Do you suffer from the following:
If so, you will want to read further.
“Itis” means inflammation and this newsletter is about controlling inflammation without drugs.
Traditionally, aspirin and now other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are used to help inflammatory problems, especially those associated with pain. However, these are not without risk.
It is estimated that these drugs cause approximately 15,000 deaths a year just in the U. S. In fact about 6% of those taking NSAIDs will end up hospitalized. Paradoxically, if one person is thought to have a problem because of a nutritional supplement, there is uproar by the powers that be to ban it! But, remember Vioxx. It was taken off the market because of its side effects, the main one being death.
Enzymes are proteins that act as catalysts to speed up biochemical reactions in the body. Without enzymes, most bodily processes could not take place. Approximately 2,700 enzymes have been discovered to date, and it is estimated there are about 50,000 of them. Enzyme therapy goes back to biblical times with the use of certain plants. The father of modern enzyme therapy is Dr. Max Wolf. He noted the beneficial effects of enzymes in treating cancer patients as well as on general health and longevity. His work spanned the years starting around 1920 up until his death in 1975.
The most important type of enzymes for anti-inflammatory use are the protein cleaving ones, collectively known as proteases. The formulations used today are derived from both vegetable and animal sources and are based on the research and clinical results of Dr. Wolf and his collaborator, Dr. Helen Benitez, of Columbia University. They found that a synergistic effect resulted from using enzymes from both the animal and vegetable kingdoms.
If the volume of sales of pain killers, including narcotics, is a yardstick, we are a nation in great pain.
NSAIDS have their place. They are great for the immediate relief of pain. However, to take them for a prolonged period of time is dangerous. This is where systemic enzymes shine. They can be taken indefinitely with virtually no adverse side effects. However, it may take 4-8 weeks for them to begin relieving the chronic pain.
Their main activity is to control excessive inflammation. Excessive inflammation is the CORE problem of many chronic diseases including heart disease.
How do oral enzymes control inflammation? I quote the following from “The Aspirin Alternative”, by Roes and Steinman, “Enzymes 1) Break down proteins in the blood that cause inflammation by facilitating their removal via the bloodstream and lymphatic system. 2) Remove “fibrin”, the clotting material that prolongs inflammation. 3) Clear up edema (excess water) in the area of inflammation. 4) Counteract chronic, recurrent inflammation, a primary cause of chronic degenerative joint and other diseases.”
Studies show that as we age we manufacture fewer enzymes. Also the enzymes we might get from foods are less than it should be because of overcooking and over-processing. Heat destroys enzymes. This is why raw food diets can be beneficial.
A lot of diseases today are labeled “auto-immune.”, i.e., arthritis. Here the body has produced damaged proteins. The body recognizes these as foreign and produces antibodies. The resulting “immune complexes” themselves are looked upon as foreign and the immune system attacks them. You now have a chronic inflammatory problem. NSAIDs will reduce pain and inflammation; however, they are not addressing the underlying problem, i.e., the immune complexes causing the person’s immune system to attack itself.
Systemic oral enzymes help circulation by inhibiting platelet aggregation, increasing red blood cell flexibility and by preventing abnormal clotting through increased fibrinolytic activity. Think about how valuable these enzymes can be in preventing heart attacks or strokes.
Lastly, the oral-systemic enzymes help the immune system become more efficient at clearing cellular debris, thereby reducing inflammation. (A big reason why I give enzymes to all my dental surgery patients.) You can see why oral systemic enzymes are indicated for any inflammatory condition and also as a preventative therapy. To further illustrate how wonderful these enzymes are, next month I will discuss their use for other specific diseases and injuries.
In Memoriam, Richard Neubauer, MD, a health visionary and pioneer in the use of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy for neurologic conditions passed away last week. His research and clinical practice of over forty years led to a worldwide recognition of the application of hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) for a variety of neurologic and related disorders. Among the conditions researched and treated at his Ocean Hyperbaric Neurologic Center in Florida were multiple sclerosis, stroke, cerebral palsy, coma, traumatic brain injury, and near-drowning.
I received my hyperbaric oxygen training under Dr. Neubauer and considered him both a mentor and a friend. He will be missed. – Adam Breiner, ND