Fit For Life International was founded in 1994 as a U.S. Corporation
governed by an international group of alternative
health care providers.
1. What really are enzymes?
Enzymes are protein molecules that carry a vital energy factor needed for every chemical action and reaction that occurs in our body. There are believed to be thousands of different enzymes found in the human body. These enzymes can combine with co-enzymes (minerals) to form nearly 100,000 various chemicals that enable us to see, hear, feel, move, think, digest food, and even live at all. Every organ, every tissue, and all of the approximate 100 trillion cells in our body completely depend upon the reaction of enzymes and their “energy factor”, or “life-force”. Nutrition cannot be explained without describing the very important and necessary parts that enzymes play.
2. What do you mean by natural nutrition?
Simply stated natural nutrition is: the body’s ability to consume the 45 known nutrients in their proper amounts, digest these nutrients efficiently, absorb these nutrients thoroughly, deliver these nutrients to every cell, assimilate or metabolize these nutrients; and eliminate the waste products of all of these procedures.
To accomplish all of these functions is a tough job. The following is a list of the 45 known nutrients: Carbohydrate 9-Amino Acids Water Lipids (fats) 13-Vitamin Proteins 1 9-Minerals
Eating foods containing these elements (along with their enzymes) in their proper amounts will normally ensure good nutrition. Enzymes are responsible for digesting, absorbing, transporting, assimilating, metabolizing, and eliminating the waste products of these nutrients. Again, every organ, every tissue, and all the approximately 100 trillion cells in our body depend upon the reaction of enzymes and their energy factors or “life-forces”.
3. What do you mean by “energy factor” or “life-force”?
The energy factor or “life-force” contained in an individual enzyme is the energy that triggers or starts the chemical reactions that are necessary between the enzymes. This energy factor or “life-force” is separate and distinct from the chemical make-up of the enzymes itself. By placing a raw pea into a pot of boiling water we can see a good example of this energy factor or “life-force”. The cooked pea will never be able to sprout, simply put the process of cooking or heating has destroyed its energy factor or “life-force”. Science tells us that only living organisms have or can make enzymes possessing this energy factor or “life-force”. Chemicals that serve as catalysts work by chemical action only, while “enzymes” function by both biological and chemical actions and reactions. Catalysts do not contain the “energy factor” or “life-force” which is measured as a kind of radiant energy which all enzymes emit.
The energy factor or “life-force” of enzymes has never been synthesized. Simply stated the energy factor is the “electricity” that makes the light bulb (the enzyme) work.
4. How long do I have to be on enzymes?
Pretty well everyone has an “enzyme deficiency” to one degree or another. To quote Dr. Dick Couey, Professor of Physiology and Nutrition at Baylor University, “I will never eat another meal without taking a pure plant enzyme supplement. My body doesn’t deserve that kind of treatment.” As long as we eat “enzyme deficient food” which is simply defined as any food that has been processed or cooked, our bodies need an enzyme supplement to aid digestion, deliver the nutrients and eliminate the waste. The logical conclusion is that we will need some supplementation for as long as we live and breathe.
5. Do enzymes help fight diseases?
Yes. There is a connection between the strength of our immune system and our enzyme levels. The more enzymes we have, the stronger our immune system will be and the healthier and stronger we will be because of this. For example, leukocytes (white blood cells) have eight (8) different enzymes that assist our white blood cells to engulf foreign substances and reduce them to a form that the body can easily and efficiently eliminate. Research has shown that leukocytes increase after one has eaten a cooked meal. This indicates a definite compensatory measure on the part of the body to transport more enzymes to the digestive tract for digestion. There is no increase in leukocytes after one has consumed a raw food meal. Research has shown that enzymes are related to all diseases via the immune system, whether the disease is acute or chronic. If the pancreatic output of enzymes is hindered, the whole body is affected. Therefore, we must eat more raw foods and take supplemental pure plant enzymes to enable our body’s immune system to effectively fight against infections and disease.
6. Do enzymes control weight problems and even obesity?
Over-weight or obese individuals have now been found absolutely to have a deficiency in the enzyme lipase. Lipase is found in abundance in raw foods. Cooking destroys lipase in raw foods. Lipase is the enzyme that aids the body in the breaking down of triglycerides and fats, and without lipase, the fat then stagnates and accumulates in our arteries that can lead to heart disease. Lipase also helps us to burn fat for energy. Cooked foods that have no enzymes will put weight on more abundantly than raw foods.
Another reason why enzymes reduce obesity is because cooked foods cause drastic changes in the size and appearance of the pituitary gland. Research has found that enzymes affect your hormone producing glands and hormones influence our enzyme levels. Cooked foods cause your pancreas, thyroid, and pituitary glands to exhaust their enzymes to digest your foods. This causes your body to become sluggish and weight is gained. Raw food calories are relatively non-stimulating to glands and stabilize body weight more so than cooked food calories.
7. Is there a significant difference between raw calories and cooked calories?
Research supports that there is a difference. Normal non-diabetic and diabetic subjects were fed raw starch and then had their blood tested for sugar. It is well documented that eating cooked starch causes the blood sugar of diabetics to increase significantly.
The diabetics who participated in this research found that their sugar level rose only 6 milligrams the first half-hour. Then it decreased 9 milligrams after 1 hour, and 14 milligrams 2 hours after ingestion of the raw starch. In the non-diabetic persons there was a slight increase followed by a slight decrease in blood sugar in 1 hour. This research indicates that there is a difference between raw and cooked calories.
8. Do over-weight or obese people have a shortage of enzymes?
There is evidence that obese individuals do have a shortage of lipase. Researchers at Tufts University School of Medicine conducted some tests on the abdominal fat of 11 extra heavy individuals (average of 340 pounds) and found a lipase enzyme deficiency in their fat cells. This could be explained by the fact that obesity and abnormal cholesterol deposits both have their beginnings in our failure to permit the pre-digestion of the fats in cooked or processed foods in the upper stomach. This is due to the fact that the cooking or processing of these foods prior to ingestion has destroyed the natural lipase content of fatty foods.
9. I enjoy meals consisting of meat, potatoes, bread, and salad. Is that bad?
Of course your meal is good if your salad contains a lot of raw foods. However, your garden salad of raw vegetables does not contain any surplus of enzymes to digest any of the meat, potatoes, and/or bread products. The cooked meat, potatoes, and the baked, processed breads do give you an abundance of minerals and vitamins, but no enzymes to support digestion. Try to adapt to a diet which contains approximately 75% raw calories and 25% cooked calories. Eat as many fruits, vegetables, legumes, and grains foods in their raw state as possible. If you cannot make yourself eat more of these raw foods then you must take an enzyme supplement to support your digestive processes if you desire a long and healthy life. You should also practice proper “food combining” at meals as well, this will help your body to more easily and effectively digest the foods you consume.
10. I’ve heard that some foods contain enzyme inhibitors. Is that true?
Yes. Tree nuts, seeds, beans, and grains contain enzyme inhibitors, along with a very active number of other enzymes. But because enzymes are extremely active little entities, nature has put a rein on them and has made them dormant until such a time as a seed or nut can fall to the ground and be adequately covered with soil thus ready to germinate. This slowing down by nature could be called “enzyme inhibition”.
However, nature neutralizes these “enzymes inhibitors” when these seeds or nuts begin to absorb moisture. This is the time the seed begins germinating (sprouting) to form a seedling. Eating too many nuts and seeds that have an abundance of enzyme inhibitors can cause gastrointestinal tract problems. So, you have only two options open to you: one, you can wait until the seed or nut begins germination, or two, you can take enzyme supplements with them to neutralize their enzyme inhibitors.
11. I have severe allergies can enzymes help me?
Many researchers theorize that being allergic to a raw food may be nature’s way of telling us that the food’s enzymes are incompatible with some unhealthy bodily condition and the body’s immune system is trying to destroy it. This confrontation between food enzyme and disease could result in the classic symptoms of itching, nasal discharges, and rashes. “Scavenger enzymes” are believed to patrol the entire blood system and dissolve the wastes and toxins that accumulate from the millions of metabolic reactions that take place each second within each cell of the body. In fact, some of these “scavenger enzymes” are present in white blood cells. Some of the main functions of these enzymes include preventing your arteries from clogging up and the joints from being crammed with arthritic deposits. If these “scavenger enzymes” can find the right substrate they will latch on and reduce it to a form that your body’s blood system can then eliminate. If these “scavenger enzymes” cannot handle this waste and these toxins, nature will then cause some of these wastes and toxins to be thrown out through the skin, or membranes of your nose and throat, which produces the familiar symptoms that we call allergies. Other researchers believe that incompletely digested protein molecules cause some allergies. Allergies may be helped if certain enzymes are taken that can act as “scavenger enzymes” or as protein digestive enzymes.
12. Can “Enzymes” lower my cholesterol?
Yes, in most individuals. Remember that cholesterol is a form of fat. Research has substantiated that consumed animal fats tend to cause cholesterol to settle in the arteries and cause atherosclerosis. However, it has also been found that the crystal clear “purified” vegetable oils (not heated) do not raise the blood cholesterol level. One answer for this might lay with the fact that lipase is found in these unheated vegetable oils. One researcher found that the fat cells or tissues in obese or over-weight humans has less lipase than the fat cells or tissues in a slender person which means that supplemental lipase may be needed. Three British researchers tested the enzymes in individuals with atherosclerosis to find the relationship between cholesterol and clogged arteries. They found that all enzymes studied became progressively weaker in the arteries as persons became older and also as the hardening became more severe. These researchers believe that a shortage of enzymes is part of a mechanism that allows cholesterol deposits to accumulate in the inner part of the arterial walls. Another researcher found a progressive decline in lipase in the blood of atherosclerotic patients with advancing middle and old age. Yet another researcher found that not only was lipase low in older persons, but that older atherosclerotic persons had slow fat absorption from the intestine. He also found that some absorbed fat was in an un-hydrolyzed state. When he fed lipase to the older and younger persons he found a definite improvement in fat utilization. Think of all the advantages of taking the plant enzyme lipase at the beginning of the meal to help in the pre-digestion of food.
13. Should very young children or infants take enzymes?
Yes. Children usually eat the same “enzyme deficient foods” as their parents. It should be pointed out the importance of breast feeding in comparison to bottle feeding and acquiring enzymes. Children that are breast-fed acquire dozens of enzymes from their mother’s milk. Bottle-fed babies receive pasteurized milk that has been heated, which destroys the milk enzymes. This causes the baby’s own enzyme factory to begin using its enzyme potential from day one. Research indicates that this could be harmful for the child. A study conducted recently involved 20,061 babies that were divided into three groups (breast-fed, partially breast-fed, and bottle-fed). They researchers studied the morbidity (sickness) rate for the first nine months of the infant’s life. They found that 37.4% of the breast-fed babies had sickness in comparison to 53.8% of the partially breast-fed and 63.6% of the bottle-fed. It is obvious that babies who were entirely breast-fed had far less sickness than babies who were only partially breast-fed, or who were bottle-fed. The mortality rate among the bottle-fed infants was 56 times greater than among the breast-fed. In the United States alone, one deformed child is born every 5 minutes, this adds up to over 250,000 deformed babies annually.
14. Does the addition of more raw foods or regular juicing to my diet guarantee enough enzymes to meet my needs?
Each raw food provides only enough enzymes to digest that particular food, for example a raw apple has enough enzymes contained therein to digest the apple for you but only that many. There are no extra or surplus enzymes in any raw foods to help digest other cooked or processed foods eaten together or at the same time. Due to the risk of bacterial contamination many foods should not be eaten raw, including meats, poultry, eggs and beans. Also, the fiber content normally found in raw food is very difficult to digest due to the body’s inability to produce cellulase. Orally taken supplemental enzymes are definitely required by everyone in today’s society whether you take them yourself is up to you but you’re long-term health will depend upon it without doubt.
15. I have insomnia can enzymes help me?
Only sometimes – there can be many underlying causes for insomnia. Primarily the causes that are associated with hormonal imbalances in the endocrine system have been shown to respond favorably to “Enzyme Therapy”. The lack of “metabolic enzymes” will definitely affect the secretions of your pituitary gland and therefore can lead to insomnia. Eating many more raw foods and taking quality pure plant enzyme supplements will enhance your endocrine system and can allow you to live a longer, healthier life.
16. Can enzymes help eliminate psoriasis?
Many dermatologists have reported favorable results with enzyme therapy. In the early 1930s researchers found that they could treat psoriasis by having their patients eat large quantities of raw butter. Raw butter contains large amounts of lipase. Recent research has found that massive doses of lipase will help cure it. However, when large amounts of concentrated enzymes are used, it is essential that a qualified doctor observe the patient with experience along these lines. Another successful protocol is to apply a moistened protease mixture directly on to the areas affected preferably over-night. The protease enzymes can then initiate the healing to take place as well follow-up this procedure with the recommended dosages to be ingested of this enzyme to correct the body’s internal imbalances that are causing this external breakout to occur. Both of these methods can eliminate and cure psoriasis.
17. Is it possible to overdose on enzymes?
Research is uncertain. However, data from over sixty years revealed that there has not been one report of side effects from enzyme consumption. More long-term studies may be needed. Plant enzymes are essentially food and are easily recognized and utilized by the body. Is it possible to over-dose on food, Yes but the side-effects are minimal except where traditional or fatty foods are concerned weight can become an issue.
18. Can women who are pregnant take enzymes?
Yes, if they are taking plant enzymes. Pregnant women should not take “animal enzymes”. In fact we do not even recommend animal enzymes because they have limited effective uses and are easily replaced by the healthier pure plant enzymes. Plant enzymes make a great deal of sense since the baby is the recipient of the nutrients that are transported.
19. Why did I start gaining weight when I started taking enzymes?
Enzymes break down food much more efficiently; therefore if the same quantity of food is now being broken down more effectively and more nutrients are being delivered or transported to the cells more efficiently then it stands to reason that more calories are being realized. It is also apparent that if these extra calories and nutrients are not being used or burned then extra weight will result if one’s eating habits do not also change. If the calories in one’s diet remain the same yet the body’s need for fuel is now lessened because the nutritional value has been satisfied the individual may temporarily gain weight. This temporary situation will usually balance itself out in about 21 days for most people, because their desire for food intake will diminish as their body responds to the ever increasing available nutrients now being delivered and absorbed from the foods you ingest.
20. How might taking supplemental plant enzymes help in the fight against cancer?
There are two theories that researchers postulate as the possible answers.
First, researchers can trace the beginning of cancer to the cell’s DNA . Cancer cells begin with an alteration of normal DNA in the cell. Promoters, such as stress, saturated fat, obesity, ultra violet rays from the sun and many others then cause the four nucleotides (adenine, guanine, cytosine, and thymine) that make up your DNA to change their normal chemistry which then can cause a cell to make the wrong protein. Once the wrong protein is made, the cell will continue to make the wrong protein forever. These cells spread (metastasize) and destroy other cells. Probably at any given time your body has approximately 100 to maybe 10,000 of these cells trying to make the wrong protein. But nature has provided “metabolic repair enzymes” to travel up and down your DNA structures and correct these errant proteins. If you regularly and consistently take “supplemental digestive enzymes” your body’s “metabolic enzymes” can then be freed from the work of digestion to become and use more of these “metabolic repair enzymes” to help prevent cancer cells from even beginning.
The second theory proclaims that cancer cells are covered with a protein covering that protects them from attacking white blood cells. The reason why the white cells won’t attack the cancer cell is because the white cell cannot recognize the cancer cells as dangerous to the body. Many researchers also now believe that the protein covering disguises the cancer cell as friendly to the body’s white blood cells. Taking an enzyme supplement (especially protease, which digest or breaks down proteins) will break down the outer protein covering of the cancer cell so that the white blood cell may recognize it as unfriendly and destroy it.
21. Can taking plant enzymes help with diabetes?
It depends on which type your diabetes is, Type II (adult onset) normally responds better to enzyme therapy than Type I juvenile. Research has shown that when there is a lack of blood amylase, blood sugar levels can be higher than normal. When the enzyme amylase is administered, blood sugar levels drop significantly. One researcher showed that 86% of the diabetics that he examined had a deficiency of amylase in their intestinal secretions. He administered amylase to a majority of these patients, and found that 50% of the diabetics who were users of insulin could control their blood sugar levels without the use of insulin. Amylase may help with storage and utilization of sugar in the blood. Another researcher found that cooked starch foods, where amylase and other enzymes are destroyed, caused the blood sugar levels to rise significantly one-half hour after ingestion. After two hours the cooked food starch eaters’ blood sugar level fell very quickly and significantly. This resulted in fatigue, anxiety, and sluggishness. In comparison, the raw starch eaters’ brood sugar levels only experienced a slight rise and drop. These patients experienced a much steadier metabolic rate and more emotional stability. Many diabetics could lower their insulin requirements if they would eat more raw foods and take pure plant enzyme supplements.
22. What are orally taken supplemental enzymes?
Supplemental enzymes are enzymes that have been extracted in some manner, from either plants or animals, and are given in addition to a normal diet. Pepsin (a very strong enzyme that digests proteins) was the first enzyme used by doctors to help with protein digestion. Pepsin was extracted from the stomach of pigs and requires a very low pH to be used by the body. It is best used in skin products for exfoliation of the skin and for meat tenderizers. Another enzyme supplement was made from the pancreas of slaughterhouse animals, which could not only digest proteins, but carbohydrate and fats as well. However, the “Pancreatic Enzymes” work best in an alkaline medium, which is present in the duodenum. (Remember that “Pancreatic Enzymes” will not work in the acidic stomach and cannot perform any pre-digestion)
Because of these reasons there is little need to take these supplemental enzymes for digestion purposes. In order for supplemental enzymes to work they must be able to help with pre-digestion in the upper stomach. The manufacturer and formulator of the “Fit For Life® Enzymes has developed a method for extracting protease, amylase, cellulase, and lipase enzymes that contain the highest “energy or life forces” available in the world today which work throughout the entire digestive system.
These enzymes should be taken with a meal if pre-digestion is to be most effective. The reason for this is if you wait until finishing the meal, you delay the action of the enzymes on the food.
23. How do enzymes work in our stomachs?
Food entering the stomach is called a “bolus”. The stomach has two distinct divisions–Fundus (upper part) and Pylorus (lower part).
The “bolus” remains in the upper part for approximately one hour. This is where pre-digestion takes place. The fundus is where “digestive food enzymes” begin to break down the food into carbohydrates, fats and protein. Raw foods supply their own digestive enzymes, thus saving the stomach from supplying all the enzymes. Cooked foods, which have no enzymes, must wait in the fundus until the stomach supplies the enzymes. Pre-digestion by food enzymes occurs in every creature on earth. The only exception is the human being on an enzyme-free diet. The upper section has no peristalsis (movement of food), acid, or pepsin and therefore, if enzymes are not provided in the diet, only minimal digestion can occur.
The lower stomach (pylorus) performs the second step in digestion, but for protein only. In the lower part of the stomach, pepsin (a powerful digestive enzyme) and hydrochloric acid continue the digestive process. The pre-digested food now enters the small intestine and is called “chyme”. Here, the pancreas and small intestine cells secrete their enzymes to further break down the “chyme” into glucose (carbohydrates), fatty acids (fats) and amino acids (proteins) for absorption into the villi (absorption cells in the small intestine). The “human stomach” is really two stomachs with separate functions. Our stomachs have been provided with the means of permitting outside enzymes to help with the burden of properly digesting food, thus, we don’t have to make all of our own digestive enzymes to digest our food. This will allow us to make more metabolic enzymes as needed and make us much healthier for a much greater period of time.
24. How do enzymes actually work in our bodies?
When you eat raw foods, the heat and moisture in your mouth activates the natural enzymes in the food. Once active, these enzymes become the catalysts for your digestive processes controlling a significant portion of your food intake and making it small enough to pass through the villi (small projections found in the small intestines) and into the blood. Metabolic enzymes found in the blood then take the digested 45 known nutrients and build them into muscles, nerves, bones, blood, lungs, and various glands. Every cell in the body depends on certain enzymes. Each enzyme has a specific function in the body, which is referred to as enzyme specificity. A protein digestive enzyme will not digest fat and a fat enzyme will not digest a starch. Enzymes react upon chemicals and then change these chemicals into other chemicals, but remain unchanged themselves. Simply stated your chemicals are changed from their original identity by enzymes to other chemicals with a different identity. These new chemicals make the right improvements and perform the necessary functions that your entire body requires every minute of every day. Without enzymes nothing in our body would work.
25. Why does our ability to produce “enzymes” decrease as we get older?
Bartos and Groh enlisted 10 young and 10 old men and used a drug to stimulate the pancreatic juice flow. The juice was then pumped out and tested. It was found that considerably less of the enzyme amylase was present in the pancreatic juices of older men. It was determined that the enzyme deficiency of the older group was due to exhaustion of the cells of the pancreas. Other research indicates that not only are there fewer enzymes in the pancreas but also in the trillion cells in our body as we age. One explanation for this might be that our pancreas (which weighs only three (3) ounces) couldn’t begin to supply the vast amounts of enzymes and enzyme activity required from the pancreatic secretion, not to mention the tremendous need for protein to equip the enzyme complex. The pancreas must borrow these entities stored in the cells to make the enzyme complex. This could be a definition of “old age” because old age and debilitated metabolic enzyme activity are synonymous. If we postpone the debilitation of metabolic enzyme activity, then we might delay the aging process and possibly increase the life span to its genetic potential.
26. If I take only pure plant enzymes what effects should I and will I notice?
It depends. Please understand that plant enzymes are not “magic pills”. Rather, they supplement the work of your body’s organs and glands to aid in the complete and proper digestion the food you eat. Some people will notice a dramatic improvement in their energy levels and feeling of vitality. Others might notice significant improvement in the functioning of their digestive tract and relief of long term chronic conditions. Some people’s recognition of improvement will be more subtle and gradual. It all depends on the underlying condition of deficiency and how quickly the imbalance can be corrected. But remember, feeling it or not, internal improvements are happening and your body’s proper good long-term health is being restored.
27. How will I know that the plant enzymes I am taking are doing me any good?
When you and your counselor/technician are evaluating your overall health and nutritional condition, ask what you should look for in terms of improvement. In some cases it will be the absence of indigestion. For others it might be weight loss, more energy, more restful sleep, better regularity, or other improvements. In addition, on future follow-up sessions or consultations, you will be able to discuss these changes and improvements.
28. I thought my body is supposed to produce all the enzymes I need?
No, not really. Because we eat so many cooked, processed, and refined foods nowadays, we all must supplement our body’s natural production of enzymes that are required for proper and efficient digestion. The organs and systems that produce these required enzymes will over time suffer from stress and the work of over-production and become damaged or compromised unless we do something to help support them. If you do not regularly take plant enzyme supplementations then the foods you consume may not be completely or properly digested. This will result in the negative by- products of this incomplete digestion being deposited in areas of your body where they can create higher toxicity levels. These higher levels will lead to declining health, they will also contribute to you developing serious even chronic health conditions, and they will definitely impair your immune system functioning.
29. I take vitamins and minerals supplements, isn’t that enough for good health?
No – not if your body cannot absorb, assimilate, or even utilize the vitamins and minerals that you may be taking, vitamins and minerals are really co-enzymes themselves and as such they require that other enzymes act on them in order to release their beneficial powers. If the body is unable to supply those necessary enzymes in the proper quantities at the proper time, the vitamins and minerals simply become inert materials and pass unused through your body.
30. If am taking medicine that my doctor has prescribed, should I continue taking this medicine while I am taking plant enzymes supplements?
Yes, continue taking all medicine prescribed by your doctor and follow all of his instructions. Plant enzymes, since they are completely harvested from natural organic products and are classified as food by the FDA, will not adversely affect your medication.