Enzymes are fundamental substances for our life since they are responsible for catalyzing and regulating all the chemical reactions of our body, such as the reactions that take place during digestion. Each enzyme has a specific and delicate task, and it is important to learn not to hinder its function because when this occur indigestion, gases, toxicity, and obstruction and eventually, diseases occur.
What are enzymes?
Are substances formed in our body from proteins? To get an idea, 40% of the proteins in our body are destined for enzyme formation.
What is the digestive enzyme responsible for?
They have the task of activating and regulating – that is, catalyzing – all the chemical reactions of the organism, which is why they are called biocatalysts. They are the fundamental tools of metabolism.
- They also intervene in the activity of hormones and in the detoxification of the organism.
- Each digestive enzyme has a specific task and acts under specific conditions and on a specific substrate.
- They do not intervene directly in the chemical reactions, but they encourage reactions with their presence.
What work does a digestive enzyme do?
- A specific PH: each enzyme will be configured to act in a rather acidic or rather alkaline environment, and therefore, a variation in the PH of its environment, will destroy the enzyme or paralyze its function. The organism secretes more or less acidic gastric juices to process each type of food, and that is why the gastric juices segregated to digest the meat will, for example, annul the gastric juices to digest the potatoes (starch).
- A certain temperature: although heat usually increases the speed of chemical reactions, enzymes, being proteins, can atrophy with heat and see their activity completely nullified.
- Cofactors are non-organic substances, metals, and minerals (trace elements), which require some enzymes to fulfill their function. For example, Iron, Magnesium or Zinc, act as enzymatic cofactors, among other functions.
- Vitamins: vitamins are organic cofactors. Its function is the same as that of cofactors, that is, they are necessary for the proper functioning of enzymes
A certain time: for example the meat takes much longer to be digested in the stomach than the sweet fruit, which passes almost directly to the intestine, therefore if we eat a veal fillet (red meat, difficult digestion), and then a fruit salad of fruits, these will be literally above the meat in the stomach, waiting for it to be digested, and during the waiting time that fruit will have begun its bacterial fermentation due to being in the wrong digestive enzyme “environment” for that type of food. The same happens if we eat a lot of food, more than our enzymes can digest.
The important function of digestive enzymes:
In particular, digestive enzymes are responsible for digesting food processing to obtain the nutrients necessary for our lives. That is, they degrade the nutrients of food (starch, fat, proteins, sugars …) into simpler substances that our body will use (through metabolism) to form proteins, fats, and glucose itself. As we can see, task corresponds to that of an assembly line, and if one of the links fails, the digestive process is broken. Following is the list of best digestive enzyme;
Enzyme Ptialina > is found in saliva, in the mouth, and is responsible for reducing starch to maltose. Acts in an alkaline environment
Enzyme Maltase > is found in the intestine and is responsible for reducing maltose in glucose, (which will then use our body to create glycogen).
Enzyme Amylase > secretes the pancreas into the intestine to reduce the starch that “escapes” to ptyalin
Enzyme Pepsin > is secreted by the stomach to break down proteins into peptides. It acts in a very acid medium.
Enzyme Erepsina > is secreted in the pancreatic juices to the intestine, and is responsible for digesting the peptides to obtain amino acids (which then use our body to create our own proteins).
Pancreatic enzyme protease > acts in the intestine on an alkaline pH and digests proteins to obtain amino acids.
Enzyme Lipase > is from pancreatic segregation to the small intestine, to break down the lipids into fatty acids and glycol.
Why do problems of digestion, putrefaction, intoxication and poor nutrition arise?
If the digestive enzyme cannot do their job, the bacteria come into play to replace them and degrade the food, producing at the same time gases, putrefaction and toxic waste that accumulate in our intestine, colon, and organism in general, favoring traffic jams, intolerances, allergies and different diseases more or less serious.
As we have seen, we know that in order for the enzymes to perform their function correctly, optimal conditions of temperature and PH have to be given and our body must have enough mineral salts and vitamins to facilitate its metabolic tasks. But we also know that the function of some enzymes is not compatible with the function of other enzymes, and that is why the correct combination of foods is so important to get good digestion and good nutrition. Therefore, among other things, we should not combine foods that are digested differently in the same intake.
For example, the digestive enzyme plain of the saliva, converts the starch (of the bread for example), into maltose, so that afterward another one obtains glucose from that maltose. Ptyalin only acts in a slightly alkaline environment and therefore with a single drop of acid its function will be interrupted, and the starch will reach the intestine without being processed, where another enzyme, amylase, will try to perform the task that ptialin could not Even begin, but in many cases the starch will have already begun its process of fermentation and putrefaction to the intestine and will inevitably produce gas and toxins.
This last advantage is currently being used by athletes and bodybuilders, since, in some stages of the specific dietary plan of athletes, they require consuming large amounts of food that exceed the body’s ability to digest and assimilate the nutrients, which It can harm your health. Similarly, it is important to note that with age also decreases the function of digestive enzymes progressively, therefore, elderly can also benefit from these exogenous supplements.