Systemic Enzymes – Restore, Promote, and Maintain Health

Enzymes are proteins that act as catalysts, speeding the rate at which biochemical reactions proceed but not altering the direction or nature of the reactions. Enzymes are found in every cell of every living plant and animal, including humans. As biocatalysts, they either begin a reaction or cause a reaction to speed up. Without enzymes, life would not exist.1

Systemic Enzymes vs. Digestive Enzymes

Digestive enzymes work in the stomach to digest food while systemic enzymes are enterically coated and must pass through the stomach to the intestinal tract in order to be properly absorbed and biologically active.

Examples of Digestive Enzymes:

  • Lipase – breaks down fat during the digestive process

Systemic enzymes modulate inflammation, fight fibrosis (scar tissue), defend against viral infection, boost the immune system, and have been clinically shown to be effective in “cleaning” the bloodstream. The list of diseases that can benefit from the use of Digestive Enzymes is too large and beyond the scope of this discussion. At the end of the page there is a link to Dr. Wong’s website where you may investigate more the clinical benefits, abstracts, case studies, and research.

The majority of Clinical Studies have been done in Europe and Japan. Why? Simple answer is money. There isn’t much money to be made selling enzymes because you can not patent them. You can patent a “formula”, but what’s the point? Formulas of natural ingredients are basically recipes. I will not venture too far into the battle against the USA’s Pharmaceutical Industry (And the virtual lock out of Natural Treatments). According to the last World Health Organization Report I read the USA is not exactly leading the way in Health Care (More than 35 countries are ranked ahead of the USA). And while the per capita Health Expenditure in the USA is the highest, and the use of Pharmaceutical Drugs is the highest, the health of USA citizens is nowhere near the top.

The combination of the FDA’s definition that only a drug can diagnose, cure, mitigate, treat, or prevent a disease puts a real damper on the dissemination of information for Natural Treatments for Disease. Systemic enzymes are well known and clinically proven (in many cases dramatically) with virtually no side effect profile to “cure” disease. You’ll need to decide for yourself whether to believe the FDA/Big Pharma Hype or to look to the Wisdom and Knowledge of Medical Professionals outside the USA.

Proteolytic Enzymes

Don’t confuse Proteolytic Enzymes with Systemic Enzymes Systemic means they work inside your body’s “system”… think of them as ANY Enzyme that works inside your body, but not designed to aid digestion. Proteolytic enzymes are “Systemic” in nature as long as they have an enteric coating on capsule or tablet allowing them to pass by the destructive acids in the stomach.

Proteolytic enzymes (or proteases) refer to the various enzymes that digest (break down into smaller units) protein. All enzymes that digest protein are “proteolytic”. To work their magic the enzymes must pass through the stomach and into the intestinal tract where they can be absorbed.

Examples of Proteolytic Enzymes:

  • Chymotrypsin – pancreatic enzyme
  • Trypsin – pancreatic enzyme
  • Bromelain – pineapple enzyme
  • Papain – papaya enzyme
  • Serratia peptidase – (aka Serrapeptase) the “silk worm” enzyme.

These are the primary ingredients in the Enzyme Formulas that have been clinically tested for use in many disease conditions. The human body has thousands of enzymes, there are so many including fungal enzymes and those yet to be discovered. But for our purposes the enzymes listed above are what matters.

Special Note on Serrapeptase:The natural Chelating and Anti-Inflammatory properties of Serrapeptase adds special significance to the value of this enzyme. This enzyme literally dissolves away dead tissues in the body without effecting live tissues. Serrapeptase has had wide clinical use – spanning over twenty-five years throughout Europe and Asia – as a viable alternative to salicylates, ibuprofen and the more potent NSAIDs. Unlike these drugs, Serrapeptase is a naturally occurring, physiological agent with no inhibitory effects on prostaglandins and is devoid of gastrointestinal side effects. Read More on Serrapeptase

Brand Name Systemic Enzyme Formulas

Enzymes Chart Vitalzym Wobenzym® Serrapeptase*
Where to buy

Vitamin Shoppe

Manufacturers Site Vitalzym Wobenzym Doctors Best Brand
Pancreatin Protease #1 56,000 USP/300mg Sus scrofa NA
Papain #3 492 FIP Carica Papaya NA
Bromelain #4 675 FIP Ananus comosus NA
Trypsin Not in Formula 2,160 FIP Sis scrpfa NA
Chymotrypsin Not in Formula 900 FIP Bps taurus NA
Rutosid/Rutin #6 3H20 Sophora japonica NA
Serrapeptase ( aka Serratia Peptidase) #2 Not in Formula 40,000 IU
Amylase #5 Not in Formula NA
Lipase #5 Not in Formula NA
Amla #7 Not in Formula NA
Serving Size 3 Capsules (500mg each) 3 Tablets 1 to 3 Capsules Daily
Available sizes 90, 270, 450 200, 400, 800 tablet 90 Veggie Capsules
Measurements FIP-unit is the measurement of enzyme activity according to the test methods of the Federation Internationale Pharmaceutique
Other Ingredients Other Ingredients: Cellulose, Maltodextrin, Silicon Dioxide, Magnesium Stearate, Titanium Dioxide, Chlorophyllin Other Ingredients: Silica, Magnesium Stearate, Corn Polysaccharides, Microcrystalline Cellulose, Purified Water, Calcium Carbonate, Kaolin, Sucrose, Titanium Dioxide, Yellow Orange S., pH Resistant Enteric Coat. Cellulose, HPMCP enteric coating
Notes: Vitalzym is a proprietary blend (The amount of each enzyme is NOT given, just the order from largest amount to smallest listed numerically). The enzymes are enterically coated for proper absorption.

* There are several clinical trials on Cardiovascular Research Brand Serrapeptase. The problem is the size of the pills are 5mg which is roughly equivalent to 1/4th the amount of active Serrapeptase in a single Doctors Best Brand Capsule making it considerably more expensive. If you think of it in the way that baby aspirin is to aspirin, it simply means you will have to take a lot more for the same effect at a higher cost. The clinical studies I’ve read on the Cardiovascular Research brand were specific to Heart/Circulatory conditions perhaps the reasoning behind the lower dosage?

There are of course other brands, those listed above are the most researched, clinically tested, and well known.

Enzyme Dosages How much do I take?

That is a great question without an exact answer. As a general rule it is always best to take just 1 of any medication to make absolutely 100% sure you do not have an immediate adverse reaction. Then you can up your dosage accordingly. While there have been almost no reported negative side effects, each persons body (particularly their gastrointestinal tract) may be sensitive to a new substance.

It’s a good idea to contact your Naturopathic Physician if you have one. If not try to adhere to the suggestion on the bottle. As an example Doctors Brand Serrapeptase recommends 1 to 3 capsules per day. People with severe cases of inflammation and pain may want to double or even triple this amount during times of acute flare-ups or for the first couple of days. You need to determine at what level you derive the most benefit. After a few days you can drop back down. Unlike drugs you don’t have the worry of overdose. I have actually taken as many as 25 Wobenzym tablets in a single day with no side effects.

I am NOT a Doctor so again it’s best to seek medical advice (If you can find it). You can also research on your own online. For your convenience it’s recommended you visit Dr. Wong’s site – a known expert on Enzymes and in particular Vitalzym. He has his own suggestions for dosage schedules.

When to take Systemic Enzymes

Answer: 1/2 hour before a meal or 1 hour after a meal.

Which Enzyme Combination is Best? What is the best Brand?

I take Wobenzym in combination with Doctors Best Serrapeptase. Wobenzym has the most clinical studies and is less expensive than Vitalzym. I do not know the benefit of adding the Digestive Enzymes Amylase and Lipase to the product as the enzymes need to be enterically coated. Perhaps there is additional value of having these enzymes present in the intestinal tract beyond the stomach. Unfortunately for me the cost of Vitalzym is much greater per dose than the combination of Wobenzym/DB Serrapeptase. My results with this combination have been quite good (Translation: It makes me feel better and the nerves in my arms and neck seem to burn less).

I am also always leery of products that do not disclose their actual ingredients; although I do believe Vitalzym is a good product. I feel it is a consumers right to know EXACTLY what they are putting into their body and in what amount. In this way we can more accurately gauge what is or is not effective and why.

Posted by on Jul 9th, 2008 and filed under Nutrition. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response by filling following comment form or trackback to this entry from your site

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