomach, for example, will affect any virus. It is especially effective in “killing off” herpes zoster, which is the cause of shingles. Amylase will break down histamines that are created as a result of an immune reaction, while lipase will break down lactic acid that results from overuse of muscles and is often the cause of muscle strain.

It’s important to realize that discomforts in the body don’t happen in a vacuum. For every symptom, there is a primary cause. Enzyme Nutrition provides the methodology to help us understand the intersection of age, gravity, stress, and genetics and how it affects the bodies in relation to life.

Take Command of Your Health

The goal of Enzyme Nutrition is to identify what enzymes the body is lacking and then supplement them to assist the body in healing, ultimately enabling it to return to homeostasis on its own. Unfortunately, many people rely on dietary supplements to aid in health and healing, but in most cases, those supplements pass through the body unabsorbed. Enzyme Nutrition gives your digestive system the assistance it needs to extract the nutrients required for both nourishment and healing.

Addressing digestive problems is the first step in restoring well-being. Eating a healthy diet is important, but even more important is what happens to your food after you eat it. That’s where the value of Enzyme Nutrition can be realized.

Enzyme Nutrition can be an essential part of helping your body return to the path of healing and better health. When properly supported and nourished, the body can use its own powers to find renewed health and improved function. By restoring the missing nutritional components of healing, you can break the cycle of illness and enjoy true, vibrant health.

Call to Schedule a Free Consultation & Evaluation

Disclaimer:

I am an acupuncturist and an enzyme nutritionist, not a medical doctor. I do not diagnose, prescribe for, treat or claim to prevent, mitigate or cure any human diseases. I do not prescribe prescription drugs nor do I tell you to discontinue them. I provide acupuncture, enzymes and other dietary supplements to improve digestion and to nourish and support normal function and structure of the body. If you suspect any disease, please consult your physician"

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. They are not intended to diagnose, prescribe for, treat or claim to prevent, mitigate or cure any human disease. They are intended for nutritional support only. The FTC requires that we tell you that the results in case notes and testimonials published here are not typical, however, they do show what some people have been able to achieve. Individuals vary, which is why we must always consider the whole person when recommending a course of action. The third party information referred to herein is neither adopted nor endorsed by this web site but is provided for general information purposes. The listing of specific disease terms is based upon medical literature and is not a substitute for competent medical advice. If you suspect a medical condition, you should consult a physician.

Chinese Medicine and Assisted Reproductive Technology for the Modern Couple

© Roger C. Hirsh OMD, L..Ac.

Background Acupuncture and Herbal Therapy are ancient Chinese methods used for the treatment and prevention of disease. These systems are as ancient and effective as any other medical techniques used in the world today. They have been practiced consistently for the past five thousand years in the Orient. Seventy percent of one quarter of the world's population uses acupuncture and herbs as their main form of health care. Although acupuncture has been used in England, France, and Germany for several hundred years, only in the past two decades have Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) been recognized in the United States. The benefits of Acupuncture and TCM in treatment for the infertile couple can be found in early Chinese medical literature dating back to the 11AD. Not only do these techniques assist in regulating the menstrual cycle and invigorating the sperm, but they also serve to enhance the function of the whole body. This "whole body" health approach, in turn, provides a key to unlock unlimited potential in healing. This is especially appropriate for the over 40 couple as it stimulates overall health to effect reproductive health and a reduction of biological age.

PMS, amenorrhea, endometriosis, blocked fallopian tubes, immune system incongruities, and infertility related hormonal problems yield to many of these old world (traditional) procedures. Furthermore, herbal formulas that tonify the Kidney energy (renal and adrenal function), and Kidney essence (jing) are especially beneficial in raising sperm count and motility. The highly technical and expensive methods used in Western Medicine are supported by the complimentary set of procedures and herbal recommendations. In addition to the use of Acupuncture, TCM and herbal formulas, complete treatment programs also include a series of Qi Kung (pronounced chee gung) healing energy exercises to enhance the flow of specific meridians. These exercises, which were developed by Chinese Taoists (metaphysicians) over 3,000 years ago, stimulate the flow of intrinsic energy in the body which, in turn, enhances health and benefits organ function. The meditative dance­like movements which coordinate with specific visualizations, exercise and oxygenate the blood, while at the same time, enhance one's artistic nature. In the oriental sexological literature there are also specific sexual positions that enhance a man's sperm count and motility as well as regulating a woman's cycle. There are currently a number of studies being conducted in the United States and Europe that are focused on understanding the effects of these techniques. Longevity and regaining a persons youthfulness are key topics.

There are several advantages to using Traditional Chinese Medicine as an approach to heightening a couple's fertility.

Some Advantages of Using Traditional Chinese Medicine  

1. TCM sees the person as an integral Mind/body organism, thereby does not treat just symptoms/diseases. TCM ventures to stimulate the bodies natural healing potential by treating root causes rather than just symptoms.

2. TCM, used in the treatment of infertility, minimizes undesired side effects and accumulated toxicity from invasive procedures and drug therapies, known and unknown.

3. Traditional Chinese medicine may be used to strengthen and balance one's general health so that IVF, GIFT, ZIFT, ICSI, AHT and TET procedures are more effective. The TCM patient derives general health benefits and endocrine system balancing from specific acupuncture and herbal regimes. Pregnancy becomes easier to achieve and postpartum recuperation happens faster. Medical studies have been done in China to verify this type of whole body health enhancement.

4. The widespread use of TCM suggests that it is a complete traditional medical health care system and can be used with or without the integration of Western medical techniques. The integration of Western medicine, as we know it in America, began in the Orient less than a century ago. It is called INTEGRAL CHINESE MEDICINE (ITCM). Ancient medical techniques of acupuncture and herbs utilized with modern procedures, seem to work best.

Unexplained Infertility/Liver QI Congestion Irritability, depression, frustration are keywords to the Liver Qi Stagnation. It must be noted that whenever an organ is mentioned in oriental medicine it implies the related conduit or meridian. A meridian is a pathway along which energy / Qi flows. The psychological aspect of the Liver is said to assist us in planning easily and wisely. The person who suffers from Liver Qi congestion may be found in a job that they don't enjoy, working late hours, and with a history of taking birth control pills. There frequently exists an inner psychological frustration about having and raising children. Dysfunctional family factors play a major role in the upset Liver, as the condition may have existed for many years.

Physical symptoms of irregular periods, PMS, dark colored blood with small clots, breast pain with distention, worry and frequent sighing and headaches often accompany the psychological symptoms. Pulse diagnostic palpation at the radial artery usually reveals a wiry and small quality pulse in the person with a Liver imbalance. Pulse diagnosis at the radial artery is an extremely sensitive and skilled art that takes many years to perfect. It is like a laboratory blood test. There are over twelve different pulse positions on each wrist and twenty­eight pulse qualities that can be related to each one of these positions. The readings yield a multitude of relationships when integrated and compared with the patients' signs, symptoms and tongue characteristics. The different pulses can confirm a diagnosis and be used to monitor a patient's progress. Both pregnancy and the sex of a child can be diagnosed from the pulses by a skilled practitioner.

Infertility due to Liver Qi Stagnation manifests mostly in women and is a frequent cause of unexplained infertility. This is because this type of Liver stagnation effects the blood flow in the pelvic cavity. Acupuncture at the right time in the menstrual cycle, in conjunction with an herbal formula and some counseling, very likely can clear the congestion in several months. The resulting pregnancy is more than welcome along with the emotional clarity that arrives when the Liver organ/meridian is less toxic (stagnated).Couples must realize, however, that the prevalence of Liver Qi Stagnation in modern society is not something simple that can be relieved over night. It may take 9 months or more to release the stress, trauma, and toxin in the system, if it is at all possible. There have been cases resolved within a month's time.

Miscarriage: A Traditional Chinese Viewpoint Since the Western Han Dynasty (206 BC.­24 AD.), Chinese people have been using traditional medicine to effectively treat both male and female infertility. Many texts have been published in the medical literature focusing on these problems that have so recently come to the forefront in western society. TCM for threatened miscarriage includes acupuncture, herbs, diet and an a different approach to exercise. It must be remembered that treating infertility and miscarriage using any method is complicated and involved. The medicine that helps the patient attain a healthy vital energy (Tian kuei)

can greatly aid the woman who has had miscarriages due to a hormonal imbalance. For the woman over 40 there are herbs that nourish the deeper vitality that is necessary for the body to call forth healthy ovum.

Currently TCM, both in China and America, is used in conjunction with Western medical techniques and testing to design an effective course of treatment for the couple wishing to achieve not only pregnancy, but a healthy baby delivered at full term.

Sixty percent of all spontaneous abortions occur in the first half of the first trimester of pregnancy. Genetics play a key role in habitual miscarriages. To presume that TCM alters genetic structure without triple blind studies etc., would be a stretch of most peoples imagination. However, Traditional Chinese Medicine is very effective in strengthening a persons' constitution.

If a woman has miscarried, it is important to build and conserve her Qi and build her Blood. This usually means building and conserving Kidney Qi, as within the Kidney both Yin (Blood) and Yang (Qi) are generated. We must remember that Kidney does not just mean the ear shaped organs guarded by the ribs just above the lower back. It means the whole psycho physical interrelated matrix and visceral relationship of Kidney function and its meridian pathways.

In oriental medicine we say that all chronic imbalances effect the Kidney organ/meridian network. What this means is that if a person has a weak constitution i.e., is pale, feels cold is undernourished, etc., then this is a result of either prenatal (genetic) influences and or lifetime habits and illnesses. The way to change these conditions, if possible, is to change them through treating the Kidney with tools of acupuncture, herbs, diet, and exercise. Kidney means bone and bone marrow and from the marrow is made blood. Blood nourishes Qi and the cycle regenerates and builds. Essentially, in oriental medicine it is said that the Blood nourishes, the Qi protects, and the Kidney Qi holds the fetus. The Kidney is injured by cold, therefore dietary considerations are generally applicable for this patient. Recent studies have also shown that good dental hygene and quality dental work can increase fertility.

There is a very famous formula, that builds both Qi and Blood, which is used to strengthen the body and prepare a woman for conception. This is especially useful if she has a history of miscarriage. The formula should be given for three to six months before conception is attempted. It is called "The Rock on Tai Mountain Decoction." This somewhat poetic name refers to a great mountain that many Chinese religiously pilgrimage to, hoping to get their prayers answered. It is an extremely demanding climb of a thousand steps, just as pregnancy is demanding of the modern mother. Just giving this herbal decoction does not guarantee that conception will take place and the next baby delivered to full term. Seeing the patient as a whole person and thereby considering their total health picture helps the TCM physician decide how to choose and change a formula to be specific to the patient.

Sex During Pregnancy In the oriental culture there is a very direct and honest attitude toward one's sexuality. Nothing is considered to be sexually "dirty" as sex is seen as a natural function, as natural as "clouds and rain". Within the training of a TCM practitioner, it is taught that it is not the job of the physician to make judgements about an individuals sexual practices, it is more important to point out the consquences of these practices. Therefore it is easy for the doctor to indicate that sex (intercourse) during the first trimester is contraindicated, especially for the woman that has a history of miscarriage, as the placenta is not yet fully formed. Many men have a problem with this recommendation. Usually, TCM practitioners go one step further and indicate that it is probably best for all couples to abstain for the whole nine months of pregnancy. As mentioned previously, modern couples usually have no problem with this idea

especially when they consider the investment they have made. For the couple, where the woman is over 40, intercourse is not recommended for the entire pregnancy even by western physicians.

Raising Your Fertility Quotient With TCM Treatment

1. Timing and consistency of treatment, whether having acupuncture or just taking herbs, is of primary importance.

Consistency of treatment is most important for men, as to raise sperm count and motility with herbs starts to take effect at the fourth month of treatment. It takes 70 days to generate new sperm.

Timing and consistency is also important for women as there are specific hormonal adjustments that can be made at each week of the cycle. Missing a week of treatment may lose an important opportunity to heal a particular segment of the four phase menstrual cycle. It takes a minimum of three consecutive cycles (12 treatments) to do the foundation work of regulation regardless of biological age. Most women can benefit from this type of concentrated foundational treatment every two years, even if they aren't trying to conceive. This should be started before a woman reaches 28 years old or earlier if birth control pills have been taken.  

2. If a woman is nearing forty years old and has had either numerous fertility drugs (over 3 cycles), birth control pills, PMS, ART procedures, elevated FSH, polycystic ovaries, endometriosis, sperm antibodies, or a history of drug, alcohol, or smoking abuse, then it usually takes longer to balance her reproductive system. Likewise, if a man has a history of STDs, history of drug, alcohol, smoking, or sexual abuse, urinary tract infections, burning urination, chronic lower back pain, prostatitis, difficulty passing urine, or other urological health issues it takes longer to rejuvenate the reproductive function. The extent of rejuvenation is relative to the effort and inherent constitution of the individual. Daily training sessions with the right exercises usually provide tangible results when combined with weekly treatment, meditation and a reasonable diet.  

The couple must expect to focus six to nine months before really expecting to evaluate results. There is no quick path when it comes to conception, full term pregnancy and recovery after delivery. "Turning back the clock" is indeed possible.  

3. If a woman is in a state of high level wellness from a traditional medicine's point of view (warm hands and feet and no PMS are just several indicators), and has a "normal" active and relatively a low stress energy abundant lifestyle, then it is appropriate to evaluate between the sixth and ninth month of consistent treatment.  

4. Biological vs. chronological age. According to the 2,000 year old Chinese medical classic (Nei Ching su wen ling shu) there are some precepts of health and aging that are very important in this day and age. Accordingly, the normal life span for humans is over 100 years. There are documented life spans of monks that have lived in good health to well over 150 years old. In the Nei Ching there is a dialogue between the Yellow Emperor and an old Taoist teacher named Chi­po. Why does medicine exist? asks the Yellow Emperor, "...because people have severed themselves from their roots (Tao)". The reconnection between the individual and their "roots" (spirituality) is a very important aspect in the maintaining of youthfulness and is thereby inherent in the basic foundation of traditional medicine. Modern science supports this in the focus on the emerging stem cell technologies and the possible cures for major life threatening diseases. Stem cells are found in abundance in the umbilical cord which suggests this deep root connection to the Jing Qi (essential energy). Understanding the root cause and quality of one's own longevity can slow the aging process and rejuvenate the body as thoughts can create

reality. Knowing with certainty that we are an ageless body is the basis for creating high level wellness in the modern world. Longevity however is more than just belief.

5. Correct dietary and exercise habits are just as important for the preconceptive mother as for the father. Eating salads (cold nature food) for a year is not the best diet for a person who has generally a low basal body temperature (BBT). Sometimes eating meat such as lamb (warming food) can help tonify a "cold" barren uterus. For male factor and unexplained infertility there are specific physical and mental exercises to be done by couples to generate the right environment necessary for creativity and conception.  

6. Combining conventional reproductive technologies with ancient acupuncture and herbal techniques demands accurate communications between team members which includes the patient as captain. Communication between the patient, the acupuncturist and the reproductive specialist is a delicate process. It is important for the physician to have knowledge of the procedures of the acupuncturist/herbalist and vis a vis. Lacking knowledge of an herbal program that a patient is on can effect the results of an ART procedure. It can even be detrimental as alternative therapies are effective in changing a persons body. Likewise it is important for the patient to inform the acupuncturist of any herbs or vitamins that are being taken while undergoing treatment, other than prenatal vitamins. Over the counter herbal remedies might be effective in some cases but may not be indicated for a particular cycle. It could be like having carpet delivered for the newborns room before the concrete foundation was poured for the house.  

Traditional Chinese medicines and acupuncture work quite differently than western medicines. They are gentle and deep acting rather than flashy and bright. Expect to feel a growing subtle influence that permeates your life like the smell of star jasmine on a summers night.  

7. What if you have already had a course of acupuncture treatment in the past? When selecting an acupuncturist or any healer it is important to know that they are suitably qualified to do fertility work. Communication, experience and skill are important. Having a state acupuncture license means that the acupuncturist has passed a course of study that qualifies them as an entry level practitioner. Usually this is about a 3000 hour training, though there are some physician programs that are only 300. A growing number of practitioners have a greater than entry level experience of treating couples that are integrating oriental medicine with conventional reproductive techniques. These practitioners are to be sought out, as treating an infertile couple demands not just general practice but also specialty skill. General practice skills help remove pre­existing conditions. If these conditions are the cause of infertility then the couples fecundity quotient will be increased. However, if either reproductive function or biological age of the endocrine system is the primary contributory factor then specialty skills and experience is necessary.

 

Bibliography

1                     The Infertility Book, A Comprehensive Medical and Emotional Guide, Harkness, Carla, 2nd edition 1992, Celestial Arts, P.O. Box 7327 Berkeley, California. (510) 845­8414

2                     Infertility: A guide for the Childless Couple, Menning, Barbara Eck, New York, Prentice Hall rev. 1988.

3                     You Can Have A Baby, Everything you need to Know about Fertility, Bellina, Joseph H., M.D., Ph.D., Wilson, Josleen New York, Crown Publishers Inc., 1985.  

4. Adoption, Is It For You?, Dywarsuk, Collette T. New York: Harper & Row, 1973.

5. Endometriosis & Infertility and Traditional Chinese Medicine, Flaws, Bob, CO, Blue Poppy Press,

6. Endometriosis as Treated by Traditional Chinese Medicine, Cao Ling­xian & Tang Ji­fu,,trans. C,S,. Cheung, M.D., & Carolyn Atkinson, J. Amer. College of TCM. S. F., CA, Vol. 1, No. 1, 1983, p. 54­57.

7. A Woman's guide to Endometriosis, Older, Julia, Charles Scribner's Sons, NY,1984.

8. Handbook of Chinese Herbs and Formulas, Vol. I & II, Him­che Yeung, Los Angeles, 1985

9. Chinese Herbal Patent Formulas, A Practical Guide, Jake Fratkin, Shya Publications, 1986

10. Chinese Tonic Herbs, Ron Teeguarden, Japan Publications, Inc. 1985

11. Wise Woman Herbal For the Childbearing Year, Weed, Susun, New York, Ash Tree Publishing, PO Box 64, Woodstock, NY 12498, 1986.

12. Consumer Protection Issues Involving IVF Clinics (stock number 552­070­06387­1 U.S. Government Printing Office, $31) 202­275­3030.

Pregnenolone, A Fruit of Cholesterol

Mother of Progesterone & D.H.E.A.

The following information comes from Dr. Ray Peat, who has done pioneering research on the anti­aging steroids, pregnenolone, progesterone and DHEA (Dehydroepiandrosterone). I have included excerpts from his writings plus the results of interviews. Research references are provided when available, but in many cases, I could only describe the group of researchers who did the experiment. My purpose for this article is not to start a riot but to illustrate why I think it’s dangerous to artificially inhibit cholesterol formation in your body with drugs and synthetic foods.

Dr. Peat accidentally discovered the effects of pregnenolone when he took some vitamin E containing a residue of pregnenolone that was left over from an experiment in solubility. Peat had been suffering from a variety of complaints, including "inflammation of the arteries, dental abscesses, asthma, migraines, and colitis." When he took the vitamin E containing some pregnenolone in the vitamin E, he crawled out of his sick bed, took a pinch of pure pregnenolone and felt immediately better. All of his symptoms gradually disappeared and in ten weeks, his appearance changed. Many aging characteristics, such as sagging skin, "chicken neck," bags under the eyes, etc. receded.

These changes were dramatically reported in a passport photo, taken one year before pregnenolone and another one taken 10 weeks after pregnenolone therapy was initiated. I regret that the original photos are not available for inclusion here. When I saw this photo, presented in one of his newsletters, I fell off my chair, dashed to the phone and called Dr. Peat. The results of many interviews are summarized below.

Pregnenolone is a steroid precursor (starter material). It is made in the body from the bad­rap guy, cholesterol. Naturally, to get pregnenolone, we need adequate amounts of cholesterol plus other nutrients, including vitamin A, thyroid hormone and enzymes. If any of these are inadequate, you will have a less than desired supply of pregnenolone.

In a healthy person, the conversion of cholesterol to pregnenolone occurs inside the mitochondria, nicknamed the lungs of the cell because of their role in cell respiration. Once produced, pregnenolone leaves the mitochondria, so it cannot inhibit its own synthesis. In fact, both progesterone and pregnenolone stimulate their own synthesis so that if you take them, the body’s ability to synthesize them is not suppressed. Sometimes short­term therapy restores the body’s ability to produce adequate amounts, although Peat says that this is not as clearly established with pregnenolone as in the case of progesterone.

On the other hand, synthetic progesterone has an inhibiting effect on in­vivo synthesis plus many other toxic side effects not observed with natural progesterone.

In the cytoplasm, enzymes convert pregnenolone into either progesterone or DHEA, depending on the tissue and the need. Peat calls pregnenolone, progesterone and DHEA "brain steroids" since the brain contains higher concentrations of them than other organs or the blood. Because the brain concentration decreases from its peak value at around age thirty to 5% of peak value at 90, the need for supplemental pregnenolone may increase as we age. In fact, the older and/or sicker you are, the more likely you are to feel an effect from pregnenolone.

Progesterone and DHEA are the precursors for more specialized steroid hormones, including cortisol, aldosterone, estrogen and testosterone. Taking progesterone will not increase the level of these hormones. In fact, progesterone opposes their toxic effects. Peat says that "the formation of these hormones is tightly regulated, so that taking the precursor of one will correct a deficiency . . . but will not create an excess." However in young men, taking excess progesterone can decrease testosterone production and lead to decreased libido, so pregnenolone is preferred over progesterone for young males. The inhibitory effect on testosterone has not been observed in older men, especially those who are ill.

Because pregnenolone converts to progesterone and DHEA, its effects will parallel those of the latter hormones. It is more beneficial to take pregnenolone for certain conditions and progesterone for others but, in general, there is an overlap in their effects.

Peat says that whereas progesterone is strong medicine, just like thyroid or insulin, pregnenolone is an anti­aging food supplement such as a vitamin. Because of this, pregnenolone does not act as dramatically in a crisis, such as a seizure, as does progesterone.

PREGNENOLONE:

REPAIR OF ENZYMES: Pregnenolone apparently has the ability to repair enzyme activity. For example, in a Russian research study, adding pregnenolone to a mitochondrial suspension increased the enzyme activity. Which enzyme The enzyme which converts cholesterol into pregnenolone (one in the P­450 system). Other enzymes in the P­450 system vital to certain detoxification processes are also stabilized by pregnenolone.

Peat says, "…steroids, including cholesterol, have an anti­toxic effect. The cytochrome P­450 family of enzymes is an important factor in our resistance to toxins. Moderate amounts of cortisol promote this system, but larger amounts degrade it. Pregnenolone doesn’t affect the rate of synthesis of these enzymes, but it stabilizes them against the normal proteolytic enzymes, increasing their activity. I believe this stabilizing action is a general feature of these steroids…"

MEMORY REPAIR: In a short article in The Sacramento Bee (Tuesday, March 3, 1992) I read that Pregnenolone may help restore impaired memory, according to neurobiologist

Eugene Roberts of the City of Hope Medical Center in Los Angeles, and his colleague, biologist James F. Morely, of the St. Louis VA Medical Center. These researchers tested pregnenolone and other steroids on mice. They found that pregnenolone is several hundred times more potent than any other memory enhancer that has been tested before is. Their report, in the Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences (March 1992), says that pregnenolone was used in the late 1940’s to treat rheumatoid arthritis, and quite successfully, but fell into disuse when cortisone was discovered. But, Roberts adds, pregnenolone was never found to have adverse side effects whereas the toxic effects of cortisone are many and severe.

PROTECTION FROM CORTISONE TOXICITY: The classic effects of toxic levels of cortisol

include daytime euphoria, insomnia plus hot flashes at night, osteoporosis, brain aging, atrophy of the skin plus other signs of premature aging and adrenal atrophy (shrinking). Two injections of cortisone can destroy the beta cells of diabetes in people as well.

Peat reports that pregnenolone can be used to withdraw from cortisone therapy over a one month period without developing "Addison’s" disease symptoms (from adrenal atrophy), because of its normalizing effects on the adrenal gland. In female patients, progesterone therapy may also be indicated.

Reduced exophthalmia in Graves’ disease patients: In the 1950’s pregnenolone was tested on patients with exophthalmis (bulging eyes) from Graves’ disease. It was reported that their eyes quickly receded to a more normal position in their sockets. Peat gave pregnenolone to a desperate woman with seriously bulging eyes. The next day she phoned him and said her eyes were completely normal.

PROGESTERONE:

Progesterone opposes all of the toxic effects of estrogen and cortisol. We maintained some of the toxic effects of cortisol. Estrogen’s toxic effects were described in detail in the June 1991 Earthletter. It’s cardiotoxic effects were described in Part II of "Heart Disease and the Cholesterol Fairy Tale." In addition, unopposed estrogen promotes osteoporosis, increased menstrual bleeding in females, tumor formation including fibroids and cancer, increased fat deposition, causes edema and triples the rate of gallbladder disease in women on HRT. Progesterone has some other very interesting healing benefits, according to Peat:

Control of seizures: Progesterone will stop all cyclic seizures, related to menses and due to excess estrogen relative to progesterone. This topic has been reported by Goodman and Gillman. Estrogen lowers the threshold for both chemically and electrically­induced seizures. Progesterone will also stop (not cure) other seizures, regardless of the causes.

Case history from Peat’s files: A 52­year old lady came to Peat totally disabled following the onset of cyclic seizures at age 35. Although her estrogen level was ‘normal,’ it was unopposed by progesterone. Instead of ten­to­one ratio of progesterone, hers was one­to­one. Her doctor diagnosed her permanently mentally and physically disabled. She could not

travel alone because she forgot where she was. Her fingers looked like sausages from arthritis and she could not bend them. Peat had her dip her ‘sausage fingers’ into an olive oil solution containing progesterone. In 3­4 days, her progesterone to estrogen ratio became five­to­one. She walked alone, grinning down the street to Peat’s office bending her fingers, which no longer looked like sausages!

Opposes the effects of progesterone deficiency following tubal ligation and vasectomy: In a hormone survey of females who had nervous or emotional problems following tubal ligation and males who had emotional problems and impotence following vasectomy, all had normal hormone levels except for decreased progesterone. Taking progesterone for only a week cured both females and males. How is this so? According to Peat, tubal ligation (or the IUD) sends a signal to the ovaries to stop making progesterone. Vasectomy sends the same signal to the testicles. Thus, vasectomy mimics the IUD.

DHEA – Dehydroepiandrosterone

Thirty years ago, endrocrinologists at John Hopkins University discovered that the adrenal glands manufacture large amounts of DHEA from pregnenolone starting at birth. DHEA manufacture peaks during an individual’s mid­twenties and thereafter decreases with age.

In the San Diego Union (Friday, February 12,1989), a summary of several interesting reports on DHEA research appeared. For example, it was discovered that DHEA levels were consistently lower than normal in women with breast cancer. A breed of mice genetically prone to obesity lost weight with prolonged use of DHEA and they returned to their normally rotund physiques when DHEA therapy was withdrawn. In another breed of mice genetically disposed to breast cancer, DHEA therapy not only prevented breast cancer but the mice appeared younger and thinner!

Many other researchers have reported an anti­aging effect from DHEA. For example, in the New England Journal of Medicine (December 1986), researchers reported findings that suggested DHEA had anti­aging or ‘survival’ properties. Levels of 242 San Diego men, aged 50­79, were followed. Levels of those who died during the study were only one­third that of the living study members.

Peat provided the following information on the effects of DHEA:

  • Libido: Men who had low libidos because of decreased testosterone, DHEA boosted libido almost as well as testosterone.
  • Arthritis: Topical DHEA as well as topical progesterone can stop the pain of arthritis and other inflammatory conditions. Even in 84­year­olds.
  • Osteoporosis: Dr. John Lee documented six years of research which showed the reversal of osteoporosis with progesterone. The same effect may be attributed to DHEA.
  • Diabetes: In a study in which rabbits were poisoned with alloxan (which destroys the beta cells of the pancreas), DHEA cured their diabetes. The rabbits in the study developed normal beta cells in the pancreas.  

Peat ate some DHEA, not much, only several milligrams daily. He noted the following:

  • A mole fell off! Other patients had the same results.
  • Wisdom teeth impacted 20 years prior rotated into position.
  • Peat grew 1.5 inches at the age of 46. His weight stayed the same but his waist size decreased. In several months he lost his middle appearance because he got taller.
  • Topical DHEA on his gray hair caused its original color to return!

Enzyme Nutrition – What is it and why is it so important?

by Howard F. Loomis Jr., D.C.

Reprinted courtesy of The American Chiropractor January 1997

Enzyme Nutrition Part 1 What is it?

Enzyme nutrition is a method of delivering food past an incompetent digestive system, or it can be used for preventing exhaustion of the digestive system by a diet high in enzymedeficient food. This is in perfect harmony with the vitalistic philosophy of chiropractic, namely that the body is capable of regulating homeostasis if given adequate amounts of air, water, nutrients, and exercise.

Why is it needed?

Dietary supplements became very popular after World War II and were used to replace vitamins and minerals deficient in the American diet. Later when hypoglycemia was brought to our attention, protein supplements were added to the list. Difficulty has arisen with this practice, however, as the food industry has become better at supplying a balanced diet and adding vitamins and minerals to their products. One popular breakfast cereal now advertises that it can supply 100% of the vitamins and minerals needed in your diet. Fast food chains can give evidence that their food products do supply a balanced diet of nutrients recommended by the government and leading nutritional experts. These charts are usually displayed on the walls of their restaurants. If you don't see one, just ask and they will be glad to furnish one to you.

Gradually, the dietary supplement industry has been moving deeper and deeper into human biochemistry attempting to find chemical compounds it can use to combat disease entities, no longer content to replace substances deficient in the diet but instead to use concentrated chemical compounds for the treatment and prevention of disease. Take a look at the brochures offered by a few supplement companies and you will see my point. I am not complaining about this; it appears to be the normal progression of the industry. This is, however, not the science of food but instead a pharmaceutical adjunct to the healing arts.

The science of food is the study of what food is ingested, how it is digested, absorbed, transported, utilized, and eliminated. In the development of the science of food supplements, an elementary and basic step was missednot forgottenbut completely missed, and we should go back, pick it up, and incorporate it into our plan of supplementing the diet with essential nutrients.

The step I am referring to is the removal of naturally occurring food enzymes from our diet. It is correctly reported in nutritional textbooks that cooking destroys certain vitamins, and the water used in cooking food removes many of its minerals. It is logical that these should be replaced by supplementing the diet when needed. What is never stated in the nutrition textbooks, however, is that the naturally occurring enzymes in raw foods are also destroyed by heat and other processes used in preparing food.

Not only that but even a diet of raw fruits and vegetables must be suspect today because of the use of sprays and chemicals, used in farming and in the produce case of your local market as well. These also diminish the enzyme content of foods. One might think that is adequate justification for enzyme replacement, but there is more. While the food industry proudly proclaims that it adds vitamins and minerals to bread, milk, cereal and other foods, they do not proclaim that they systematically destroy the naturally occurring enzymes in foods. It doesn't happen by chance or oversight: removing enzymes from your food is a welldeveloped science within the food industry.

Why are they removed?

Shelflife. Food enzymes must be destroyed in order to preserve foods for shipment, storage, and extended shelflife, until the consumer takes it home. Even then it may be stored in the cupboard for some time. If the enzymes are not destroyed, they will digest the food right in the can or box before it can arrive at your local market. This would amount to a tremendous "spoilage" of food and make it impossible to continue our present society as we know it. We would all be forced to live on farms or at least close to the farmers market. The process of cooking food so it may be canned destroys these enzymes just as it does many vitamins, as well as removes many minerals.

What can be done?

Replacement therapy for vitamins and minerals has been practiced for years. Why not enzyme replacement? If you believe that the enzymes that occur in food are at least as important as the vitamins and minerals found there, then you must find a way to replace them in your diet, supplementing your diet with proteases, amylases, and lipases just as you do vitamins and minerals.

The symptoms of vitamin and mineral deficiencies and excesses are wellknown and documented. But, what are the symptoms of a protease deficiency? How about amylase and lipase deficiencies, how are they manifested? When I asked that question in the early 1980's, no one could answer me, and there were no books to turn to for the answers. Dr. Edward Howell, who first brought food enzymes to the attention of a lessthaninterested scientific community, told me that he did not know the specific symptom patterns involved in food enzyme deficiencies, but that he felt they were manifested as chronic degenerative disease patterns as opposed to the acute onset patterns seen in vitamin and mineral deficiencies.

I began then to incorporate food enzymes into my practice in the early 1980's and experimented with many different combinations and formulas, and I used my chiropractic education and methodology to begin cataloging various food enzyme deficiency syndromes. I used many examination techniques before settling on what I believe is a definitive procedure.

How is it done?

Its application, far from the unscientific approaches often used for diet supplements, uses the methodology all doctors are trained in, namely:

  • Case History, including symptomology.
  • Diet analysis and food cravings.
  • Laboratory workup, including blood chemistries, C.B.C.'s with darkfield, and 24hour urinalysis.
  • Traditional physical examination procedures and a unique system of nociceptive reflex examinations by palpation. This procedure employs reflex examinations given after an eighthour fast, and 45 minutes after a small amount of a specially formulated challenge meal has been ingested. The meal contains government-approved percentages of protein, simple and complex carbohydrate, fat, and fiber. It is a methodology easily incorporated into a chiropractic practice that is rewarding both in clinical results and income.

The intent of these examinations is to identify the stimuli that are exhausting the body's homeostatic mechanisms before degeneration and disease can occur. It is in keeping with the studies on stress conducted by Hans Selye in 1950's. Selye taught that the body acted predictably to stress, any stress, be it physical, chemical or emotional. He stated there was first an alarm reaction sent to the body's compensatory mechanisms for homeostatic maintenance. Then the stage of resistance began until the stimulus (stress) was removed. If it continued, a gradual exhaustion of the compensatory mechanisms began, and eventually led to degeneration, disease, and finally death.

Food enzyme deficiencies are a stress to the body, and in this day and age they are a continual stress to you and your patients. The symptoms of their deficiency are not quickly manifested because your body makes enzymes of its own. Those enzyme systems must be stressed to exhaustion and degeneration, and sometimes even disease, before they are recognized. By then, the patient is being treated for a chronic degenerative disease and the food enzyme deficiency has completely escaped detection.

I formulated my examining procedures with the idea that the single most important factor for determining nutrient and enzyme supplementation is the state of the extracellular fluids and maintenance of homeostasis. After years of practice and lecturing to doctors from all educational backgrounds, it is my opinion that chiropractors are best qualified to identify the early warning signs of the exhaustion of homeostatic mechanisms because of their unique training in physical diagnosis and chiropractic philosophy.

Enzyme Nutrition Part 2 Why is it important?

In Part 1 of this series, I discussed the basic concepts behind Enzyme Nutrition, and why it is important to the chiropractic clinician. We discussed that enzymes are found in all living things. In fact, they are the spark of life itself, for life is not possible without them. Yet, they must be removed from the food supply in order to provide extended shelflife for food products. The real enzyme experts are, and always have been, the biochemists in the canning industry. Volumes have been written since the 1900 about the science of removing enzymes from raw foods. The canning industry could not exist if it couldn't destroy the enzyme content of their products. The University of Wisconsin announced in 1996 that they have found a way to grow tomatoes with a lower enzyme content! They explained this is critical for farmers who need to increase shelflife of fresh tomatoes. Look for this technology to expand.

In this article, I will review what happens in the body when we eat a diet deficient in food enzymes, and why it is important to every clinician and to all the patients they see.

Each living organism, plant or animal, contains the enzymes in exact ratio to the amount of protein, starch, sugar and lipid they contain. This enzyme content is exact because they are necessary to run virtually all of the biochemical reactions in that organism, plant, or animal. In other words, the enzymes are responsible for bringing the animal to maturity or the plant to ripeness. In fact, all living things have the enzymes needed to digest themselves when the proper conditions are present for that to occur. This includes the human body. Fortunately, the pH and temperature ranges are not right for that to occur while you are living. What is critical to this discussion is what happens when raw (enzyme-containing) food is eaten as opposed to consumption of enzymedeficient food.

Digestion Begins in the Mouth

Mastication liberates food enzymes, and they are activated when they come in contact with saliva at body temperature and in an acceptable pH range. Human saliva also contains enzymes of its own. Amylase is secreted by the parotid glands, lipase is secreted by the sublingual glands, and protease is secreted from the submandibular glands. The following factors are of vital importance for the activity of enzymes:

  • Obviously, the proper substrate (food) must be present since enzymes are quite specific in their action.
  • Body heatenzymes work in specific heat ranges.
  • Water (saliva) must be present for hydrolysis (digestion) to occur.
  • Enzymes work in specific pH ranges: Plant enzymes 3.0 to 9.0 Animal enzymes 7.2 to 9.0

While the digestive process may begin in the mouth, food is seldom present in the mouth long enough for significant digestion to occur. Fortunately, as food is swallowed, none of the conditions necessary for food enzymes activity changes, even in the stomach. Many nutrition and physiology texts do not consider this socalled "predigestion" in man to be significant. But, since the resting pH of the stomach is between 5.0 and 6.0, the food enzymes continue digesting until inactivated in the stomach. Fortunately, it takes between 30 to 60 minutes to secrete enough HCl to reduce the pH of the stomach to 3.0. However, studies indicate that most geriatric patients are unable to do this at all! For this segment of the population, food enzyme supplementation would appear to be mandatory. Only plantsource food enzymes are active in the pH range of the stomach. Animalsource enzymes (pancreatin) cannot work in the stomach since they must have an alkaline environment of at least 7.0 to activate them. This brings us to a critical point in the use of enzymes in clinical practice.

Pancreatin Cannot "Predigest" Food

After food has been acted upon by the stomach secretions and passes through the pyloric valve, the chyme stimulates the production of two hormones by the duodenal mucosa, Secretin and Cholecystikinin. These two hormones signal the pancreas and gallbladder regarding the content of the chyme and how concentrated their respective secretions must be to finish the digestive process. If food has been "predigested", their secretions can be much less concentrated. In other words, the pancreas doesn't have to produce as concentrated a secretion of enzymes. The presence of a pancreatin supplement will have done nothing to "predigest" the food and relieve stress on the pancreas.

How Much Predigestion Can Be Accomplished?

Various studies have reported that significant digestion from the salivary enzymes alone occurs in the stomach during the 60minute time interval before HCl reduces the pH of the stomach below 3.0. Guyton reports that 35 to 45% of starches can be digested before HCl is secreted (Textbook of Physiology, 7th ed., Saunders). Beazell reported in the American Journal of Physiology (1945) that 60% of starch, 30% of protein, and 10% of fat of foods could be digested before HCl and pepsin began to work.

Thus, it can be seen that food enzymes can play a significant role in predigesting food, offering a solution to many acute and chronic digestive disorders and a means of delivering nutrients past an incompetent digestive system.

What Happens When Normal Digestion Does Not Occur?

Normal digestion is taken for granted unless the patient complains, but even then the symptoms are vague and non-specific and it is hard to delineate what the problem is. Nevertheless, let's look at what happens when food is not adequately digested, absorbed, transported, utilized, and eliminated properly. It is necessary to divide our studies into two groups, the first of which we will discuss in this article:

  • Food particles not digested well enough topass across the gut wall pass down the alimentary canal where theywill putrefy, forming Indican and producing Bowel Toxicity.
  • Food particles digested well enough to passthrough the gut wall and into the blood but not reduced to particlessmall enough to be utilized by the body for energy production. Wewill discuss this in Part III of this series. Specifically, we will examine the process of Digestive Leucocytosis and the formation of Circulating Immune Complexes and the resulting Fibromyalgia.

A General Indicator of the Inability to Digest Food

Patients with "unfriendly" bacterial growth in the small intestine excrete large amounts of metabolites of amino acids, such as tryptophan or tyrosine, in the urine. The bacteria feed on inadequately digested protein, especially when refined carbohydrates are consumed at the same meal, and when oils coat the food (poor biliary function) and do not allow penetration of digestive enzymes. The higher the level of indicanuria, the greater the degree of constipation and/or diarrhea and lower bowel gas. When protein is decomposed by bacteria, indole and skatol are formed. These compounds are toxic to the body. Most is excreted in the feces, but the remainder is absorbed into the blood and detoxified by the liver, returned to the blood, and eliminated by the kidneys. This is a considerable stress to the entire system, especially the bowel and liver. Therefore, the amount of excreted indican can be used as an indication of the presence of stasis and inflammation and, in general, the degree of bowel toxicity. This process produces an inflammatory reaction on the bowel wall that has come to be referred to as the "Leaky Gut Syndrome". This condition can affect almost any tissue as evidenced by the following list compiled from medical data bases in 1978.

 

Symptoms of Indicanuria
(Intestinal Toxemia)
SKIN HAIR NAILS ENDOCRINE SYSTEM
Dermatoses Breast pathology
Eczema Eclampsia
Psoriasis Thyroid goiter
Malassimilation, weight loss
EYES EARS NOSE SINUSES GENITOURINARY
Diseases of middle and internal ear Foul odor to urine
Eye strain, Diseases of nasal accessory sinuses
MUSCULOSKELETAL SYSTEM CARDIOVASCULAR
Arthritis Tachycardia
Low back pain and sciatica Arrhythmias
Fibromyalgia and myofacitis Migraines
NERVOUS SYSTEM GASTROINTESTINAL
Depression and melancholia Gas and bloating
Epilepsy, Excessive worry Constipation
Incoordination, Irritability, Lack of confidence Crohn's disease
Loss of concentration and memory Diarrhea
Mental sluggishness and dullness Food allergies
Schizophrenia Senility Foul stool odor
Gastritis
Heartburn
Inflammatory bowel disease
lleocecal valve
Hiatal hernia
MOUTH/THROAT RESPIRATORY SYSTEM
Body odor, halitosis Asthma
Tachycardia, Arrhythmias, Migraines

When the functioning of any aspect of the gut mucosal barrier is sufficiently compromised, the integrity of the bowel itself becomes compromised. This results in increased permeability to foreign or gutderived antigens, allowing them to "leak" through the gut into the lymphatics and into the systemic circulation. Acting as foreign invaders, they can elicit a target organspecific, kininproducing, painprovoking, inflammatory immune response enhanced by immune complex deposition. This can lead to recurrent Fibromyalgia as well as symptoms of infection, often without an infectious agent because immune responses to foreign invaders are identical, be they infectious or not.

Therefore, reducing the permeability of the gut to foreign antigens is a primary preventive and therapeutic tool in the care of such conditions. It is clinically prudent to consider leaky gut syndrome as an integral part of any chronic condition.

Primary Factors involved with the Leaky Gut Syndrome

  • Therapy with prostaglandin inhibitors such as NSAIDS or aspirin suppress repair and increase gut permeabilitywith moderate use.
  • Longterm steroid use (prednisone and cortisone) can cause stomach and duodenal ulcers and immunesuppression (among many other side effects), contributing significantly to gut hyperpermeability and its complications.
  • Antacids decrease the acidity of the stomach, reduce the activity of pepsin, and significantly limit the stomach's ability to adequately digest proteins. This compromise in protein digestion may increase the number of undigested,intact, large protein molecules entering the bowel and, potentially, systemic circulation. By decreasing stomach acidity, antacids can also impair the absorption of minerals such as calcium.

Antibiotics disrupt the normal balance of bacterial microflora in the gut, as well as the mouth, skin, and vagina. This often leads to serious overgrowth of pathogenic microflora in these areas, particularly C difficile, yeasts, and fungi, resulting in infection and inflammation. Proliferation and overgrowth of Candida and other yeasts in the gastrointestinal tract can result in a complex of symptoms from gas, bloating, and gastrointestinal distress to unexplained chronic fatigue, depression, and various local gut and systemic inflammatory disorders.

DIGESTIVE LEUCOCYTOSIS

When large polypeptide or even disaccharide molecules cross the gut wall into the portal circulation, they are past the digestive capabilities of the body and can no longer be broken down for nourishment. They must then be treated as a foreign invader and attacked accordingly. The number of circulating white blood cells increases to meet the crisis. Donders reported in 1843 that the number of white blood cells in the peripheral blood actually varied and was not constant. Rudolph Virchow, "the father of cellular pathology", made studies of the number of circulating white blood cells in 1897 and considered their fluctuation to be normal because all his subjects demonstrated an elevated count after ingesting food! This phenomenon has been confirmed many times since and has come to be referred to as digestive leucocytosis. Leucocytosis is considered a pathological condition expected to be found in cases of infection, intoxication, and poisoning. Imagine what it might mean to challenge your immune system every time you eat. Imagine a patient with any immune problemeven a "cold"and the body having to redirect its immune activities to combat inadequately digested food!

Paul Kautchakoff, M.D., expanded Virchow's findings in 1930 by proving that digestive leucocytosis was caused by eating enzymedeficient food. Kautchakoff found that he could divide his findings into four distinct groups according to the degree of elevation of white cells in the blood:

  1. Raw or frozen food still contain their enzymes and produced no increase in the W.B.C. count.
  2. Commonly cooked food caused a mild leucocytosis.
  3. Pressure cooked or canned food produced a moderate W.B.C. elevation.
  4. Manmade foods (which do not contain food enzymes), such as carbonated beverages, alcohol, white sugar, flour, vinegar, etc., were the most offensive, causing a severe leucocytosis. Kautchakoff went so far as to prove that meat would have to be eaten raw (cooking kills its enzymes) to avoid leucocytosis. He also found that cured, salted, canned, cooked meats brought on a violent reaction, equivalent to the leucocytosis seen in poisoning.

The leukocytes are rich in enzymes and apparently, are called upon to finish digestion not completed in the gut. They also carry on similar functions during infection when they digest foreign, proteinbased particles. Obviously, they would not be called upon if the body were capable of supplying 100% of the enzymes needed to digest the food ingested.

This pathological condition occurs after ingesting cooked food, because the enzymes found in food (capable of digesting in the stomach) are destroyed at 118 degrees Fahrenheit and no longer available. The body needs those enzymes to perform predigestion of ingested food, and when they are not present, the body must mobilize its immune system to combat the effects of deficiency.

The body has two ways of using enzymes to remove foreign matter from the extracellular fluids: pinocytosis and phagocytosis.

PINOCYTOSIS

The cell membrane has the ability to imbibe small amounts of substances from the extracellular fluid by the process called pinocytosis. This occurs particularly when large quantities of proteins or excessive amounts of salts are present in the surrounding fluid. Protein, for instance, becomes adsorbed to the membrane, which causes the membrane to invaginate and to pinch off inside the cell to form a pinocytic vesicle. Then, the pinocytic vesicle combines with one or more lysosomes which discharge hydrolytic enzymes into the vesicle; these in turn digest the protein and other substances in the vesicle. The end products of digestion then become distributed throughout the cell.

Lysosomes are sacs in the cell membranes that contain hydrolytic enzymes active at an acid pH which serve to digest exogenous material. The real importance of pinocytosis to the body is that this is the only known means by which very large molecules, such as those of protein, can be transported to the interior of cells. Please take careful note of this paragraph because it is of vital importance to clinicians. Notice that the enzymes must be active at an acid pHonly plant-sourced enzymes are active in an acid environment. Pancreatic enzymes or 'pancreatin' is active only in an alkaline environment.

PHAGOCYTOSIS

Phagocytosis occurs by essentially the same mechanism as pinocytosis, but phagocytosis means ingestion of large particulate matter, such as bacteria or cell fragments, that is free in the extracellular fluid. When one of these particles comes in contact with the membrane under appropriate circumstances, the membrane engulfs the particle and moves it to the inside of the cell where it is digested by lysosomes. Thus, the difference between phagocytosis and pinocytosis is primarily a matter of size. The importance of phagocytosis is that it is used by special cells, such as the white blood cells, to rid the body of bacteria and unwanted debris in the tissues.

CIRCULATING IMMUNE COMPLEXES

Having discussed how the body defends itself against foreign invaders (inadequately digested food or otherwise), let us look at circulating immune complexes. They are systemic foreign antigens and are the leading cause of Fibromyalgia. They can retard healing, promote and prolong pain from inflammatory processes, and reduce the competency of the immune system. Only adequate digestive processes and an intact intestinal mucosal barrier protects the body from entry by foreign antigens and their adverse systemic effects.

When digestive remnants putrefy in the gut, the resultant toxicity distresses the mucosal barrier, and a major portal of entry into the body for foreign antigens exists. Bowel Toxicity was discussed Part 2.

An adequate mucosal barrier is maintained by:

  • Adequate HCl production, biliary secretion, pancreatic and jejunal digestive enzymes to fully digest food. Incompetent digestion leads to a high urinary indican level.
  • Healthy intestinal microflora. An incompetent microflora is suggested by a white color change when testing the urinary sediment.
  • Healthy mucus to trap food digestive remnants and further digest them.
  • Adequate mucosal, secretary IgA (sIgA) antibodies to neutralize immunoreactive remnants that may reach the intestinal mucosal surface.
  • An intact diffusion barrier in the intestine to resist invasion by reactive, large molecules while allowing active uptake of essential nutritive and energetic factors.
  • Gutassociated lymphoid tissues of Peyer (Peyer's patches) to trap foreign invaders that manage to elude the primary trapping systems.

The mucosal barrier's integrity can be impaired by any of the following:

  • Stress: mechanical, chemical, or emotional
  • Chronic dietary deficiencies, especially food enzymes
  • Accumulated toxins.

MAINTENANCE OF HOMEOSTASIS

It should be obvious that a good diet in conjunction with adequate digestion and elimination are critical aspects in maintaining health and preventing disease. The presence of plantsourced enzymes in the diet (either in food or supplemental) and their ability to initiate digestion in the stomach is crucial to the maintenance of homeostasis. An overview of the entire concept looks like this:

1. Salivary and food enzymes initiate the digestiveprocess in the stomach.

2. Adequate HCl is donated from the extracellularfluid to the stomach.

3. Adequate HCO3is donated to the duodenumfor the activation of pancreatic enzymes.

4. Adequate pancreatic enzymes are produced.

5. Microvillous digestive enzymes are activein the jejunum for disaccharides.

6. Adequate soluble and insoluble fiber is ingested.

7. There is a healthy balanced population ofhostfriendly microflora.

8. The reticuloendothelial system (Kupffer hepaticcells and sinusoidal splenic cells) removes damaged cells and immunecomplexes.

9. Antibodies are produced.

10. Tcells defend against foreign invaders.

11. Phagocytic cells clean up inflammatory debris.

FIBROMYALGIA

Like low back pain, Fibromyalgia was initially believed to be a psychiatric disease. It is now widely accepted that Fibromyalgia is an independent physical illness, but a definite cause has not been established. Since Fibromyalgia occurs with other clinical disorders, these other diseases are often presumed to be the precipitating events. In particular, chronic fatigue syndrome and FM have similar clinical features. However, antibody titers of FM patients to EpsteinBarr or other viruses are not different from control values. Thus, while there is clinical overlap, Fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue appear to be distinct clinical entities.

Patients often report a precipitating stressor, such as a traumatic physical event or trauma from an automobile accident, emotional stress, and/or a severe infectious illness. However, it should be noted that not all patients report a precipitating event. Thus, the search for causes and mechanisms continues.

Despite the symptoms, physical laboratory and radiological studies are often normal because advanced immunology tests are often not performed. Unlike rheumatoid arthritis, this connective tissue disorder is not associated with deformity or inflammation of the joints. Thus, the diagnosis has been clinical rather than objective.

Specific alterations in sympathetic and hypothalamic pituitary adrenal activation have been demonstrated. Thus, the hypothesis of a central defect has been gaining ground.

Fibromyalgia (FM) is characterized by:

  • Musculoskeletal pain and aching
  • Morning stiffness and tenderness
  • Disturbed sleeping patterns
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Paresthesia
  • Bowel and bladder disturbances
  • Palpable soft tissue swelling
  • Raynaud's phenomenon
  • Rhinitis
  • Bruxism
  • Bursitis
  • Sciatica
  • Refractory allergies

T.M.J. dysfunction

The clinical picture of Fibromyalgia suggests a connection with an incompetent digestive, elimination, and immune system. The possibility of a bowel toxicity component in its etiology in very strong. The systemic pattern of symptoms is reminiscent of the symptoms mentioned in Part II of this series. At least it deserves your careful consideration.