Enzymes are protein molecules which carry a vital energy factor needed for every chemical action and reaction that occurs in our body. There are several thousand different enzymes found in the human body. These enzymes can combine with co-enzymes to form nearly 100,000 various chemicals that enable us to see, hear, feel, move, digest food and think.
Every organ, every tissue, and all the 100 trillion cells in our body depend upon the reaction of enzymes and their energy factor. Nutrition cannot be explained without describing the part that enzymes play. Enzymes are the single biggest contributing factor to health and longevity.
When we eat raw foods the enzymes in the food are activated by heat and moisture in the mouth. Once active, these enzymes digest a significant portion of our food and make 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, various glands, and every cell in the body which is referred to as enzyme specificity. A protein digestive enzyme will not digest a fat and a fat enzyme will not digest starch. Enzymes act upon chemicals and change them into another chemical, but remain unchanged themselves.
Simply stated our chemicals are changed from their original identity by the enzyme to another chemical with a different identity. Without enzymes, nothing in our body would work. 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 predigestion 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 has no enzymes, must wait in the fundus until the stomach supplies the enzymes. Predigestion 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 of protein only. In the lower part of the stomach, pepsin (a powerful digestive enzyme) and hydrochloric acid continue the digestive process. The predigested 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 burdens of 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 more healthy.
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