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The word “systemic” means body wide. Systemic enzymes are those that operate not just for digestion but throughout your body in every system and organ. But let’s take first things first, what is an enzyme?
An enzyme is a biocatalyst - something that makes something else work or work faster. Chemical reactions are generally slow things, enzymes speed them up. Without enzymes the chemical reactions that make up our life would be too slow for life as we know it. (As slow as sap running down a tree in winter). For life to manifest as we know it, enzymes are essential to speed up the reactions. We have roughly some 3000 enzymes in our bodies and that results in over 7000 enzymic reactions. Most of these enzymes are derived or created from what we think of as the protein digesting enzymes. But while digestion is an important part of what enzymes do, it's almost the absolute last function. First and foremost these body wide proteolytic (protein eating) enzymes have the following actions
They are the first line of defense against inflammation. (1,2,3). Inflammation is a reaction by the immune system to an irritation. Let’s say you have an injured right knee. The immune system sensing the irritation the knee is undergoing creates a protein chain called a Circulating Immune Complex (CIC for short), tagged specifically for that right knee. (The Nobel Prize in biology was won in 1999 by a scientist who discovered this tagging mechanism). This CIC floats down to the right knee and causes pain, redness and swelling are the classic earmarks for inflammation. This at first is a beneficial reaction; it warns us that a part of ourselves is hurt and needs attention. But, inflammation is self-perpetuating, itself creating an irritation that the body makes CIC’s to in response!
Aspirin, Ibuprofen, Celebrex, Vioxx and the rest of the Non Steroidal Anti Inflammatory Drugs all work by keeping the body from making all CIC's. This ignores the fact that some CIC’s are vital to life, like those that maintain the lining of the intestine and those that keep the kidneys functioning! Not to mention the fact that the NSAID’s, along with acetaminophen, are highly toxic to the liver. Every year 20,000 Americans die from these over the counter drugs and another 100,000 will wind up in the hospital with liver damage, kidney damage or bleeding intestines from the side effects of these drugs. (4,5).
Systemic enzymes on the other hand are perfectly safe and free of dangerous side effects. Best of all systemic enzymes can tell the difference between the good CIC’s and the bad ones because hydrolytic enzymes are lock and key mechanisms and their "teeth" will only fit over the bad CIC’s. So instead of preventing the creation of all CIC’s, systemic enzymes just “eat” the bad ones and in so doing lower inflammation everywhere. With that, pain is lowered also.
The blood is not only the river of life, it is also the river through which the cells and organs dispose of their garbage and dead material. Enzymes improve circulation by eating the excess fibrin that causes blood to sometimes get as thick as catsup or yogurt, creating the perfect environment for the formation of clots. All of this material is supposed to be cleared by the liver on its "first pass", or the first time it goes through but given the sluggish and near toxic or toxic states of everyone's liver these days that seldom happens. So the sludge remains in the blood waiting for the liver to have enough free working space and enough enzymes to clean the trash out of the blood. This can take days, and in some cases, weeks! (8).
When systemic enzymes are taken, they stand ready in the blood and take the strain off of the liver by:
- Cleaning excess fibrin from the blood and reducing the stickiness of blood cells. These two actions minimize the leading causes of stroke and heart attack causing blood clots. (8).
- Breaking dead material down small enough that it can immediately pass into the bowel. (8).
- Cleanse the FC receptors on the white blood cells improving their function and availability to fight off infection. (9).
And here we come to the only warning we have to give concerning the use of systemic enzymes - don't use the product if you are a hemophiliac or are on prescription blood thinners like Coumadin, Heparin and Plavix, without direct medical supervision. The enzymes cause the drugs to work better so there is the possibility of thinning the blood too much.
References: **1) Carroll A., R.: Clinical examination of an enzymatic anti-inflammatory agent in emergency surgery. Arztl. Praxis 24 (1972), 2307.
2) Mazzone A, et al.: Evaluation of Serratia peptidase in acute or chronic
inflammation of otorhinolaryngology pathology: a multicentre, double blind,
randomized trial versus placebo. J Int Med Res. 1990; 18(5):379-88.
3) Kee W., H. Tan S, L., Lee V. Salmon Y. M.: The treatment of breast engorgement with Serrapeptase: a randomized double blind controlled trial. Singapore Med J. 1989:30(l):48-54.
4) Celebrex article Wall Street Journal 19 April 1999.
5) No author listed: Regular Use of Pain Relievers Can Have Dangerous Results. Kaleidoscope Interactive News, American Medical Association media briefing. July 24, 1997.
6) Enzymes ñ A Drug of the Future, Prof. Heinrich Wrba MD and Otto Pecher MD. Published 1993 Eco Med.