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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. 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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
7) Kakinumu A. et al.: Regression of
fibrinolysis in scalded rats by administration of serrapeptase. Biochem.