spend many billion dollars per year on food. Our diet consumes more of
our budget than any other living expense, except for the medical care
that we occasionally seek as a result of our dietary indiscretions. Not
only do we overeat, but the foods that we eat have been largely
stripped of their nutritional value- processed and preserved for a
longer shelf life. These food trends, coupled with the stress of our
modern lifestyle, wreak havoc on our ability to efficiently digest
foods. This in turn compromises our immune system, making us
susceptible to chronic infection and disease.
It is no wonder that the best selling prescription drugs in America are
those which mask the symptoms of poor digestion. Over the counter
remedies abound, and certain household names have capitalized for years
on our ignorance and self-destructive behavior. Prolonged use of
antacids has been shown to rob your body of essential vitamins and
minerals. Instead of masking our symptoms for temporary relief, we must
learn to attack the underlying cause of our diminished health.
Many chronic "syndrome" complaints and auto-immune disorders are
increasingly being traced back to digestive disorders like irritable
bowel syndrome, leaky gut, parasites, and candida overgrowth. Candida
albicans is a yeast microbe that lives in our intestinal tract in
delicate balance with other more friendly bacteria. The normal balance
of intestinal flora may be disturbed by many things such as
antibiotics, bad eating habits, drinking chlorinated water, or even
stress. Candida overgrowth is often associated with yeast infections,
skin problems, bloating and lethargy. Left to flourish untreated,
candida can invade the intestinal walls, breaking them down until they
begin to leak harmful bacteria and larger proteins into the blood
stream. The resulting long term "leaky gut' toxicity can have
devastating consequences to your health.
Such conditions demonstrate how poor digestion can slowly sabotage your
health and rob you of your quality of life. Many leading health experts
estimate that up to 80 percent of all diseases start in the intestinal
tract! Growing up the son of a nutrition pioneer, Carson B. Burgstiner,
M.D., I was often told that "the quality of your life depends in large
measure upon the quality of your choices". Nowhere is this advice more true
than in digestive health. We all need to exercise regularly and limit
our intake of fat, alcohol, caffeine, and refined sugar. We need
adequate amounts of fiber, rest, and pure, clean water. These are
excellent choices for promoting vitality and longevity, but having such
foresight and discipline is only half the battle.
The benefits of our dedication can only be realized to the extent that
our bodies can absorb and assimilate the nutrients that we eat. In
other words, we are not what we eat, but what we digest. One of the
most important factors in our digestive efficiency is the level of
enzymes present to act as catalysts in converting food into energy.
Enzymes enable your body to break down vitamins, minerals, proteins,
fats and carbohydrates into the basic building blocks that it needs to
function, grow and rejuvenate itself.
Enzymes, the Sparks of Life
Enzymes are found in all living things, plant and animal. Without them,
seeds would not sprout, fruit would not ripen, and you would not exist.
All enzymes can be divided into several different groups. Food enzymes
are contained naturally in raw foods, and play an important role in
facilitating digestion. Metabolic enzymes control every biochemical
function in your body, providing energy, fighting disease and ensuring
the smooth functioning of your cells.
Digestive enzymes help turn food
into fuel. The typical American diet is drastically lacking in enzymes,
while loaded with noxious elements that challenge our every cell. If
our meals are not processed, preserved, canned, frozen, or irradiated,
they are most certainly cooked. Cooking any food at temperatures above
116 degrees Fahrenheit kills the natural enzymes. Even raw fruits and
vegetables contain little or no enzymes if they are picked green
(often the case in supermarkets because they have to be transported
over long distances). Significant enzymes are produced only when they
ripen on the plant.
A diet low in food enzymes forces your body to
borrow from its own metabolic and digestive enzymes in order to
digest food. This enzyme deficit places an unnecessary burden on your
vital organs that can manifest in a multitude of illnesses. As we age,
it becomes harder and harder for our bodies to keep up. To make matters
worse, as we become enzyme-deficient, we age faster! A newborn baby has
a hundred times the enzyme levels of an elderly person.
What To Do?
Fortunately there is a safe and effective deterrent to this vicious
cycle of enzyme depletion. In addition to making quality life choices
like enjoying organically grown, naturally ripened produce, you can and
should supplement your diet with a comprehensive array of digestive
enzymes. It seems so simple and obvious, but by the regular addition of
digestive enzymes to your diet, you can transform your gut from a toxic
dump to a fuel-burning machine!
When selecting an enzyme supplement
like Essential Digestion,
remember that quality is more important than quantity. Choose a product
with a wide range of plant and animal enzymes from a company that
demonstrates a commitment to quality. Certain enzymes are more
vulnerable to the acidic environment of the stomach than others. Look
for products with delivery systems designed to recognize these
differences, maximizing absorption and assimilation by the body.
Like every Logos formula, products of superior quality will have an unconditional satisfaction
Individuals with gastric or duodenal ulcers are often
sensitive to animal proteases and may respond better to plant
proteases, which are biologically active over a much wider pH range.
These people may be best served using a plant based or vegetarian
enzyme supplement, or perhaps even none at all. There has been much
debate over the efficacy of enzyme supplementation for ulcer patients,
but there is no shortage of enthusiastic patients who swear by them. In
any event, ulcer patients should use caution with any enzyme
supplement, taking them under the supervision of their health care
The Unseen World Within Us
In the pursuit of optimum physical and mental health, maintaining the
proper balance of intestinal flora is just as important as curbing
enzyme depletion. Inside each of us is a vast ecosystem made up of
billions of microorganisms that coexist, sometimes harmoniously but
often in conflict. This unseen world is largely responsible for
maintaining the body s vital chemical and hormonal balance. Like armies
in a war, as long as the good bacteria outnumber the bad, peace will
prevail. However, there are many obstacles to peace.
antibiotics do not discriminate between good or bad bacteria, but wipe
out much of the entire population. This gives harmful bacteria and
fungi the chance to dominate, which can lead to serious long term
health consequences for you. Likewise, a diet consisting chiefly of
processed foods can dramatically alter the acid/alkaline balance of the
intestine, giving rise to large colonies of putrefactive bacteria that
can discharge highly toxic by-products while reacting with foods in the
Supplementing your diet with probiotics, or good bacteria like Essential Flora ,
helps to ensure a healthy balance of intestinal flora and opposes the
harmful effects of pathogenic species. The actual battlefield for the
"flora wars" lies along the mucosal surfaces of the intestinal wall.
The beneficial bacteria prevent invasion and colonization by harmful
microorganisms by physical displacement, literally competing for
nutrients and space on the epithelial surface. Probiotics also produce
hydrogen peroxide and lower the pH, both of which produce a hostile
environment for pathogenic bacteria and yeasts. Some strains even
produce natural antibiotic compounds, called bacteriocins.
have been widely and successfully used for years in Europe to treat
conditions such as diarrhea, irritable bowel, allergies, chronic
fatigue, chronic yeast infections, dairy product sensitivities, skin
conditions, and even high cholesterol levels. The most commonly
available probiotics are Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacterium
bifidam, and Bifidobacterium longum.
addition to digestive enzymes and probiotics, certain herbs and other
plants are known to have beneficial properties in supporting healthy
digestion. Among others, ginger, fennel seed, slippery elm bark,
burdock root, lemon, cloves, and peppermint all enjoy excellent
reputations among natural healers. These plants have long been used to
stimulate the digestive organs into action, reduce gas and cramps, and
detoxify the by-products of fermentation.
Reprinted with the permission of the World Health News
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult your physician before using these products.
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