Enzymes

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enzymes_photo Enzymes are specialized protein molecules facilitating most of the body’s metabolic processes – such as, supplying energy, digesting foods, purifying your blood, ridding the body of waste products.Enzymes are vital to our health and change the rate at which chemical reactions happen, but without any external energy source added or by being changed themselves.Without enzymes in your body, you could have the best nutritional plan around, and supplement your diet with a lot of vitamin supplements, but without these humble workers, the vitamins will not be absorbed into your system.

Amylase
Amylase refers to a group of enzymes which break down sugars and starches.It is required to digest carbohydrates (polysaccharides) into smaller units (disaccharides), and eventually converting them into even smaller units (monosaccharides) such as glucose.It is also involved in digesting and getting rid of dead white blood cells (a nicer name for pus) and for this reason you might be more prone to abscesses if you are deficient in this enzyme.

Bromelain(bromelian)
Bromelain is an enzyme capable of digesting protein and is present in pineapple stems and ripe or unripe pineapple fruits. For this reason it is also referred to as the pineapple enzyme.Bromelain has been heralded as an anti-inflammatory agent, helpful in healing minor injuries, such as sprains and strains, muscle injuries, and sports injuries.It is also used in fighting urinary tract infections when combined with trypsin and since it can reduce the thickness of mucus it could be helpful to people suffering from asthma and bronchitis.Bromelain has proved to be effective in fighting certain diarrhea causing bacteria (Escherichia coli), which makes it a perfect supplement to take along when traveling, since diarrhea is often encountered when traveling to strange places.

Coenzyme Q10
Coenzyme Q10 is a powerful natural occurring compound, promoting chemical reactions, protecting the body from free radicals, and is also called ubiquinone.One of the best-known effects of this compound is its antioxidant qualities as well as the control it exercises on the flow of oxygen within cells, assistance with cardiovascular functioning, the production of energy, its assistance with absorption of other nutrients as well as its immune boosting properties.Studies on mice showed an increase of 50% extension of life span.

Lactase
Lactase is required to break down lactose (a primary sugar found in mammalian milk) and is produced in the small intestine, which breaks lactose into two simpler sugars.It is required the digestion of milk and milk products.Some people do not produce enough lactase and are often referred to as lactose intolerant, and symptoms may include cramps, gas as well as diarrhea.It is an interesting point that when yogurt is eaten, it does not easily trigger symptoms in lactose-intolerant people.

Lipase
Lipase is the enzyme required to break down fats and lipids (to give di- and mono- glycerides, glycerol and free fatty acids) and is produced in the pancreas, and is released in the small intestine.Digesting fats and lipids are more difficult since they have to be carried by a water based transport system – the blood and lymph.
Although fat digestion is not concentrated in the stomach, gastric lipase is the digestant to attend to this, and will digest egg yolk and cream, since they are already emulsified fats.In order for fat to be digested properly, the liver starts this process emulsifying the large fat molecules, and bile breaks it down to small droplets, allowing the lipase to start its work.

Protease
Protease refers to a group of enzymes whose function it is to break down proteins and are also referred to as proteolytic enzymes or proteinases.The proteins are broken down to their basic building blocks – amino acids.In order to have the amino acids available to the body, these enzymes have to break down the proteins to free them, and this important compound is also being used in therapies such as oncology, inflammatory conditions and immune control.It is also valuable in assisting the body to fight infections and onslaughts from viruses, fungi, parasites and bacteria.

Maltase
Maltase is an enzyme that is the catalyst in the hydrolysis of disaccharide maltose to the simple sugar form – glucose, and is found in plants, bacteria, and yeast; and in humans.Although the enzyme can be ingested in the diet, it is thought to be able to be manufactured in the body by the mucus membrane lining in the intestinal wall.When starch is eaten, it is partially digested and transformed to maltose by both the saliva enzymes and pancreatic enzymes called amylases.The maltase secreted in the intestines, then converts this maltose into a more ready usable sugar glucose, or the glucose could also be stored in the liver for future use.

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