In order to build muscle, strengthen your immune system, and get the energy you need throughout the day, the nutrients you eat have to get absorbed in your digestive tract. And that requires digestive enzymes.
There’s the rub. Because there’s something in our modern diet that may be stopping you from producing the digestive enzymes you need.
Let me explain…
In four weeks, a high-glucose diet was found to shut down the gene that creates digestive enzymes. Food wouldn’t move through the digestive tract, and it couldn’t be absorbed.(1)
Digestive enzymes turn what you eat into vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients so your body can absorb it.
Without digestive enzymes, you can’t take in the nutrients you need to feed your cells. Your cells can’t make the energy they need to stay healthy. When your cells run out of energy, your body breaks down, and you develop disease.
You probably already know what sugar does to you. It gives you cravings and makes you hungry all the time.(2) You gain weight and become depressed.(3) Sugar throws off your hormones and gives you diabetes.(4) It feeds cancer cells and increases your chance of having a heart attack.(5,6)
Now, look at what happens if you stop producing digestive enzymes. Protease, amylase, and lipase are groups of enzymes that digest proteins, carbohydrates, and fats:
- Protease digests proteins. But parasites, fungus, bacteria, and viruses are protein. Without protease, you have nothing to eat away at them. You lose your defense against intestinal bugs, candida, infections, or viruses.
- Amylase digests carbohydrates. But amylase also digests things like pus, which is dead white blood cells. Without amylase, you can develop pus-filled infections like abscesses or other skin conditions. Or, you could develop a lung condition.
- Lipase digests fats. Lipase digests fat and nutrients like vitamin E and fish oil. If you don’t have enough lipase to digest fat-soluble nutrients, you can develop high cholesterol, diabetes, and heart disease.
To make sure you have enough digestive enzymes, keep sugar out of your diet as much as you can:
1. In general, foods that are naturally sweet are okay to eat as they are. Just don’t take food that is not sweet naturally and make them sweet.
2. Choose fresh fruits like strawberries, blueberries, and pears for your sweet treat. These naturally sweet foods come with an added bonus: Fresh fruits increase digestive enzymes in your body.
3. Avoid flavored waters and drinks that contain added sugar. Make your own by adding fresh fruit or cucumber, limes, and lemons to water.
4. If you must sweeten any food or drink, do like we do in the office and just add a little good old-fashioned raw sugar or honey.
1. “Microarray analysis of high-glucose diet-induced changes in mRNA expression in jejunums of C57BL/6J mice reveals impairment in digestion, absorption.” Molecular Biology Reports. 2010 Apr; 37(4):1867-1874.
2. Teff KL, Elliott SS, et al. “Dietary fructose reduces circulating insulin and leptin, attenuates postprandial suppression of ghrelin, and increases triglycerides in women.” JCEM. June 2004, 2963-72.
3. Westover, A., Marangell, L. “A cross-national relationship between sugar consumption and major depression?”
4. Depression and Anxiety2002; 16(3):118-120.
5. Selva D, Hogeveen K, Innis S, Hammond G. “Monosaccharide-induced lipogenesis regulates the human hepatic sex hormone–binding globulin gene.” J. Clin. Invest. 2007;117:3979-3987.
6. Romieu, I. et al. “Carbohydrates and the Risk of Breast Cancer among Mexican Women” Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention. 2004; 13(8):1283-1289.
Dr. Al Sears is fast becoming the nation's leading authority on longevity and heart health. His cutting edge breakthroughs and commanding knowledge of alternative medicine have been transforming the lives of his patients for over 15 years.
Dr. Sears currently owns and operates a successful integrative medicine and anti-aging clinic in Wellington, Florida with over 15,000 patients. Over the course of his career, he has developed his own approach to heart health, longevity and anti-aging medicine - combining the best of modern medical science with natural holistic techniques and treatments.