Tag Archives: immune system

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Digestive Enzymes: Why Enzymes Are Important to Health

It’s been said that we are what we eat. But, more accurately, we are what we absorb. The difference is digestion. And, a major factor in digestion are digestive enzymes.

Digestive enzymes are protein catalysts that speed up the break down (digestion) of raw material (proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals) into smaller components (like amino acids, fatty acids, fiber and glucose) that can be absorbed (or not absorbed in the case of fiber) by your intestines.

While enzymes are not changed or destroyed after digestion, the enzymes speed the process of digestion. Enzymes also help build tissue from the absorbed particles. For enzymes to work effectively, they require enough vitamins and minerals.

Many enzymes are produced by the body for digestion. Enzymes also play a part in the running of your body and in the manufacturing of new tissue. There are also enzymes in raw foods that help start the digestion process. Scientists have identified over 75,000 different enzymes in humans and are still finding more.

Where Are Nutrients Digested?

eating photo

Photo by Sole Treadmill


The process of breaking down cell membranes begins in the mouth where food is chewed. This is why it is important to chew your food until it becomes mushy. This releases the nutrients within the cells and allows chemical digestion to begin.

Enzymes work in the mouth, stomach and small intestines to break apart proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. Stomach acid breaks down cell membranes, and further digestion occurs in the small intestine.

The gallbladder introduces bile in the duodenum (first part of the small intestine) which breaks down or emulsifies fats that may be coating other food particles. Bile also helps neutralize stomach acid. This allows enzymes from the pancreas to continue digestion. Your pancreas releases enzymes throughout the digestive tract to digest the foods you eat.

  • Enzymes start working in your mouth where the breakdown of carbohydrates begins. Carbohydrates continue to be digested in the stomach and small intestine.
  • Proteins are primarily digested in your stomach.
  • Fats begin the digestion process in the small intestine.

Got Poor Digestion?

Bloating is probably the most common symptom of poor digestion. Undigested food in the digestive tract will ferment creating gas and bloating.

And, poor digestion can cause more serious conditions. Starches ferment in the small intestine to produce alcohol which can product non-alcholic fatty liver disease.

Many people have one or more of the following symptoms, but often do not identify the cause a poor digestion.

Nausea photo

Photo by Sarah G…

  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Flatulence, gas, bloating
  • Heartburn
  • Nausea
  • Acid reflux

Among the common causes or risk factors of poor digestion include:

  • Drugs

  • Antibiotics
  • Poisons
  • Improper pH along the digestive tract
  • Non-ideal temperature
  • Hormones
  • Aging

If you have the symptoms of poor digestion or have any of the common risk factors for poor digestion, you may want to consider taking digestive enzymes before meals to help ensure more complete digestion.

Great Overview of Digestive Enzymes

This video outlines the role enzymes play in digestion, and how taking an enzyme supplement may improve your overall digestive health.

Produced by Pendulum Swing Media
More videos at: pendulumswingmedia.com
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Recommended Digestive Enzyme Supplement

The following product has multiple digestive enzymes of high potency in targeted delivery capsules.

Vitamin D for Health – Vitamin D Deficiency Systems

Vitamin D is critical to health. Vitamin D is known for contributing to joint and bone health by helping the body absorb calcium. People who have enough vitamin D are less likely to suffer from osteoporosis and joint pain. Vitamin D can also reduce the affects of arthritis and lessen back pain in many individuals. Vitamin D can also prevent certain types of cancers.

Vitamin D is produced naturally by the body when exposed to sunlight. If you are not far from the equator and have a light skin, you can get enough vitamin D by going outside around noon in shorts and a tank top without sunscreen for about 10 minutes. The UV-B rays hitting your skin can manufacture about 10,000 international units of vitamin D, enough for daily needs. Those who live away from the equator, with darker skins and the elderly will need more exposure to the sun.

winter clothing photoThis sun exposure amounts to about an hour a week. But, most people receive far less exposure to direct sunlight than this. Many people live far from the equator, work indoors at noon, or wear clothing that covers much of their skin.

The Vitamin D Council recommends that most people supplement with 5,000 international units of vitamin D daily to maintain optimal levels.

Vitamin D Deficiency Systems

The symptoms of vitamin D deficiency are often vague and subtle. They don’t shout, “You’re vitamin D deficient.” But, they can still impact your life. Symptoms such a tiredness and general aches and pains are characteristic of vitamin D deficiency.

A Harvard study indicates that worldwide, a billion people have vitamin D deficiency. The study reports that being deficient in vitamin D “may increase the risk of a host of chronic diseases, such as osteoporosis, heart disease, some cancers, and multiple sclerosis, as well as infectious diseases, such as tuberculosis and even the seasonal flu.”

Vitamin D helps keep your immune system strong. So, frequent illnesses or infections like catching cold or getting the flu can point to a deficiency. For example, studies have shown that vitamin D helps reduce the frequency of respiratory tract infections.

Fatigue, tiredness, and even depression can be caused by low levels of vitamin D. Since vitamin D is produced in the body through exposure to the sun, we often feed “down” when Winter comes and we go outside all bundled up, exposing less skin to the sun.

Vitamin D improves absorption of calcium in the bones. When blood levels of vitamin D are low, bones lose strength and bone pain can results. Low bone mineral density and actual bone loss also can occur when vitamin D is deficient. People with lower back pain or pain in their legs may have a deficiency.

Research in the Archives of Internal Medicine shows that people with the lowest vitamin D levels have more than double the risk of dying from heart disease and other causes over an eight-year period compared with those with the highest vitamin D levels.

Foods Rich in Vitamin D

In this video Dr. Axe talks about the important natural sources of vitamin D3:

  • wild caught fish like salmon
  • raw fermented dairy products like cheese, kefir and yogurt
  • egg yokes
  • mushrooms

These foods, along with some sunshine, can help you maintain adequate levels of vitamin D.

In this video Dr. Axe talk about how to overcome Vitamin D deficiency with diet and lifestyle. Vitamin D is a pro hormone, which is essential for balancing the hormones in your body, and a fat-soluble vitamin, which supports the brain, bones, and tissue. Some warning signs that you may be Vitamin D deficient are if you struggle with any type of mood disorder, autoimmune disease, weak bones, weak muscles, or poor immune system.

In order to overcome a Vitamin D deficiency, you may want to get outside more often to get 20-30 minutes of natural sunlight. The average person should be getting about 5000 IUs a day. You also want to be consuming more Vitamin D-rich foods like wild caught fish, raw fermented dairy products, egg yokes, and mushrooms. Lastly, you want to be consuming a high quality Vitamin D3 supplement (5000 IUs daily). If you want to overcome Vitamin D deficiency, follow these steps, and you will start seeing results!

*This video content is strictly the opinion of Dr. Josh Axe, and is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of medical advice or treatment from a personal physician. All viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Neither Dr. Axe nor the publisher of this content takes responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement or lifestyle program.

For more on naturally overcoming Vitamin D deficiency, you can check my article: http://draxe.com/vitamin-d-deficiency/?utm_campaign=Youtube-Nov-2014&utm_medium=social&utm_source=youtube&utm_term=vitamind

If you will not receive adequate vitamin D from these sources, you may want to take a supplement. Here is the supplement I take. It will probably be helpful for you, too.