Detailed 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 a non-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 the reactions 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.
What is the difference between pancreatic enzymes, animal based enzymes and non-animal enzymes?
Total-Zymes® does NOT contain any animal based enzymes and here is why! Supplemental pancreatic, plant, and microbial enzymes are all designed to enhance digestion. However, plant and microbial enzymes use a "proactive" approach and begin working on foods sooner after ingestion. Pancreatic enzymes do not go to work right away. Pancreatic enzymes usually begin working approximately 30 minutes after food reaches the stomach. Because of their stability in the acidic environment of the upper stomach, plant and microbial enzymes can begin their digestive action immediately after the food reaches this region. With the increased exposure to digestive enzyme activity, food has a better chance of being broken down into small, more readily absorbed particles.
Why are food enzymes missing in cooked and processed foods?
Modern food processing techniques and all types of cooking destroy nearly 100% of the enzymes naturally occurring in food. Enzymes are completely denatured when exposed to temperatures over 118 deg. for any length of time. The modern diet consisting of cooked and processed food is essentially devoid of active enzymes.
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. Cellulase, which is not found in the human system, breaks the bonds found in fiber.
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 mal-absorption of nutrients that can have far reaching effects. Consequences of mal-absorption can include impaired immunity, allergic reaction, poor wound healing, skin problems and mood swings. Supplemental enzymes can improve 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 and 10% 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 improving food nutrient utilization.
Can the importance of pre-digestion be substantiated?
Research shows that nearly all creatures including rodents, whales, canines and birds have distinct organs that enable the exogenous enzymes of food the necessary time to act, before initiating the body's own digestive process. For example, seeds and grains lie in a bird’s crop for eight to twelve hours, during which proteolytic and amylolytic enzymes in the seed begin hydrolyzing proteins and starch. The food enzyme stomach concept in humans is supported by research on the extended activity of salivary amylase. The amylolytic activity of ptyalin alone can digest as much as 45% of the starch in a meal, before gastric secretions inhibit its action. Further studies in the 1940's showed that as much as 60% starch, 30% protein and 10% fat were digested before pepsin was activated.
Are there quality and efficacy issues?
Quality and efficacy issues run the entire length and breadth of the dietary supplement industry, including enzymes. Knowledge of handling, storing, and packaging of enzymes is essential to properly preserve an enzyme's activity. Quality control policies must be strictly followed as well as having knowledge of the suppliers of raw materials. All we do at Ultra-Pet products is enzymes!
Is supplementation really necessary?
The enzymes naturally present in food play an important role in digestion by helping to predigest the ingested food in the upper stomach before hydrochloric acid has even been secreted. This pre-digestion is hindered when food is cooked or processed because the enzymes are destroyed by the processing procedures. Placing the full digestive burden on the body, the body and its digestive process can become over-stressed and incomplete. As a result, vital nutrients may not be released from the food for assimilation by the body, and gastrointestinal problems may result.
The primary purpose of enzymes in supplement form is to enhance the enzymes available in raw food, and replace those enzymes lost when food is cooked or processed. In addition, supplementation enables more digestion to begin in the gastric region, easing the burden on the digestive system as a whole. The earlier that digestion can begin, the greater the likelihood that no undigested food will enter the colon where bacteria can feed upon it, causing such problems as gas and bloating.
Nearly every pet can benefit from supplementation with enzymes. Even healthy dogs may improve their absorption and utilization of nutrients through the use of digestive enzymes. Of course the benefits will vary, depending upon the dog’s diet and general health. Individuals in good health can expect to notice less fullness after meals, increased energy, faster emptying of the stomach contents, decreased gas, and more regular bowel habits.
What happens when food is not properly digested?
Over a century ago, Virchow described "digestive leukocytosis" a condition in which the white blood cell count increases after a meal. Further research by Kouchakoff identified cooked and processed foods as the causative factor. Kouchakoff observed that raw food induced no change in WBC counts while cooked foods, particularly cooked meat, caused rapid increases in serum leukocyte levels. When incompletely digested food molecules are absorbed, the body identifies this particulate matter as foreign antigens and forms circulating immune complexes. The immune system then mobilizes macrophage leukocytes to digest the food.
Do Enzymes in Total-Zymes ® Survive Digestion?
The enzymes involved in digestion are very specific as to the type of food they break down, as well as the conditions under which they work. The process of chewing begins digestion by the action of salivary enzymes, predominantly salivary amylase that begins breaking down starch. These enzymes along with others produced in the stomach, are active at a pH of around 5.0 and continue to break down starches and some fats in the upper part of the stomach until hydrochloric acid is released, lowering the pH to around 3.0. At this point another enzyme, pepsin, becomes active, beginning protein digestion. As the food proceeds to the small intestine, the pH again rises, inactivating pepsin, but enabling other enzymes produced in the pancreas and small intestine to begin their work to complete the digestive process. These enzymes are active in a more alkaline pH of between 6.0 and 8.0. The enzymes that are naturally present in raw food can assist in their own initial breakdown, but are also inactivated when the pH drops in the stomach. Supplemental enzymes can be of great benefit in contributing to the digestive process. However, supplemental enzymes of animal origin are only active in the alkaline pH of the intestine and risk being permanently inactivated or denatured in the lower pH of the gastric region. The enzymes in Total-Zymes® on the other hand not only survive the acid environment of the stomach, but also are active at that low pH. This is where enzymes from microbial or plant origin can be a real advantage because they are stable and active throughout a broad pH range, from about 3.0 – 9.0.
Can Total-Zymes ® benefit working dogs?
Enzymes have been found to be a greatly beneficial ingredient when added to a working dogs nutritional program. Enzymes are natural catalysts which work in the body by hastening the breakdown of the foods which dogs consume, thus maximizing the utilization of the nutrients in the foods. Often working dogs are consuming a unique and controlled diet, high in proteins. These dogs can greatly benefit, both in comfort and in results with added enzymes to break down the high levels of proteins they are consuming. Thus, an addition of enzymes both hastens and maximizes the results of their specialized diets. Dogs such as sled dogs, bomb dogs and rescue dogs also benefit from the addition of extra enzymes to their diet for their anti-inflammatory properties. The ingestion of blends of enzymes containing specific proteolytic enzymes such as bromelain are very effective in relieving inflammation, thus hastening healing.
How does Total-Zymes ® take the stress off my pet’s pancreas?
Supplement manufacturers initially used enzymes, and more specifically proteases, as aids to digestion of food. Other, non-digestive, uses have been proposed. Attempts have been made to market enzyme products for oral administration using certain metabolic enzymes. Digestive enzymes, especially those derived from fungal sources, are relatively more stable compared to metabolic enzymes, and as such are ideal for oral supplementation to aid digestion. The primary benefit is in shifting a portion of the digestive burden from pancreatic enzymes in the intestine to fungal enzymes in the stomach. Continued supplementation over a period of days activates a feedback system to the pancreas, signaling it to decrease production of its enzymes. This allows the pancreas, primarily an endocrine organ, to conserve its cellular machinery for production of insulin and glucagon; which are important in blood glucose maintenance.
What are some short and long term benefits of Total-Zymes ®?
The benefits will vary depending upon the individual dog, diet, and general health. For the most part, pets experience less fullness after meals, faster emptying of stomach contents, decreased gas, less stool being passed, and more regular bowel habits. Most dogs’ systems work differently. Try different doses until the desired effect is achieved. Increase in bowel movements may occur. This is normal because these enzymes are very stable, and retain activity in the intestinal tract. After 2 or 3 days, the system will be cleaned out, and then less stool will be passed. This means that more food has been broken down and absorbed by the intestinal tract. After even large meals the heaviness and gas will decrease. This is mostly due to the presence of undigested food in the colon, and the bacteria present cause the food to ferment, which produces gas. In addition, less energy is expended by the body to break down food. Which often results in your pet being more alert and energized. Heartburn also is reduced or stops occurring altogether, since the enzymes digest the food very quickly, food is passed out into the intestine faster, and acid production, which is triggered by the presence of food in the stomach is then reduced.