Facts About Enzymes
What are Enzymes?
Enzymes are substances that function as organic catalysts, in other words, they either start chemical reactions or make them run faster. They accomplish this while remaining unchanged themselves. Enzymes are composed of two parts, a protein portion called the apoenzyme and an on protein portion, either a coenzyme (organic) or cofactor (inorganic).Enzymes are present in every cell in both plants and animals; and are responsible for regulating the biochemical reactions necessary to sustain life. Enzymes are highly specific, both in the substrate they affect, and in there actions they catalyze. They can exist both in active and in inactive forms, and many enzymes occur naturally in both active and inactive forms in cells.They can, however, be permanently inactivated by altering their environmental conditions, such as pH or temperature.
Is acidophilus an enzyme?
No, acidophilus is a very beneficial bacteria that lives in the colon. It does aid in absorption of nutrients but it is not an enzyme and will not digest food in the stomach.
How do enzymes aid in digestion?
Enzymes are an integral part of the digestive process. From the time food enters the mouth, enzymes are at work breaking the food down into smaller and smaller units until it can be absorbed through the intestinal wall. These enzymes come from two sources, those found in the food itself, and those produced in the body.
All raw food naturally contains the proper types and proportions of enzymes necessary to assist in the process of decomposition.In addition, when raw food is eaten, chewing ruptures the cell membranes and releases these indigenous food enzymes, many of which survive and contribute to the digestive process.
These enzymes include protease, which breaks long protein chains (polypeptides) into smaller amino acid chains and eventually into single amino acids, amylase that reduces large carbohydrates (starches and other polysaccharides) to disaccharides including sucrose, lactose, and maltose, lipase that digests fats (triglycerides) into free fatty acids and glycerol, and cellulase.
Most food enzymes are essentially destroyed under the conditions used to cook and process food, leaving foods devoid of enzyme activity. Placing the full digestive burden on the body, the body’s digestive process can become over-stressed. Digestive problems can result, causing improper digestion and malabsorption of nutrients that can have far reaching effects. Supplemental enzymes can support the level of digestion and help assure that the maximum level of nutrient absorption is attained.
Supplemental enzymes of microbial and plant origin work at the pH found in the upper stomach. Food sits in the upper portion of the stomach for as long as an hour before gastric secretions begin their action. Several studies have shown that the enzymes in saliva continue their digestive activity in the upper stomach and can digest up to 30% of the ingested protein,60% of ingested starch and10% of ingested fat during the 30 to 60 minutes after consumption. Although salivary enzymes accomplish a significant amount of digestion, their activity is limited to a pH level above 5.0. Supplemental microbial enzymes, and some plant enzymes, are active in the pH range of 3.0 to 9.0 and can facilitate the hydrolysis of a much larger amount of protein, carbohydrates and fat before Hydrochloric Acid is secreted in sufficient amounts to neutralize their activity. Obviously, these enzymes can contribute significantly in support food nutrient utilization.
Always talk to your vet before giving any supplement to your pets.
*The statements made within this website have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These statements and the products of this company are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.