Systemic Enzymes: What You Need To Know – Part 2
There are several different types of enzymes. Some make oxidation-reduction reactions possible. Others transfer a chemical group from one molecule to another, etc. The ones used in oral systemic enzyme preparations are proteases, meaning they catalyze the splitting of proteins.
The enzyme preparation I take is called Wobenzym. Because these are taken orally, they are coated to prevent breakdown by the hydrochloric acid of the stomach thus allowing the enzymes to reach the intestine. The G.I. tract is extremely important as an interface with the immune system. These enzymes pass through the gut wall and are then carried by the lymph and blood.
Wobenzym is my first choice for enzyme supplementation because it has been used in Europe for decades and extensive research has been done on this product. Wobenzym contains a combination of proteolytic enzymes. From the vegetable kingdom they contain bromelain and papain. From the mammalian kingdom they contain trypsin, chymotrypsin and pancreatin.
Why do I take these enzymes daily?
Dentistry is very demanding physically; sitting bent over for extended periods of time while treating a patient has caused me to have chronic lower back pain. My choices were to stop doing dentistry, to take anti-inflammatory drugs, or to take enzymes having an anti-inflammatory action. Given that the enzymes have no side effects, the choice was obvious. As long as I consistently take the Wobenzym I am pain-free. But this is only part of the reason I take them. Read on.
The immune system is made up of two parts, the humoral and the cellular. Each of these has a specific and a nonspecific defense system. Essentially this means that our immune system is always looking to find and destroy foreign invaders, be they bacteria, viruses or toxins, etc. This defensive work is done by its “foot soldiers”. The unspecific types of soldiers, i.e., white blood cells, are the first line of defense. If backup is needed, a second group of “specialized” troops, i.e., specific antibodies, is called in. Proteolytic enzymes work at various levels in the immune system and act as modulators, always trying to assist, and, in cases where the immune system is out of balance, (i.e., autoimmune problems), trying to help restore balance. This is why the enzymes are very helpful in preventing and treating cancer.
Cancer cells are always being produced, but they are usually destroyed. However, if the immune system has been compromised by toxins like pesticides, tobacco smoke, heavy metals etc., enough cancer cells may evade destruction to get a foothold in the body.
Systemic enzymes boost the immune system by increasing cytokines. Cytokines, particularly the two called interferon and tumor necrosis factor, are very important warriors in the fight against cancer.
Another way in which proteolytic enzymes help fight cancer is by dissolving fibrin. Cancer cells hide under fibrin so they can evade detection. Remember last month, I talked about how systemic enzymes decrease inflammation by destroying the fibrin, which prolongs the inflammatory state. Once the cancer cell is uncloaked it can be recognized and attacked by the immune system. Fibrin also makes the cancer cells more “sticky”. The more “sticky” the cancer cells are, the greater the likelihood of metastases. Some types of cancer cells are attached to endothelial cells (cells lining the inside wall of a vessel). They do this by making use of adhesion molecules.Systemic enzymes hinder this process, thereby also helping to prevent metastases.
Indeed, German studies have confirmed the effectiveness of enzymes in preventing metastases. Other important weapons of the immune system are the macrophages and natural killer cells. These fight cancer. It has been shown that systemic enzymes increase the effectiveness of both the macrophages and the natural killer cells by 12 times.
If a person is having chemotherapy or radiation therapy, systemic enzymes will decrease side effects. This benefit has been confirmed by studies overseas.
Women who have palpable nodes or fibrocystic breasts can often experience the resolution of this problem by taking systemic enzymes. A study done in Germany showed 85% of patients given systemic enzymes and vitamin E had significant improvement in only six weeks.
If you take an aspirin a day to help your heart, you may want to think about switching to systemic enzymes. Aspirin helps decrease myocardial infarction by preventing the blood from clotting through preventing platelet aggregation. However, long-term use of aspirin can cause stomach or intestinal problems, especially internal bleeding. Systemic enzymes also prevent platelet aggregation, and also have an anti-inflammatory effect like aspirin, but without side effects, even after years of intake.
Almost any disease that has an inflammatory component or is classified as an autoimmune disease can be helped with systemic enzyme therapy. Studies done in Europe, show systemic enzymes to be of significant benefit for those with multiple sclerosis. Systemic enzymes are of great help for people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, herpes zoster (shingles), and many other conditions.
Systemic enzymes are also very helpful in the world of sports. Taken prophylactically systemic enzymes help prevent injury and allow longer, harder training. If any injury does occur, systemic enzymes will reduce inflammation by supporting the body’s natural healing reactions, rather than interfering with them.
Systemic enzymes also helped regeneration of cartilage, something nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID’s) don’t do. One advantage of NSAID’s over systemic enzymes is they will act quickly to help the pain. Systemic enzymes need several days to take effect. So if you do get injured taking NSAID’s for a few days will be beneficial and usually will not harm you. However, taking NSAID’s long-term can have severe consequences. They allow chronic sub-acute inflammation to continue and they actually inhibit the repair processes of your joints. Use systemic enzymes if you have bruises, hematomas, muscle pulls, strains, sprains or just sore muscles.
How much to take.
Because the molecular size of these proteolytic enzymes are so large, only a small amount can be placed into a tablet. Unfortunately this means that one must consume a large number of tablets per day; however, they are relatively small and easy to swallow. Depending on what is being treated, one may need to consume anywhere from 15 to 80 these tablets per day.
In order not to have their effect interfered with, the enzymes should be taken at least one hour before a meal or one and one half hours to two hours after a meal with an 8-ounce glass of water. They should not be taken all at once but rather in three to five divided doses. Studies confirm that they indeed are absorbed and their concentration is highest two to four hours after administration.
With something acute like an injury take 30 to 50 tablets per day during the acute phase, tapering down to 15 to 20 tablets per day. In cancer treatment 70 to 80 tablets per day are advised.
I take five tablets three times per day to help prevent heart disease, cancer, backache, and to boost my immune system.
Systemic enzymes are virtually side-effect free. Toxicological studies have shown no toxic effect on the user or even on a fetus. The only exceptions are for a person who suffers from a lot of allergies, especially to protein. Such a person may not be able to tolerate the systemic enzymes. This is rare.
If a person is going to have surgery or a lot of blood loss is anticipated, systemic enzyme therapy should be discontinued 24 hours prior to surgery. Also, if a person is on anticoagulant therapy, i.e., heparin, the drug dosage may have to be reduced. Even though there have been no effects on a fetus, if you are pregnant, consult a physician before using these enzymes.
There are so many positive effects upon one’s health from the use of systemic enzymes, that it is impossible for me to list them all in one brief article.
If you like to learn more, you can look on the internet or read two books which I highly recommend. They are The Aspirin Alternative by Michael Lowes M. D. and Enzymes-a Drug of the Future by Drs. Wrba and Pecher.
© 2007, Mark A. Breiner, DDSThe information presented is for educational purposes only. You should consult a qualified dentist or health practitioner for diagnosis and treatment.