Essential Nutritional Categories: towards an understanding of which nutritional supplements should be taken, how many and for how long. Part Six
Essential Enzymes and human needs:
First, an enzyme is a protein that catalyzes or speeds up, a chemical reaction in the body. Enzymes are digestive agents that break down food particles into molecules that can then be absorbed through the intestinal walls and into the blood stream.
Secondly, enzymes require companions or helper molecules in order to operate. They are called co-factors. A co-factor is a substance that needs to be present with the enzyme for a certain reaction to take place. The term co-factor can refer to either an inorganic molecule that works with enzymes or organic molecules. It should be noted that some enzymes specifically require organic molecules (vitamins) to function correctly and others require inorganic molecules (minerals) to function properly. They are both called co-factors because they help carry pieces of molecules to different places in the body via the blood stream.
If the companion molecule is an organic vitamin then the companion is called a co-enzyme. The word co-enzyme refers to an organic molecule or a vitamin. A co-enzyme is a functional and necessary part of an enzyme.
Digestive enzymes come from food sources such as sprouts, papaya, pineapples, avocados, bananas and mangos. Enzymes are manufactured internally in our bodies by the digestive system which secretes them into the saliva, stomach, pancreas and intestines.
There are six main divisions or groups of enzymes. Within each class of enzymes there are many more.
The Six Groups:
- Hydrolases is needed to break down proteins, carbohydrates, and fat molecules into their simplest forms
- Isomerase breaks down chemical groups within molecules. Note: this enzyme is needed to help attach galactose (a monosaccharide) to the bodily cells
- Ligases brings about the unification of two different molecules
- Lyases splits the double bonds between atoms within certain chemical groups
- Oxidoreductases facilitates oxidation and reduction within a wide range of biological processes
- Trasnserases as the name implies, transfers chemical groups from one molecule to another
What happens if you are deficient in one or more critical enzymes? What if the necessary co-factors are not present? Or, what if the enzyme is missing the needed co-enzyme? Enzyme deficiency is known to cause heart problems, joint pain, obesity, and many other health problems because of the nutritional loss due to this deficiency. The importance of essential enzymes activity has been seriously overlooked in the field of nutritional science. There are a number of good enzymes supplements available in the marketplace.
In conclusion, hopefully, the information supplied above will help the reader with some directions when trying to answer the question regarding the right supplements and food sources along with how much of each particular supplement is needed by the body to feed or supply its necessary nutritional needs.
Unfortunately, there are no easy answers to each individual’s unique requirements. It would be wonderful if there was a nutritional body scanner that could answer this question. The doctor could then tell you if you needed extra vitamin B or more amino acids. Short of waiting for this machine to be invented, it seems prudent to adhere to a well balanced diet consisting of foods as close to their raw state as possible. In addition, maintaining a regime of essential nutrients and a proper exercise program, coupled with plenty of rest, drinking good clean water and breathing in clean air will help in developing a healthy active lifestyle.
Again, it needs to be asked, what happens if you are deficient in one or more of the essential monosaccharides, amino acids, vital dietary enzymes or vitamins and minerals? Will the glycosylation or other metabolic processes break down if an individual is lacking in their unique required nutritional needs?
Unless there are special factors that require a doctor’s analysis and recommendation, it is important to take enough of a supplement and take them long enough. Just like the glycosylation process which is ongoing, all cells need vitamins, minerals, amino acids, fatty acids and enzymes supplied in the diet or by supplementation to live. This is an ongoing, life long sustaining process. In other words, you need to nourish or feed your body.
Nutritional supplements are not drugs. We have to think of them differently. If we approach nutrition like drugs we will be looking for an overnight quick fix. Nourishing our bodies through proper diet and nutritional supplementation is completely different. It is a life style or way of life. Eating is necessary to live. It has been said “we are what we eat.” We need to evaluate if what we are eating is truly nourishment and not simply empty calories devoid of nutritional content.
And finally, some people ask when they would be able to stop taking a supplement. This question is a tip off that the individual is approaching a nutritional supplement like a drug. To make a point; what happens if you are deficient in one or more of the essential vitamins and minerals? Beriberi, pellagra, rickets and scurvy are well know nutritional deficiencies. If you had the symptoms of scurvy (a vitamin C deficiency) would you take a vitamin C supplement until the symptoms disappeared and then stop or make sure you are continuing to get enough vitamin C through your diet or a supplement for the rest of your life? The answer should be obvious.
In review, one of the ways the structure and function of cells are determined is by the nature of nutrition supplied into the body. Nutrition is the raw material that goes into the ongoing creation of new cellular structures. For this process to happen correctly you need to have vital nutrition in your body. Nutrition when ingested in the body is broken down into micronutrients which become the building blocks or parts used in the making of the cells in your body.
All of the recognized groups of nutrition are vital for improving cellular structure and function by supporting the physiological functions of repair, regeneration, and other immune defense mechanisms of the body. What I am saying is that the body repairs itself and nutrition provides the molecules necessary to accomplish this. When this happens, these are not a drug effects, it is normal physiology, in other words the biochemistry of the body is being changed nutritionally and because of this I am not claiming that nutritional products treat cure, or mitigate disease. In short, when the body has the correct nutrition supplied the structure of the new cells will normal and they will function correctly.
Nutrition is essential! You will not always feel (drug paradigm thinking) something from the supplementation of a nutrient for it to be supplying critically needed raw material for your body’s metabolism processes. Don’t short change yourself! Take charge of your health, live a healthy life style, nourish yourself with the best foods and find the best supplements on God’s green earth to support your body by giving it the tools needed to repair and correct it-self! In other words, give your body a fighting chance! Start discovering the wonderful world within you today. Support the immune, endocrine, digestive, and elimination systems of your body and don’t let health issues get the upper hand. Be proactive when it comes to your health!
To Your Health,
Certified Wellness Consultant (DSHEA Certified) (Diplomat in Nutritional Education and Health)
Mr. Kettler is an ordained Presbyterian Elder and the owner of Undergroundnotes.com where his theological, philosophical and political articles can be read. He has worked in corporate America for over 30 years and is now realizing his dreams as a successful home business entrepreneur. Permission is hereby granted to reprint this article as long as my web site is retained in the biographical information. Mr. Kettler can be contacted by e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Disclaimer: The information in this article should not be considered a substitute for a doctor’s care or advice.
- Journal of the American Medical Association, Vitamins for Chronic Disease Prevention in Adults, JAMA 2002; 287:3116
- Roger J. Williams, Biochemical Individuality, (New Canaan, Connecticut, Keats Publishing, Reprint 1998) p. 189.
- Williams, p. 189.
- Ibid, p. 190.
- Ibid, p. 184.
- Beth M. Ley, Colostrum & Lactoferrin, (Detroit Lakes, MN, BL Publications, 2000) pp. 45, 46.
Roger J. Williams, Biochemical Individuality, (New Canaan, Connecticut, Keats Publishing Reprint 1998).
Roger J. Williams, The Wonderful World Within You, (Wichita, Kansas, Bio Communications Press, Revised edition republished 1998).
Roger J. Williams, Nutrition Against Disease, (New York, Pitman Publishing Corporation, 1971).
Roger J. Williams, Physicians Handbook Of nutritional Science, (Springfield, Illinois, Thomas Books 1975).
Anthony J. Cichoke, The Complete Book Of Enzyme Therapy, (New York, Avery, 1999).
Robert Ronzio, The Encyclopedia of nutrition and Good Health, (New York. Facts On File Inc., 2003).
Beth M. Ley, Colostrum & Lactoferrin, (Detroit Lakes, MN, BL Publications, 2000).
Lester Packer and Carol Colman, The Antioxidant Miracle, (New York, John Wiley and Sons, Inc., 1999).