Digestive enzymes are one of the most critical food supplements for optimizing overall health. Likewise, their importance for repairing GI Tract dysfunction is also critical. Enzymes are generally very safe to consume because they are made of protein, which is itself composed of long strings of amino acids, so you can think of them as extra dietary protein.
Food allergies have been referred to as “brain allergies” when neurological and/or psychiatric symptoms occur. Food (and/or “brain”) allergy is one of the most common causes of neuropsychiatric symptoms, as well as one of the most exhaustively researched factors in causing common psychiatric disorders.
Food allergy is not a primary condition, although it is often addressed as one, even by experienced alternative and integrative medicine clinicians.
Food allergy is a symptom of a more primary problem, leaky gut syndrome, which is likewise also caused by a more primary problem, inflammation and damage to the gastrointestinal lining from toxins (from food, heavy metals and unfriendly organisms, e.g., mycotoxins – toxins from candida).
Toxin damage causes tiny holes to form in the normally tight barrier between the cells lining the GI Tract (leaky gut), which allows relatively large molecules of food protein to pass through and encounter the immune surveillance (60% + of body’s overall immune system is in and around the GI tract), which then “tricks” the immune system into “believing” the foreign protein from a food is a threat to the body. This sets up an attack mode against perfectly nutritious food protein, which is called a food (and/or “brain”) allergy.
One of the quickest ways to reverse this process is to consume lots of digestive enzymes, especially proteases (enzymes which break down protein). In fact, it is theoretically possible to consume enough digestive enzymes to stop any food (or “brain”) allergy in its tracks! The leaky gut and toxin injury may persist, but as allergic food protein is broken down into smaller and smaller protein molecules, the immune system has less and less of an issue with it, and gradually stops reacting to it as if it is a threatening agent.
Conversely, poor digestion due to inadequate secretion of digestive enzymes is a setup for food (and “brain”) allergy.
The two most common causes of Food Allergies are:
1) Heavy metals, which bind to multiple sites on digestive enzymes and “paralyze them” and
2) Protein malnutrition, which sets up a downhill spiral of inadequate amino acids to synthesize digestive enzymes, which causes maldigestion of food protein, which causes a greater deficiency in amino acids to synthesize more enzymes etc., etc. Clinically, both of these causes usually coexist to cause maldigestion of protein, and if a patient also suffers from gut toxin exposure, which causes leaky gut, food (and “brain”) allergy is virtually assured.
Food proteins are sometimes neurotoxic agents in some people. Food allergy protein fragments can have direct neurotransmitter effects (e.g., opioid effects) on the brain. Via many mechanisms, “Brain Allergy” can cause virtually any psychiatric disorder (e.g., celiac “disease” as a well established cause of schizophrenia).
Supplementation with plenty of digestive enzymes provides a rapid way to short-circuit many GI and neuropsychiatric symptoms. This cannot be stressed enough. Supplemented enzymes cause a multiplicity of other benefits in the GI Tract and in the body (they leak across the GI Tract too)…a discussion that is far beyond the scope of this brief introduction.
A few closing points are important:
1) Supplemented digestive enzymes arrive in a not-yet-inactivated-by heavy-metals form, ready to rock and roll
2) Naturally occurring digestive enzymes are increasingly being genetically engineered out of food to increase grocery longevity and decrease spoilage
3) Processed and cooked foods destroy enzymes (benefit of raw food diet)
4) Supplemented digestive enzymes help digest and absorb food quickly and efficiently, which deprives unfriendly flora of a “feast” later on, further down the intestinal tract, and which then limits their secretion of toxins and neurotoxins
5) Supplemented digestive enzymes injure pathogenic bacteria, viruses, yeast and parasites to help sterilize contaminated food
6) Supplemented digestive enzymes help digest other supplemented nutrients (e.g., lipases digest essential fatty acids), especially when co-administered with phospholipids
7) Systemic absorption of enzymes, appropriate for cancer and fibromyalgia treatment, is undoubtedly greatly enhanced by co-administering phospholipids and consuming these apart from meals
Charles Gant, MD, PhD, served as medical director at Tully Hill Hospital, where he achieved a remarkable 83 percent success rate in ending patients' addictions. Dr. Gant has a private practice in Washington, DC, and is author of End Your Addiction Now (Square One Publishers, 2010). Learn more about him at www.CEGant.com.