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Enzymes: The Fountain of Youth? Part 1

Many people, who pride themselves on being vegetarian, think they are eating a healthy diet. To them and to the rest of us, I offer this thought-provoking quote:

'Vegetarianism' was coined in 1842 and has in fact nothing to do with vegetables. It comes from the Latin 'vegetare' meaning 'to enliven'. - The Vegetarian Society

True vegetarians therefore are those that include ‘living’ and ‘raw’ foods in their diet. What are ‘living’ and ‘raw’ foods? These are foods that contain enzymes. In general, the act of heating food over 47 degrees C destroys enzymes. (Enzymes start to degrade in temperatures as low as 41 degrees C). All cooked food is devoid of enzymes. Furthermore, cooking changes the molecular structure of food and renders it toxic. Living and raw foods also have much higher nutrient values than foods that have been cooked. In India, we cook foods to death.

Most people are aware of the importance of vitamins. Many even take vitamin supplements as insurance against disease. What they fail to realize is that vitamins are actually co-enzymes, which means they are just enzyme helpers. All the vitamins in the world won’t do you any good if you don’t have the necessary enzymes for them to ‘help’.

An enzyme is a huge protein that speeds up chemical reactions. Without enzymes, chemical reactions would happen so slowly that life would not be able to exist at all. The human body has over 3,000 enzymes and over 7,000 enzymatic reactions.

Most people have not heard much about enzymes. Those that have, think of enzymes as only being involved in digestion. That is one of the last things that enzymes do. Of all the enzymes in the body, the protein-cleaving (cutting) ones are the most important. These perform 4 primary functions:

  1. Reduce inflammation

  2. Balance our repair mechanism and prevent fibrosis (the buildup of scar tissue)

  3. Clean the blood

  4. Modulate the immune system

The Enzyme Problem

The human body produces a finite amount of enzymes. According to the pioneering research of Dr. Max Wolf, enzyme production begins to decline in people from the age of 27. In other words, old age begins at 27!

Here’s what happens from then on…

From ages 27-35, enzyme production drops and most of our aches, pains and arthritic changes begin to set in (though we may not realize it then). Fibrosis (scar-like tissue) begins building in the organs, blood vessels and muscles. Immune function begins to deteriorate, further complicated by high-stress lifestyles. Blood begins to become thicker and harder to circulate.

From 35 to 45, the drop in enzyme production and stress cause a reduction in the all-important sex hormones - testosterone and progesterone. Sex drive, mental drive, zest for life, bone density, muscle mass and overall energy start going down significantly.

At 45, we begin to have trouble absorbing the nutrients we need to maintain the 4 types of tissue we have in our bodies, (epithelial, connective, muscular and nervous tissue). These tissues begin to break down and malfunction. The lack of proper eating and exercise, complicated by smoking or air pollution, causes our blood to thicken like ketchup. Blood circulation is poor and oxygen doesn’t get to important areas…especially up to our brains.

From 50-60, we lose an estimated 10% muscle mass a year. By 60, we have minimal muscle mass needed for movement. Getting up from a chair or out of bed becomes a difficult task.

From 60 onward, our internal organs (including the brain), begin to shrink and malfunction. The brain is 60 to 70% cholesterol. The absence of good fats in the diet, (along with enzyme deficiency), exposes a person to cognitive dysfunction, senile dementia and eventually Alzheimer’s disease. (If you look at an MRI of an Alzheimer patient's brain, it looks like a dried, shrunken, cracked, old cauliflower). Alzheimer's, a disease which was once considered rare, is all too common nowadays.

Note for Men: Starting around ages 35-45, men’s (masculine) testosterone levels go down while their (feminine) estrogen levels go up. This causes the medial amygdala, (a part of the brain) to shrink, resulting in reduced zest for life and mental energy. A man in his 50's has more estrogen than his wife! High estrogen levels may cause depression, anger, weight gain, lack of libido, mood swings and erectile dysfunction.

Note for Women: Before and after menopause, progesterone levels drop to almost zero, causing similar ill effects as in men; i.e. lack of mental drive, depression, moodiness, loss of bone and muscle mass, weight gain, etc. For decades doctors have concentrated on estrogen after menopause. While it is true that estrogen levels in menopausal women are lower than before, their progesterone and testosterone levels are practically nonexistent, making them estrogen dominant despite the low estrogen levels. Estrogen is the fuel that sparks fibrocystic breast disease, breast cancer, uterine fibroids and cervical cancer.

Stay to stop this degeneration...

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