Why is eating food in its natural state, unprocessed and unrefined, so vital to the maintenance of good health? What is lacking in our modern diet that makes us so susceptible to degenerative disease? What natural elements in food may play a key role in unlocking the secrets of life extension? These fascinating questions, and many more, are answered in Enzyme Nutrition.
Written by one of America’s pioneering biochemists and nutrition researchers, Dr. Edward Howell, Enzyme Nutrition presents the most vital nutritional discovery since that of vitamins and minerals—food enzymes. Our digestive organs produce some enzymes internally, however food enzymes are necessary for optimal health and must come from uncooked foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables, raw sprouted grains, unpasteurized dairy products, and food enzyme supplements.
Enzyme Nutrition represents more than fifty years of research and experimentation by Dr. Howell. He shows us how to conserve our enzymes and maintain internal balance. As the body regains its strength and vigor, its capacity to maintain its normal weight, fight disease, and heal itself is enhanced.
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About the Author
Dr. Edward Howell began his study of food enzymes more than eighty years ago. After receiving a medical license from the state of Illinois, he spent six years on the professional staff of the Lindlahr Sanitarium, a well-known “nature cure” hospital. In 1930, Dr. Howell established his own facility for the treatment of chronic ailments, utilizing nutritional and physical therapies. Until his retirement in 1970, Dr. Howell devoted his time to both his private practice and his food and soil enzyme research. He continued his writing and research efforts up until the time of his death in 1988.
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The medical and health procedures in this book are based on the training, personal experience, and research of the author. Because each person and situation is unique, the author and publisher urge the reader to check with a qualified health professional before using any procedure where there is any question as to its appropriateness.
The publisher does not advocate the use of any particular diet and exercise program, but believes the information presented in this book should be available to the public.
Because there is always some risk involved, the author and publisher are not responsible for any adverse effects or consequences resulting from the use of any of the suggestions, preparations, or procedures in this book. Please do not use the book if you are unwilling to assume the risk. Feel free to consult a physician or other qualified health professional. It is a sign of wisdom, not cowardice, to seek a second or third opinion.
Cover art by Tim Peterson
Cover design by Rudy Shur
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Howell, Edward, 1898–
1. Enzymes—Therapeutic use. 2. Nutrition.
1. Murray, Maynard. II. Title. [DNLM: 1. Enzymes. 2. Nutrition. QU 135 H859e]
RM666.E55H68 1985 616.8’54 85–11222
Copyright © 1985 by Edward Howell
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the copyright owner.
As a researcher, reporter, and author of over twenty books on nutrition, health, and related subjects, I feel privileged to be able to introduce the concept of food enzymes to you as presented by Dr. Edward Howell in this book. Here is how my own introduction to this excellent work occurred. I read an interview of Dr. Howell on the subject of Food Enzymes in the Healthview Newsletter, published in Charlottesville, Virginia. This interview was so impressive, I asked for permission from the editors of the newsletter to write an article about Dr. Howell and enzymes in Let’s LIVE magazine, of which I am a contributing editor. After receiving permission, I wrote the article for the June 1977 issue of Let’s LIVE. The response of the public to this information, which stated how enzymes could aid health and prolong life, was so strong that the magazine editors stated that “this article has drawn more comment from the readers than perhaps any article in Let’s LIVE history.” This is due, I am sure, to the helpful potential of the use of enzymes in the daily diet, as explained by Dr. Howell in this book, Enzyme Nutrition. More recently, due to many requests of old and newer subscribers who had heard about the enzyme information, this article was repeated in the August 1980 issue of Let’s LIVE. At the time of the writing of the June 1977 article, the only source of the information appeared in the Healthview Newsletter and the Let’s LIVE magazine. At that time, suggestions were given that Dr. Howell was at work on a complete book on the subject. Many scientists and doctors wrote me asking for information, as well as for the address of Dr. Howell, who had not yet finished the book. This book is now finished, and the full story of how enzymes can help human (as well as animal) health is at last revealed.
This information is a new addition to the history of nutrition and the betterment of health, now available to scientists, doctors, and you, the general public.
Linda Clark, M.A.
In the early 1900s, Casimar Funk discovered the vital importance of vitamins in human nutrition and health. Some years later, researchers looked at the then unknown role of minerals and trace elements in health. Again, the nutritional picture took on a new dimension. This book is an attempt to bring into the light the most important nutritional discovery since vitamins, minerals, and trace elements, and perhaps the only solution to our present health crisis—food enzymes. The study of food enzymes in nutrition and human health has been a ‘sore eye’ to both scientists and nutritionists alike. For enzymes operate on both chemical and biological levels, and science cannot measure or synthesize their biological or life energy.
This biological force is the very core of every enzyme. Various names such as life energy, life force, life principle, vitality, vital force, strength, and nerve energy have been offered to describe this energy. Without the life energy of enzymes we would be nothing more than a pile of lifeless chemical substances—vitamins, minerals, water, and proteins. In both maintaining health and in healing, enzymes and only enzymes do the actual work. They are what we call in metabolism, the body’s labor force.
Enzyme Nutrition points out that each one of us is given a limited supply of bodily enzyme energy at birth. This supply, like the energy supply in your new battery, has to last a lifetime. The faster you use up your enzyme supply, the shorter your life. A great deal of our enzyme energy is wasted haphazardly throughout life. The habit of cooking our food and eating it processed with chemicals; and the use of alcohol, drugs, and junk food all draw out tremendous quantities of enzymes from our limited supply. Frequent colds and fevers and exposure to extremes of temperature also deplete the supply. A body in such a weakened, enzyme-deficient state is a prime target for cancer, obesity, heart disease, or other degenerative problems. A lifetime of such abuse often ends in the tragedy of death at middle age.
The purpose of this book is to educate scientists, health activists, and lay persons about the enzyme theories that Dr. Howell calls the Food Enzyme Concept. Along with his book The Status of Food Enzymes in Digestion and Metabolism, it is the first significant scientific attempt to prove the necessity of raw foods in human nutrition. In it he tells us what enzymes are, how they keep us alive, and the consequences of the present enzyme-deficient diet. In a highly readable and entertaining style, Dr. Howell exposes the crippled attempts of modern medicine to heal disease and its failure to attack the root of the problem. His conclusion is that many, if not all, degenerative diseases that humans suffer and die from are caused by the excessive use of enzyme-deficient cooked and processed foods. With all the billions of dollars spent on university and private research, it seems amazing that the cause of our current health crisis could be so clear-cut and simple. Yet the scientist or lay person who reads this book must respect the conclusions of Dr. Howell and the hundreds of contributing researchers as a significant contribution to the fields of human nutrition, degenerative disease, and aging.
In Chapter 1, the book gives an overview of the Food Enzyme Concept. This is followed by a discussion of the elusive life principle in enzymes and what Dr. Howell refers to as the enzyme bank account or potential. Each of us is given a limited supply of enzyme energy at birth that must last us a lifetime. Key to his theory that man could live longer and be healthier by guarding against loss of his precious enzymes is the example of wild animals in nature, who statistically outlive man and die of only a handful of natural causes. Howell goes on to show that bodily enzyme depletion and aging go hand in hand in both laboratory animals and humans.
Chapter 3 tells us what enzymes are and what they do in our body: they are the workers responsible for every activity of life; even thinking requires enzyme activity. Also in Chapter 3, the enzymes in foods are listed and their use in traditional recipes worldwide is explained in detail. The chapter also shows how animals harness the enzyme power in food by burying or covering it, thus allowing the food enzymes to predigest it, before they return to eat it. In this way they preserve their own precious enzyme supply.
Two important discoveries are discussed in Chapter 4, the food-enzyme stomach and the Law of Adaptive Secretion of Digestive Enzymes. The latter states that the body calls for exactly the quantity and type of enzymes needed according to the character of each meal eaten. This replaces the false theory of parallel secretion of enzymes which claimed that the organism’s three main enzymes, protease, lipase, and amylase, are all secreted in equal amounts regardless of the type of food eaten, raw or cooked. The existence of the food-enzyme stomach in animals and humans is the key to the Food Enzyme Concept. Howell shows that what was formerly called the “idle” cardiac portion of the human stomach is really a non-glandular food-enzyme stomach where sizable quantities of starch and other nutrients are predigested by salivary ptyalin and food enzymes for up to one hour before undergoing the more widely known functions of digestion. The crops of birds, worms, and grasshoppers, the forestomachs of cattle, sheep, and other ruminants, and the huge non-glandular forestomach of the whale are all examples of food-enzyme stomachs in animals.
One fatal process may be the cause of all humanity’s bodily ills. If you haven’t guessed already, it is the cooking of food, the subject of Chapter 5. Prolonged heat over 118° F kills enzymes; cooking temperatures destroy 100 percent of the enzymes in food. What is left is enzymeless food that makes up the bulk of the modern enzyme-deficient diet. With such heavy withdrawals of enzymes needed to digest an almost-all-cooked diet, it’s not hard to see how we become metabolically enzyme-poor even in middle age: heavy withdrawals and skimpy deposits lead to eventual bankruptcy. Unfortunately, the glands and the major organs, including the brain, suffer most from the unnatural digestive drain on the metabolic enzyme potential. Howell shows how the pancreas swells to meet the great demand for its juices while other glands also abnormally adapt, and how the brain actually shrinks on the all-cooked and over-refined diet.
Putting enzymes to work for you is the focus of Chapter 6, in which Dr. Howell explains the enzyme diet, enzyme therapy, and weight reduction techniques using raw calories from enzyme-rich foods. Perhaps this is the first logical attempt to explain the cause of overweight. Howell’s solution is equally lucid: the substitution of raw calories for cooked ones as much as possible. Raw milk, bananas, avocados, seeds, nuts, grapes, and many other natural foods are singled out as being moderately high in calories and in food enzymes too. Enzyme supplements are suggested for use with all cooked foods, and in larger dosages, under supervision, in enzyme therapy.
The question of enzyme inhibitors in raw foods, especially seeds, is put to rest in Chapter 7. For while inhibitors do exist and can block the digestion of food elements by inhibiting enzyme activity, Dr. Howell discusses the best methods of eliminating them from foods altogether.
Finally, Chapters 8 and 9 turn to the problems of allergies and degenerative diseases. Cancer, arthritis, and heart disease are discussed in the light of enzyme therapy, fasting, and raw diets. Here again, the animal kingdom and native cultures provide us with a wealth of information: Whales, which carry a layer of fat up to six inches, yet have completely clean arteries, free of cholesterol; and the Eskimos, who sometimes eat several pounds of fat per day. Yet, medical officers in exploration teams unanimously found clean arteries and no obesity among them. How do the whales and primitive Eskimos escape the ravages of animal fats? Both eat fats raw, with their full complement of lipase, a fat-digesting food enzyme found abundantly in all raw foods containing sizable quantitites of animal or vegetable fat.
The causes of cancer, arthritis, and allergies are equally understandable in light of the Food Enzyme Concept, as are the remedial approaches and preventive measures.
As an author, lecturer, researcher, and former Director of the Hippocrates Health Institute, I have seen remarkable healings and improvements in health and energy levels in individuals following periods on raw food diets. In many cases dramatic results are often obtained within a month or less, especially in problems of toxicity, exhaustion, low energy levels, and overweight. Of course, accounting for the modern pace of life and the weakened human condition, it may be difficult and potentially harmful to adopt a totally raw diet for extended periods. However, Enzyme Nutrition offers a safe and practical alternative: the use of supplemental enzymes in addition to the cooked foods eaten. Under laboratory conditions, certain of these supplemental enzymes are capable of digesting over a million times their weight in cooked food. Does it not make perfect sense to let outside enzymes do some of the work and save your own limited supply of enzymes for the important work of cellular metabolism?
The Food Enzyme Concept of human nutrition is indeed a revelation—one which stands uncontradicted, even in this age of rapid advancement of technology and new methods of testing. Dr. Howell’s contribution to the understanding of enzymes and raw food research represents a giant leap forward in the science of nutrition, no less so than the monumental discoveries of vitamins and minerals. It is now up to the many dedicated scientists, health activists, and interested lay persons to apply this new knowledge of enzymes and further the potentials for healing, vibrant health, and longevity that Dr. Howell points to.
The length of life is inversely proportional to the rate of exhaustion of the enzyme potential of an organism. The increased use of food enzymes promotes a decreased rate of exhaustion of the enzyme potential.
The Enzyme Nutrition Axiom
—Dr. Edward Howell
Introduction to Enzyme Nutrition
THE ENZYME COMPLEX
I adhere to the philosophy that both the living organism and its enzymes are inhabited by a vital principle or life energy which is separate and distinct from the caloric energy liberated from food by enzyme action. I would not like to think, when a person talks to me face to face, that it is the energy of the potato he has just digested that is producing his whimsical remarks and animated conversation. I prefer to believe that complex emotions, such as joy, sorrow, and anger, are powered by the same vital energy that the enzyme complex utilizes in metabolizing food—not by the caloric energy of a potato or other food. Emotions are capable of being expressed even in starving persons where there is no food in the body to supply caloric energy.
I define the enzyme complex in biological rather than chemical terms. The enzyme complex harbors a protein carrier inhabited by a vital energy factor. For almost a hundred years chemistry has maintained that enzymes work by their mere presence, without being used up in the process. It has implied that the energy powering enzyme activity is derived, not from the enzymes, but solely from the substrate (the substance being changed or metabolized). If that is true, where does the energy come from to trigger or start the reaction before the energy of the substrate is released to become available? Chemistry concedes that only the living organism can make enzymes, but it implies it can do this without paying a price. Official chemistry maintains, at least by implication, that enzymes are mere chemical flunkies; that they are recklessly expendable. The Food Enzyme Concept holds that organisms endow enzymes with a vital activity factor that is exhaustible. Also that the capacity of a living organism to make enzymes—the enzyme potential—is limited and exhaustible.
The chemical conception that enzymes work by their mere presence, without being used up in the process, is based upon the epochal work of O’Sullivan and Tompson on invertase, published in 1890. Nowhere in this work of almost a hundred pages do the authors state that enzymes work by their mere presence and are not used up in the process. O’Sullivan and Tompson took a tolerant attitude toward the definition of Roberts, Lumlian Lectures (1880), that the living body imparts a definite amount of vital force to enzymes, and that this force acts upon a substrate until it is exhausted.
Enzymes represent the life element which is biologically recognized and can be measured in terms of enzyme activity. Our easiest measurement is a lack, for various chemical reactions fail to occur without enzymes: a radiated or cooked potato will fail to sprout. Thought of for years as catalysts, enzymes are much more than these inert substances. Catalysts work by chemical action only, while enzymes function by both biological and chemical action. Catalysts do not contain the “life element,” which is measured as a kind of radiation which enzymes emit. This radiation cannot be measured simply by any ordinary device, but it can be demonstrated by biological means and other methods. The following are means of identifying this hidden entity: The Mitogenetic Rays of Gurwitsch, Kirlian Electro-Magnetic Photography, Rothen’s Enzyme Action at a Distance, and Visual Micro Observation of Working Enzymes. Enzymes contain proteins and some contain vitamins which can and have been synthesized by chemists. However, the “life principle” or “activity factor” of the enzyme has never been synthesized. The proteins in enzymes serve merely as carriers of enzyme activity factors. We can summarize that enzymes are protein carriers charged with vital energy factors, just as your car battery consists of metal plates charged with electrical energy. The objectionable idea that enzymes are not exhaustible was coined by others later and ignores the biological evidence that is the topic of this book, Enzyme Nutrition.
ENZYMES AND DISEASE
The human race is at least half sick. In a biological sense, there are no completely healthy people living on the conventional diet. Even those young adults who feel fit have health defects. Some have dental caries, thin hair, approaching baldness, acne or allergies, headaches, impaired vision, constipation, and so on, ad infinitum. And these are just superficial phenomena that the individuals can spot themselves. Medical examination finds more. How many ailments afflict the human race? One hundred? Five hundred? One thousand? Are we more expert in breeding disease than are wild animals? Can you name even one species of wild animal afflicted with a hundred diseases? Fifty? Twenty-five? Or even one? We must exclude “wild” animals that feast at our garbage dumps. To make themselves disease-proof, do wild animals perform some special ceremony we don’t know about? We shall see.
There are three classes of enzymes: metabolic enzymes, which run our bodies; digestive enzymes, which digest our food; and food enzymes from raw foods, which start food digestion. Our bodies—all our organs and tissues—are run by metabolic enzymes. These enzyme workers take proteins, fats, and carbohydrates (starches, sugars, etc.), and structure them into healthy bodies, keeping everything working properly. Every organ and tissue has its own particular metabolic enzymes to do specialized work. One authority made an investigation and found 98 distinct enzymes working in the arteries, each with a particular job to do. The liver has numerous different enzymes working. No one has ever investigated how many specific enzymes are needed to run the heart, brain, lungs, kidneys, etc.
Since good health depends on all of these metabolic enzymes doing an excellent job, we must be sure that nothing interferes with the body making enough of them. A shortage could mean trouble, many times serious. Modern research is implicating enzymes in all of our activities. Even thinking involves some enzyme activity. In 1930, 80 enzymes were known; in 1947, 200; in 1957, 660; in 1962, 850; and by 1968, science had identified 1300 of them. If you wanted to find out how many enzymes are known today, you might have to hire a specialist full-time to make a survey. And although thousands of enzymes are known, many more reactions have been identified for which the enzymes responsible are not yet known. Hundreds of metabolic enzymes are necessary to carry on the work of the body—to repair damage and decay, and heal diseases.
Digestive enzymes have only three main jobs: digesting protein, carbohydrate, and fat. Proteases are enzymes that digest protein; amylases digest carbohydrate, and lipases digest fat. Nature’s plan calls for food enzymes to help with digestion instead of forcing the body’s digestive enzymes to carry the whole load. If food enzymes do some of the work, according to the Law of Adaptive Secretion of Digestive Enzymes, the enzyme potential can allot less activity to digestive enzymes, and have much more to give to the hundreds of metabolic enzymes that run the entire body. If food enzymes did some of the work, the enzyme potential would not be facing impending bankruptcy, as it is now in the bodies of millions of people on the minus diet—food minus its enzymes. Our enzyme potential has a problem somewhat similar to a checking account which could become dangerously deficient if not continually replenished.
THE FOOD ENZYME CONCEPT
The Food Enzyme Concept introduces a new way of looking at disease. It heralds a revolution in our understanding of disease processes. According to the Food Enzyme Concept, enzymes possess biological, as well as chemical, properties. When ingested, the enzymes in raw food, or supplementary enzymes, result in a significant degree of digestion, lowering the drain on the organism’s own enzyme potential. The heat used in cooking destroys all food enzymes and forces the organism to produce more enzymes, thus enlarging digestive organs, especially the pancreas. When an excessive amount of digestive enzymes is made, the enzyme potential may be unable to produce an adequate quantity of metabolic enzymes to repair body organs and fight disease. Are digestive enzymes being wasted? The Food Enzyme Concept furnishes conclusive proof that in most people digestive enzymes are being used up with reckless abandon. Although the body makes less than two dozen digestive enzymes, it uses up more of its enzyme potential supplying these than it uses to make the hundreds of metabolic enzymes needed to keep all of the organs and tissues functioning with their diversified activities. The digestive enzymes of civilized humans are infinitely stronger and more concentrated in enzyme activity than any of the metabolic enzymes—more concentrated than any other enzyme combination found in nature. Human saliva and pancreatic juice are loaded with enzyme activity. There is no evidence that wild animals, living on natural raw diets, have digestive enzyme juices even remotely approaching the strength of those found in civilized human beings.
THE LAW OF ADAPTIVE SECRETION OF DIGESTIVE ENZYMES
If the human organism must devote a huge portion of its enzyme potential to making digestive enzymes, it spells trouble for the whole body because there is a strain on production of metabolic enzymes and there may not be enough enzyme potential to go around. There is competition between the two classes of enzymes. Does science point a way out of this desperate situation? Yes. In 1943, the physiological laboratory of Northwestern University established the Law of Adaptive Secretion of Digestive Enzymes by experiments on rats. The amount of digestive enzymes secreted by the pancreas in response to carbohydrate, protein, and fat was measured and it was found that the strength of each enzyme varied with the amount of each of these food materials it was called upon to digest. Prior to this it was assumed that enzymes were secreted in equal proportions, according to the rule laid down by Professor Babkin. The Law of Adaptive Secretion of Digestive Enzymes holds that the organism values its enzymes highly and will make no more than are needed for the job. If some of the food is digested by enzymes in the food, the body will make less concentrated digestive enzymes. The Law of Adaptive Secretion of Digestive Enzymes has since been confirmed by dozens of university laboratories throughout the world.
If humans take in more exogenous (outside) digestive enzymes, as nature ordained, the enzyme potential will not have to waste so much of its heritage digesting food. It can distribute more of this precious commodity to the metabolic enzymes, where it rightfully belongs. This rightful distribution of enzyme energy will not only act to maintain health and prevent disease, but is expected to help cure established disease. The old saying that nature will cure really refers to metabolic enzyme activity, because there is no other mechanism in the body to cure anything.
To get enzymes from food, one must eat raw food. All life, whether plant or animal, requires the presence of enzymes to keep it going. Therefore, all plant and animal food in the raw state has them. But the mere touch of heat destroys them. Enzymes tolerate no heat at all. They are different from vitamins in this respect. Pasteurization destroys the life force in them, even though much less heat is used than in cooking (145 °F versus 300 °F or higher). If water is hot enough to feel uncomfortable to the hand, it will injure enzymes in food. All foods from a food factory have been heat processed by one means or another.
Evidence of Enzyme Wastage
We are guilty of being careless with enzymes. They are the most precious asset we possess and we should welcome outside enzyme help. If we depend solely upon the enzymes we inherit, they will be used up just like inherited money that is not supplemented by a steady income. The Food Enzyme Concept points out that acute wastage of large quantities of enzymes is strenuously objected to by the body. It can lead to serious illness and even death. In an experiment in 1944, young rats and chickens were fed a diet of raw soybeans (high in enzyme inhibitors) and huge quantities of pancreatic digestive enzymes were wasted in combating the inhibitors. The pancreas gland enlarged to handle the extra burden, and the animals sickened and failed to grow. Soybeans are seeds, and all seeds have some enzyme inhibitors. (Enzyme inhibitors are discussed in Chapter 7.) The early experiments, proving that organisms rebel against having their enzymes wasted, have now been repeated and amplified in dozens of scientific experimental laboratories. Eating the seeds and their inhibitors causes a great outpouring and wastage of pancreatic digestive enzymes, enlargement of the pancreas, decrease in the supply of metabolic enzymes, stunted growth, and impaired health.
My organ weight tables, some of which are presented in this book (see here, here), show that the size and weight of the pancreas varies with the type of diet. When the pancreas must process more enzymes, it enlarges. Is this wholesome for the individual? When the heart works too hard pumping blood through damaged arteries, it enlarges. Who wants an enlarged heart? Are enlarged tonsils something to desire? Or an enlarged thyroid gland, turning into a goiter? What about an enlarged liver? The everyday variety of enlarged pancreas is painless, not letting its owner know it is doing anything wrong, while indiscriminately handling the enzyme activity doled out to it and stressing the whole system. We are guilty of forcing our precious enzyme activity to do all of the menial work of digestion and then expect it also to do a perfect job on the metabolism. Food enzymes, and other exogenous enzymes, can help with digestion, but not with metabolism. Then why not let these helper-enzymes free our body’s energy stores to more efficiently run the metabolism of the body?
Animals such as cattle and sheep get along with a pancreas about a third as large as ours (figured as a percentage of the body weight) on their raw food diet. Laboratory mice, eating the standard laboratory chow diet of heat-processed, enzyme-free food, have a pancreas two to three times heavier than that of wild mice eating the enzyme diet of raw food they find in nature. When laboratory rats are put on an enzyme-rich diet of raw food, their pancreas gets only about one third as heavy as the same gland in rats fed a random diet, or one totally free of enzymes.
The tremendous impact that wastage of body enzymes can have on health and even life itself is pointed out by experiments performed on animals. At Washington University, surgeons equipped a group of dogs with fistulae (tubes) designed to drain all of the pancreatic juice enzymes out of the body and waste them. Despite the animals’ usual access to food and water, profound deterioration set in, and all of them died within a week. This experiment was later duplicated on rats by other research workers and the same sequence of events took place, with death following in less than a week. Acute human intestinal obstruction has been described as resulting in death within three to five days. Both in experimental intestinal obstruction in the dog, and in spontaneous human obstruction, authorities believe death is attributable to loss of pancreatic juice enzymes, caused by continuous vomiting. It is a remarkable fact that prolonged loss of bile through biliary fistulae, which prevent bile from entering the intestines, is not fatal in man or in laboratory animals, because no enzymes are wasted in this instance. The modern human digestive system makes extravagant demands on the enzyme potential. In this area man is in a class by himself, unlike all of nature’s creatures in the wild. Indeed, only humans live on enzyme-free food. All wild creatures get their enzyme supplements in the raw food itself. Animals using raw food do not have the rich concentrations of enzyme activity in their digestive juices that humans do. Many animals have no enzymes at all in the saliva. But human saliva is loaded with a fantastically high concentration of the enzyme amylase, also known as ptyalin. Cattle and sheep secrete huge quantities of saliva entirely devoid of enzymes. The horse has no salivary enzymes on its natural raw diet. When dogs and cats eat their natural raw, carnivorous diet, there are no enzymes in the saliva. But when dogs are fed on a high carbohydrate, heat-treated diet, enzymes show up in the saliva within about a week, obeying the Law of Adaptive Secretion of Digestive Enzymes.
THE FOOD-ENZYME STOMACH
One would think that because ruminants such as cattle and sheep have no enzymes in the saliva, they would have an extra large concentration of enzymes in the pancreatic juice to make up for it. But this is not the case. My organ weight research has, in fact, disclosed that the pancreas of cattle and sheep is much smaller than ours, figured as a percentage of body weight. This shows that these animals get along with far less pancreatic enzymes than we. Cattle and sheep have four stomachs, only one of which secretes enzymes. And this one is the smallest. The other three, which are forestomachs, and which I have named food-enzyme stomachs, have no enzymes of their own, but allow enzymes of the food to digest it. In addition, the forestomachs of ruminants harbor protozoa, giving these tiny animals “free room and board” in exchange for use of the enzymes in digesting the food. It is a nice symbiotic relationship. As the digestion of a meal is advanced, most of the protozoa pass on into the fourth stomach where they are digested and supply a considerable portion of the protein requirements of the ruminants. This raises the question whether animals, such as cattle and sheep, are true vegetarians, since protozoa are animals, and their hosts depend on them for some of their nutrients.
Besides the forestomachs of ruminants, a study of comparative anatomy furnishes other examples of what I have called the food-enzyme stomach. For years, physiologists were puzzled as to the function of these organs. The largest food-enzyme stomach in the world is owned by the whale, the first of three stomachs of this largest member of the Cetacea. The smaller cetaceans are dolphins and porpoises, which also have a food-enzyme stomach and two other stomachs. These food-enzyme stomachs are loaded up with enormous catches of aquatic prey. One killer whale was found to have 32 seals piled up in its food-enzyme stomach. It must be kept in mind that these food-enzyme stomachs secrete no enzymes or acid. How do you suppose this huge pile of whole animals can be broken down to a consistency small enough to pass through the small opening connecting the food-enzyme stomach to the second stomach without enzymes to do the job? Physiologists have also asked this question and several papers from physiologists in different countries have recently appeared in scientific literature trying to resolve this riddle.
The Food Enzyme Concept is the only answer. Each of the 32 seals inside the whale has its own digestive enzymes in its stomach and pancreatic juices. When the whale swallows the seal, these digestive enzymes become the property of the whale. They are now its food enzymes and work for the benefit of the whale during the many days required to digest and empty the contents of the food-enzyme stomach. In addition, all animals have a proteolytic enzyme known as cathepsin, which is widely distributed in muscles and organs, yet has no known digestive function in life. After death, the body tissues become acidic, which is favorable for catheptic activity. This enzyme then functions as the prime factor in autolysis, the breakdown of cells and tissues.
Another example of the food-enzyme stomach is the crop of birds using seeds as food, such as the chicken and pigeon. Physiologists had always stated that the crop has no known function, but that was before the Food Enzyme Concept brought together a consortium of facts to permit a new and more mature outlook. The crop has no enzymes of its own, but all seeds have a good inventory of them. It has been demonstrated that during the sojourn of 10 to 15 hours that intact seeds remain in the crop, they accumulate moisture; their enzymes multiply; there is incipient germination; enzyme inhibitors are neutralized, and starch is digested to dextrin and maltose. This digestion in the food-enzyme stomach (crop) by food enzymes is continued when the crop contents are emptied into the gizzard, and perhaps further along in the gastrointestinal tract. It becomes evident that in many animals, perhaps all, provision has been made for the digestion of food by food enzymes. Is the human being included?
FOOD ENZYME DIGESTION IN HUMANS
Excerpted from "Enzyme Nutrition"
Copyright © 1995 Edward Howell.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Not a very simple read but does a great job in explaining the critical importance of enzymes, both those produced by our bodies and those provided by raw foods to assist in the digestive process and not deplete our enzyme reserves. Much more to it than that, and definitely worth the read for those in the nutritional health field.
Excellent book! More people need to read this instead of trying to make sense of all of their calorie and fat counting. The book is a bit technical but with a very simple over all concept. We have been fed so much misleading and conflicting health information and this book makes some sense than anything I have read.
This book was not helpful for me. I read the entire book in about a couple of hours. I found no useable information. Alot of comparison between animal enzyme and human enzyme, which was interesting, but not applicable.