What Causes Most Nutritional Disorders?
Many health care practitioners, traditional and non-traditional, have overlooked
the main underlying cause of many or most nutritional disorders- faulty digestion.
Rather than continuously treating the symptoms of poor digestion (gas, heartburn,
nausea, burping, bloating, upset stomach, acid indigestion, diarrhea), the
logical remedy for actually correcting this problem is to improve the person’s
ability to digest and assimilate the nutrients from their food.
What Is Digestion And Assimilation?
The digestion and assimilation of food is accomplished by taking large pieces of
foods and breaking them down into very small molecules. These food molecules
can then be absorbed into the blood and used by the body as nutrients. Many
people could benefit greatly by simply chewing their food more thoroughly. This
is the most energy-efficient mechanical action the body can take to break down
food. After chewing, the body must expend a lot of energy producing acid and
alkaline digestive juices, digestive enzymes, and muscle contractions to break
down the food. 50% of digestion should take place in the mouth- by chewing
food thoroughly. How many times have you seen people “inhale” their food
almost before the plate hits the table?
How Does Poor Digestion Cause Disease In The Body?
1. Nutritional Deficiencies.
Most significantly, a person who is NOT digesting their food well cannot
obtain the optimum amount of nutrients from their food that help rebuild,
repair, and regenerate the body.
Poor digestion also causes slower transit time of the food through the
digestive tract. This prolonged transit time often causes the food to
ferment causing gas formation. After this, the fermenting foods begin
to decompose or rot (causing toxic chemical formation).
3. Self-Toxification/Colon Problems.
Another factor is a deficiency of fiber in the diet. A lack of fiber in the
stools causes the feces to become sticky. This combination of sticky,
fermenting, and putrefied food produces toxins and ‘free-radicals’, which
are absorbed into the bloodstream and can create a lining of toxic residues
and mucus which coats the lower intestinal tract. This toxic, mucus
plaque can contribute to numerous health conditions, such as diverticulitis,
colitis, and other colon problems. The symptoms associated with this
‘self-toxification’ can include allergies, body aches, confusion, forgetfulness,
headaches, and decreased energy.
A serious condition associated with poor digestion is “leaky-gut” syndrome.
Leaky Gut Syndrome occurs when foods are not digested completely. Large,
poorly digested protein molecules force their way through the gut wall into the
bloodstream. In the blood, instead of being delivered where needed as nutrients,
these large proteins are recognized incorrectly by the immune system as an
invader from outside the body. The immune system then mounts an antigen-
antibody reaction, creating immune cells to attack the antigen. This is also
known as having a food allergy attack. I believe that a large majority of ‘food
allergies’ are simply due to poor digestion and this antigen-antibody reaction
to proteins in the bloodstream.
By constantly allowing these toxins to enter the bloodstream, it also places
stress on the liver (major organ of detoxification) and kidneys (cleaners of the
blood). If these organs become overworked, the skin will become an organ of
elimination and you will begin to see skin conditions appearing. Many skin
conditions are caused or contributed to by poor digestion and the resulting
toxic environment of the intestinal tract.
6. Parasites/Yeast Infections.
Other conditions related to poor digestion and leaky-gut syndrome are parasite infections, which are more common that one would expect, and
Candida albicans (yeast) infection of the intestinal tract.
All of these conditions increase the toxic load on the body and have a
negative effect on the immune system. Patients are usually amazed by
how many problems can be traced back to the underlying problems of
poor digestion and a toxic colon. It is also amazing to see what happens
when a person who was once toxic from the previously described
conditions chooses to use natural methods to detoxify, rebuild, and
regenerate their body. Many have described the process as getting
“a second chance” or “having a new lease on life”. It is truly a joy to
be at home in the body when it is functioning as intended.
What Are Digestive Enzymes?
Enzymes are present in all living plant and animal cells. There are hundreds
of kinds of enzymes in the body, constantly keeping our body functioning
properly. Enzymes are like the battery in a car. Without the spark from the
battery, even a brand new car won’t work. All life would cease to exist
without enzymes, for they a vital source of life energy. Enzymes are the
primary motivators (catalyst) for all natural biochemical (life) processes.
Even though proteins, carbohydrates, fat and fiber are the building blocks
of our bodies, they do not possess the energy (capacity to do work) that
enzymes possess, necessary for digesting foods, liberating nutrients and
assisting biochemical reactions.
Digestive enzymes, made by the pancreas, assist in digesting food we eat,
making it small enough to pass through the intestinal wall into the bloodstream.
Despite obvious evidence of their importance, little thought is given (in modern
medicine) to the role digestive enzymes play in completing the digestion and
assimilation of nutrients. Plant-based enzymes work in the entire digestive
tract, in a wide range of acid and alkaline environments. They allow your
body to replenish and rebuild the pancreatic enzyme reserve, which takes a
tremendous stress load off of the body.
- Taken with food they greatly assist the body in the digestion and assimilation
of food nutrients.
- Taken away from food, digestive enzymes enter the bloodstream and act
almost like a ‘second immune system’, digesting excess proteins in the blood,
scavenging debris, decreasing inflammation, removing mucous, and cellular waste.
How Do Digestive Enzymes Work?
When a person eats proteins, carbohydrates, and fat, the Pancreas responds
by secreting the proper amounts and concentrations of Protease, Amylase,
and Lipase enzymes to digest the foods and transport their nutrients into the
bloodstream. Organic raw foods contain the proper types and concentrations
of enzymes in their cells to digest themselves (enzymes are responsible for
aged fruit to rot or self-digest. Cooking or heating food kills the enzymes
found in live foods. Nature intended for the enzymes within rot foods to
assist the body in digestion). Eating organic produce adds little or no stress
to the Pancreas. Our bodies do not make the enzyme Cellulose, which breaks
down plant fiber, however, a plant-source cellulose enzyme supplement is
appropriate therapy for certain conditions, such as green leafy vegetables
intact in stools.
Do Organic Foods Contain More Enzymes?
Unfortunately, many commercially grown ‘live’ foods have been genetically
altered to make them contain fewer enzymes. This allows these fruits and
vegetables a longer shelf life. Haven’t you wondered how fruit and vegetables
at commercial grocery stores stay on the shelves so long without spoiling?
This is the reason health food stores usually have smaller produce stocks-
because they must sell and replace existing stock before the inherent
enzymes begin the self-digestive process.
How Does The Body Become Depleted Of Enzymes?
The body’s ability to make pancreatic enzymes can be exhausted by
eating a diet devoid of naturally occurring enzymes. This includes eating
all types of cooked foods (enzymes are killed at 118 degrees), highly
processed foods, and commercially grown produce. Each of us is born
with a pancreatic enzyme “reserve”, a reserve that may be "built up or
depleted", but should not become depleted or overdrawn. Every time a
person consumes cooked or processed food (devoid of enzymes) and
the Pancreas can not keep up with the enzyme demand placed on it,
the digestive system recruits the enzyme supply from white blood cells
(immune cells) to assist in completing digestion. These are the same
enzymes the white blood cells used to ‘kill’ invading viruses and bacteria.
Mobilizing the body’s immune system every time enzyme deficient food
is eaten is known as “digestive leukocytosis”. This constant abuse can
fatigue immune defense capabilities and lay the groundwork for degenerative
conditions in the body.
How Do I Know If I Am Enzyme Deficient?
In a sense almost everyone has an enzyme deficiency To be more specific
General fatigue and chronic, degenerative conditions (every day aches
and pains) are the outward evidence of enzyme deficiencies. Because
the body donates enzymes from other areas of the body to meet existing
needs (such as the immune system), deficiencies do not become apparent
until these reserves can no longer meet the demand. It is extremely important
then, to ensure that the body receives an adequate supply of enzymes,
either through the consumption of raw food or concentrated plant enzyme
What Is Acidophilus, Why Is It Important?
Lactobacillus acidophilus, and other ‘friendly’ intestinal bacteria, are called
‘probiotics’, which literally means “in support of life”. Lactobacillus acidophilus
is very important for improving digestion and for the forming of certain
vitamins, including vitamin B3, B6, biotin, and folic acid. Probiotics also
produce natural Antibiotic (antibacterial) substances which can kill or deactivate
disease-causing bacteria and will ‘defend their territory’ against other micro-
organisms such as yeast or fungus. When the ‘good’ intestinal bacteria are
depleted there are multiple negative effects in the body.
Antibiotic drug therapy is one of the main causes of the depletion of
acidophilus in the body. Antibiotic drugs do not discriminate between the
‘good’ and ‘bad’ bacteria when they are consumed. Prolonged antibiotic
drug use can kill all of the ‘friendly’ probiotics, leaving the body defenseless.
It is very important, if you choose to undergo antibiotic therapy, to re-introduce
acidophilus and other probiotic bacteria while you are taking the Antibiotics
and especially after you finish the course of treatment. The Antibiotics will kill
most of the acidophilus you take while you are still taking the Antibiotics . The
goal is to not completely wipe out the colonies of ‘good’ bacteria while on the
antibiotics, and to fully re-colonize the acidophilus after the completion of the
Why Can’t Antacids Prevent Or Cure Acid Indigestion?
There have been many patients with conditions of excessive acid stomach
or acid indigestion, and often the person is taking large amounts of antacids.
A basic review of how the stomach works and an understanding how antacids
help create the problem are all most people need, along with some digestive
enzymes, to stop the problem. The problem is the body producing too much
acid in the stomach. The stomach makes acid to break down proteins.
If there is poor digestion, or if a person eats large meals or excessive proteins,
the body can often make too much acid. To counteract the acid, people take
antacids. This makes the stomach very alkaline. In order to create an acid
environment again in the stomach the body has to make more- you guessed
it with - acid, which was the problem in the first place. This cycle of poor
chewing (50% of digestion should take place in the mouth), poor digestion,
and the acid/alkaline roller coaster can be reduced or avoided by chewing
food well, and taking digestive enzymes with your meal. Many people
think antacids are a good source of calcium. Unfortunately, this is not true.
In order for calcium to be fully absorbed into the body, it must be assimilated
in an acidic environment. Antacids, like their name says, provide a very
alkaline environment, which would prevent the proper uptake of calcium.
When a state of balance is maintained by optimum digestion, the
body is better able to prevent chronic health problems such as hypo
or hyperglycemia; fatigue; headaches; candida; constipation/diarrhea;
arthritis; allergies; infections or other conditions caused by a compromised