In a 2004 research project conducted by The Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research, the effect of supplemental digestive enzymes was studied. The purpose of the study was to measure how well digestive enzymes digest proteins and carbohydrates and how available nutrients are to the body. This study concluded that enzyme supplements can significantly increase the degree of digestion in the lumen of the small intestine and improve availability of proteins and carbohydrates to the cells.
In a 2001 study, 260 people used enzyme supplements over seven months. The majority of the people taking enzymes reported noticeable improvement. Specifically, 235 (90%) experienced positive results, 14 (6%) reported negative results, and 11 (4%) were uncertain if any change occurred. Subjects reported significant improvements in digestion, stools/bowels, energy level, sleep patterns, weight gain or loss, foods tolerated, overall appearance, and mental skills.
Research conducted by Dr. Edward Howell, over a 50-year timeframe, showed that many of the physical problems and diseases we experience can be linked to improper digestion of food. In his research, he discovered that the saliva of young adults contain 32 times more enzymes than adults over 69 years. Dr. Howell concluded that the gradual depletion of the body's enzyme supply over time was caused by a steady diet of cooked foods. As the enzyme supply diminishes, the body becomes more susceptible to degenerative diseases and premature aging. Further research on rats revealed that rats receiving enzyme supplements had a higher level of enzymes in their body and tended to live longer than rats on enzyme-free diets.
Two other research studies (Journal of Nutrition 12:59-83, 1936 and Proceedings of the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine 37:613-615) found that younger adults tended to have much higher enzyme levels in the urine, pancreas, and cells when compared to older adults.
Research (American Journal of Physiology 141:38-41, 1944) done on both domestic and wild animals revealed that feeding these animals a diet of heat-processed, enzyme-free food caused their pancreas gland to enlarge up to three times the normal size to handle the extra burden of the enzyme-deficient food.
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Grossman, M., Greengard, H., Ivy, A., American Journal of Physiology (141:38-41); 1944.
Howell, Edward. "Enzyme Nutrition." Avery Publishing Group: New York; 1985.
Howell, Edward. "Food Enzymes for Health and Longevity." Lotus Press: Wisconson; 1994.
Ivy, A., Schmidt, C., Beazell, J. Journal of Nutrition (12:59-83); 1936.
Cichoke Dr Anthony J. "The Complete Book of Enzyme Therapy." Avery Publishing Group Inc.: New York; 1999.
Cutler Ellen, D.C., Kaslow Jeremy, M.D. "Micro Miracles: Discover the Healing Power of Enzymes." Rodale Books: Pennsylvania; 2005.
Santillo, Humbart. "Food Enzymes: The Missing Link to Radiant Health." Hohm Press: Arizona; 1993 (second edition).