“What do proteolytic enzymes do in the body? Benefits include:
- Reducing inflammation – Inflammation is a natural response of the body to injury, but excessive inflammation retards the healing process. Proteolytic enzymes reduce inflammation by neutralizing the biochemicals of inflammation (bradykinins and pro-inflammatory eicosanoids) to levels where the synthesis, repair, and regeneration of injured tissues can take place. Reducing inflammation can have an immediate impact on heart health, cancer prevention and recovery, and Alzheimer’s prevention. It also helps speed up recovery from sprains, strains, fractures, bruises, contusions, surgery, and arthritis.
Osteoarthritis (OA) may also be reduced through oral enzyme therapy, as demonstrated in one study that compared it to the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug diclofenac in patients with OA of the hip. This study showed no real difference between enzyme therapy and diclofenac, implying an equal benefit relation between the substances. The researchers concluded that enzyme therapy may well be recommended for treating OA patients with signs of inflammation as indicated by a high pain level.
- Cleansing the blood of debris – Proteolytic enzymes are the primary tools the body uses to “digest” organic debris in the circulatory and lymph systems. Supplementing improves the effectiveness of the process.
- Dissolving fibrin (a protein involved in clotting) in the blood, thereby reducing the risk of dangerous clots – Certain specialized proteases such as nattokinase and endonase help improve the “quality” of blood cells, optimize the ability of blood to flow through the circulatory system, and reduce the risk of clots. In effect, they help regulate the blood clotting cascade, normalizing the function of this vital defense mechanism. They work not so much as a blood thinner but as a corrector of blood chemistry and function. They are safe and non-toxic, which is more than what can be said for medical options such as warfarin. This is extremely important in reducing the risk of stroke. Consider using proteolytic enzymes just before and after long plane flights to minimize the potential of blood clots in the legs. How big is the problem? One study estimated that one million cases of deep venous thrombosis related to air travel occur in the U.S. alone every year and that 100,000 of these cases resulted in death. And that was before the recent boom in air travel.
- Maximizing immune system function – the primary vehicle the immune system uses for destroying invaders is enzymes. Macrophages, for example, literally digest invaders with proteolytic enzymes. Supplementation significantly improves the ability of your immune system to do its job.
- Improving breathing – Some proteolytic enzymes help clear away mucus buildup in the lungs.
- Killing of bacteria, viruses, molds, and fungi – Proteolytic enzymes taken between meals literally go into the bloodstream and digest these invaders. One of the tricks of an invading organism is to wrap itself in a large protein shell that the body would view as being “normal.” Large amounts of protease can help to remove this protein shell and allow the body’s defense mechanisms to take action. With the protective barrier down, your immune system can step in and destroy the invading organism.
- Optimizing oxygen uptake and improving recovery time for athletes. In a recent study, researchers from the Department of Health and Human Performance at Elon University evaluated the capacity of protease to relieve soft-tissue injury resulting from intense exercise. The enzyme group demonstrated superior recovery of muscle function and diminished muscle soreness after downhill running when compared with those taking a placebo.
- Dissolving of scar tissue – Scar tissue is made of protein. Proteolytic enzymes can effectively “digest” scar tissue, particularly in the circulatory system.
- Reducing symptoms of multiple sclerosis (MS).
- Removing circulating immune complexes (CICs), leading to reduced allergies, elimination of many autoimmune disorders, sinusitis, and asthma. Many large protein molecules that are only partially digested in the small intestine are nevertheless absorbed into the bloodstream. Wheat, dairy, and corn proteins are particular culprits. Once in the bloodstream, the immune system treats these oversized proteins as invaders, provoking an immune response. Antibodies couple with these foreign protein invaders to form CICs. In a healthy person, these CICs may be neutralized in the lymphatic system, but if the immune system is compromised or if the level of CICs is just too high, they will accumulate in the blood, where they initiate an “allergic” reaction. The kidneys can no longer excrete all of them, so the body begins storing them in soft tissue, causing inflammation and triggering an autoimmune disorder. Supplemental proteolytic enzymes taken between meals aid in the elimination of CICs.”