From the first bite we take, digestive enzymes begin their work of breaking down our food and transporting nutrients and removing toxins. Throughout the entire digestive process, our systems simply could not function without these amazing proteins. Digestive enzymes are proteins that act as catalysts, which means they can cause change and reactions internally, without changing or destroying themselves. Each type of enzyme is responsible for performing a different task.
Here are just a few of the many jobs that enzymes perform: Transport nutrients, Aid digestion, Transport toxins, Rebuild tissue, Purify blood, Deliver hormones and Promote homeostasis.
With enzymes taking responsibility for so many essential tasks, it’s easy to see how a deficiency can lead to imbalance and cause noticeable and visible health issues. A deficiency in digestive enzymes can cause a host of problems, such as increased inflammation and stress on the immune system, which in turn is very often reflected in the flare-up of numerous skin conditions such as acne, rosacea, eczema and even psoriasis. This rule applies in reverse also – keeping enzyme levels where they need to be can increase overall wellness, often reflected on the outside with healthier looking skin.
Enzymes can also be found in skin care products today. While there are many types of enzymes, they have two primary uses in skin care specifically – for exfoliation and anti-inflammation. Certain enzymes are effective exfoliants and can be gentler than other methods such as scrubs and microdermabrasion. The upper layer of our skin is mostly made of dead skin cells containing keratin protein. The enzymes work by targeting and breaking down the keratin protein, resulting in smoother skin. Look for fruit enzymes like Papain found in Papaya, or Bromelain found in Pineapple or perhaps even a Blueberry extract.
Other enzymes – some of which are found naturally in the skin – can function as a scavenger of free radicals and protect skin against oxidative damage. Simply put, enzymes in skin care products can protect against damage from sun, environmental pollutants and even acne.
However, from day-to-day taking enzymes in from the foods we eat will always be important – we need food to function and to live! As soon as we take a bite from our food, our endogenous enzymes such as that in saliva, will immediately start breaking down that specific food. From there, the chewed and partially digested food travels down the esophagus and into the stomach where the food is broken down even further. In the small intestine the now partially digested food gets inundated with still more enzymes. The enzymes in the small intestine are mostly manufactured in the pancreas, which produces over twenty different kinds of enzymes to aid in digestion. During the process of breaking down food, the different types of enzymes work to separate different components of food such as proteins, carbohydrates and fats so that they can be utilised.
When enzyme levels are insufficient, a host of problems may arise. Since enzymes are so important for good digestion, the most common signs of enzyme deficiency are seen in the digestive system. When this happens, the food can putrefy in the gut and cause bloating, gas, problems with bowel movements and general discomfort. In addition to suffering intestinal distress and a labored immune system, it is most likely that the body has been unable to process valuable nutrients and vitamins during the digestive process. The entire system can become compromised, leading to systemic inflammation, which in turn may cause skin conditions like psoriasis to worsen. Restoring intestinal health is very important in achieving improved skin health.
Enzyme depletion can negatively affect the skin in a number of ways. As previously mentioned, a properly functioning digestive system is very important to skin health, this being perhaps the most obvious culprit for enzyme deficiency-related skin problems. However, when you look at the enzymes themselves and how they work within our bodies, further problems relating to skin health can become apparent. A vicious cycle begins – food is not properly digested, vitamins and minerals are not absorbed, inflammation increases and our bodies simply cannot keep up. More often than not, the internal stress is reflected externally, with aggravated skin conditions.
As we’ve mentioned before on this blog, enzyme levels wane significantly as we age and they’re also destroyed in foods once they’re processed and cooked, reaching over 118° F in preparation. However, enzyme levels can be restored a number of ways. One very easy way to help enzymes do their jobs more effectively is to simply chew your food slowly and thoroughly. If you consume lots of processed – and let’s face it, unhealthy foods – then changing your diet will inevitably reap a huge improvement on how you look and feel. To help your system overall, consider including more fresh raw fruits and vegetables, as well as whole grains in your diet. It is also recommended that we all drink at least eight glasses of water per day, to keep you hydrated, as well as to encourage proper elimination.
Enzyme Supplements may also be a wise addition to your daily regime. Supplements are an effective manner in which to boost daily enzyme levels. Many quality supplements include digestive enzymes as well as other vitamins and minerals. They will allow you to increase enzyme levels, as well as replenish vitamin and mineral stores, which may well have been depleted also. You can visit our online shop to read more about our range of Digestive & Systematic supplements – and email firstname.lastname@example.org anytime too.