Enzyme Therapy

| Modified on Feb 16, 2022

Enzymes, Our Bodies’ Catalysts

Certainly we have general knowledge of enzymes in modern society. We know that enzymes are involved in digesting our food and in fermenting beer. Anyone who is lactose intolerant can tell you the value of taking Lactase enzymes. And most of us know that the unique flavors and textures of different types of cheese don’t magically spring into being, but rather are the product of several carefully controlled cultures and enzymes. By definition, an enzyme is a molecular substance produced by a living organism that brings about a specific biochemical reaction.

Enzyme Therapy

If enzymes set off specific biochemical reactions in our bodies, can we use that knowledge to guide and support our health? That is the question behind much of the enzyme therapy marketing and research going on today. You may have heard about the recent publicity that a tree resin called Garcinia cambogia is receiving. That attention is the result of some major enzyme-based studies on whether Garcinia cambogia actually assists the body in synthesizing lipids. The results thus far have been positive, tested out to a duration of 12 weeks.

Another study done recently is on whether enzymes can help treat hard-to-beat Pancreatic cancer. Pancreatic tumors shield themselves from treatment, so the trick is to get the cancer medicine past those shields. Thus far, the studies using an enzyme as the catalyst have been successful, which could signal new hope for those struggling with this awful disease.

Proteolytic enzymes continue to have high emphasis in research since there are so many of them, and since some of the most vicious cancers of our age are protein-based. Enzymes can be a powerful tool for health! There are thousands of them and our bodies are complex, so the learning in this field will continue for years. For now, there is enough solid, basic knowledge for us to help ourselves to this avenue of strength.

Proteloytic Enzymes

Proteolytic enzymes, often referred to as Protease, are enzymes that work to hydrolyze proteins. The amino acids that proteins break down into are then used by our bodies to structure body tissues, glands, chromosomes and many other necessary substances.

When we make food to eat, we are combining nutritional compounds. Our bodies, utilizing enzymes, break those compounds down into the smallest building blocks possible – then construct what we need out of them. Without enzymes, we wouldn’t have the building supplies necessary for health.

Digestive Enzymes

Digestive enzymes are involved in every step of our digestive system – from fork to waste matter. They help break our food down into the forms our bodies need for fuel, building, cellular function, etc. Our saliva itself has multiple enzymes in it, so that the digestion process actually begins as we chew. Here are a couple of examples:

  • Amylase helps break down starches we eat into glucose that our body uses as its day-to-day fuel.
  • Lipase helps break down the fats we eat so that our body can use them to build nerve sheaths, cellular structure, hormones, etc.




Digestive Enzymes

Posted by Sue (Fairfax Va) on 11/12/2013

Various people on EC have recommended digestive enzymes. I've read that using them may cause the body to become dependent on them for digesting food...is that true, in anyone's experience?

Any recommendations for someone (age: early 60s) just starting out as to dosages? Many thanks!

Replied by Mike 62
(Denver, Colorado)

Sue: I make 1/2 gallon home made water kefir every day. The microbes release energy from the food like a nuclear reactor releases energy from an atom. All food has more protons than electrons. Enzymes have more electrons than protons. When people eat cooked food all the cells have to give up some electricity so the organs can make digestive enzymes. The organs have to work harder. After decades of this the organs become worn. Energy levels drop because the organs are making digestive enzymes instead of metabolic enzymes. Drinking kefir is like getting plugged into a battery. Energy levels skyrocket. The microbes make enzymes for 15 cents per pint.


Mike62. Even raw foods contain more protons than electrons? I know that cooked food loses electrons(thus protons become a majority in cooked food), but raw food as well is lower in electrons vs protons? I am a holistic health researcher/therapist, I would love to chat with you privately if that is ok with you. How may contact you?

Replied by Ed2010

Digestive enzymes are good for digestion. In fact, they give complete digestion.

Use of digestive enzymes can result in two effects. Either they can activate your pancreas, intestines to re secrete the digestive enzymes or no effect at all that is it will work as long as you take them. However, it can give a complete rest to your intestines, reduces bloating, good digestion and good bowel movement.

To increase the digestion eat foods that are rich in digestive enzymes along with your regular meal.

1. Fresh Lemon Juice (replacement of Stomach Acid HCL)

2. Papaya - rich in papain - to digest protien

3. Pineapple- rich in bromelian - to digest protien

4. Noni Juice

5. Milk Kefir - rich in enzymes and probiotics

6. Miso Soup - rich in amino acids, enzymes, Vitamin B complex

7. Carrot Juice Fresh - rich in minerals and enzymes.

8. Bee Polem - rich in nutrients and enzymes.

Zinc, Magnesium necessary to produce enzymes.

Zinc deficiency will manifest in impaired digestion and low libido.

You have to judge whether you require digestive enzymes and / or Stomach Acid HCL.

For some people less stomach Acid is the cause of indigestion(dyspepsia)

In order to find it you have to take Betaine Hcl capsules separately and digestive enzyme capsules separately and should take combined together and make a fair judgement which theraphy made you feel comfortable.

Kelp - rich in iodine stimulates the stomach to produce stomach acid.

Apart from these there are herbs to increase to digestion.

IMO, digestive enzyme is only a temporary supplement. You have to re kindle your digestive fire to do the digestion.

Just drinking freshly squeezed lemon juice after every meal alone can burn(digest) all your foods without a problem. And can restore your digestive enzymes.

The main cause of indigestion are proton pump inhibitors, heartburn, acidity medicines.

Start with digestive enzyme capsules for sometime and add foods and herbs that increases digestion.

Good Health

Replied by Sue
(Fairfax Va)

Thank you, Ed2010 and Mike 62, this is all very helpful and makes a lot of sense!

Enzymes for Arthritis

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Soleil (Atlanta, Georgia) on 11/28/2011

My belief about most health issues, that most of us have, is that it stems from our guts. Whether it is arthritis, leaky gut, or any other ailment. If we fix our guts, we fix most of our health problems. For years I've suffered with diarrhea and just came to accept that I had a stomach issue. When you have diarrhea all the time, your body isn't absorbing any nutrients or minerals it needs for your whole health. This being the case, your body will react by giving you certain symptoms.

When we try to discover what causes our symptoms, we read and read and read about what may cause each specific one. We then take supplements to rid us of a specific symptom, while not understanding the overall cause of a specific symptom. In my case, I developed arthritis in both knees and am fatigued much of the time. My knees hurt so badly I couldn't fall asleep at night. I tried many different products, all natural, (Zyflamend, ginger extract, Instaflex etc.) to no avail. I'm a flight attendant so it's very difficult to think of mixing Apple Cider Vinegar and baking soda at work, when there is no time to even eat!

I recently discovered something called "Repair Gold" by Enzymedica (the enzyme experts). Most of the ingredients are enzymes, no MSM, etc. It contains bromelain, protease, amylase, catalase, papain, serratiopeptidase and lipase. I've been able to sleep the last 4 nights and haven't had the usual bouts of diarrhea. It makes me wonder how many others have arthritis and diarrhea. I believe my arthritis stemmed from my malabsorption of nutrients and minerals from the food I eat, thereby causing deficiencies and bone loss, etc. I would never have connected the two. I encourage many of you to continue to research and read as much as you can, and to look way beyond a specific symptom. Wishing you good health and discoveries in nature.

Enzymes for Candida

2 User Reviews
5 star (2) 

Posted by Cald (Brooklyn, Ny) on 03/30/2013

Hello everyone! I go back and forth between suffering from BV and yeast infections. The BV is tricker to treat and from personal experience I always had to ask for the prescription since the garlic inserted vaginally didnt help too much.

For yeast, I've had great experience with C------e, enzymes specifically for candida yeast. The product contains enzymes such as cellulase, which kills Candida yeast by breaking down the cell wall of the yeast. The yeast can develop a resistance to the herbal remedies after a while, but not to enzymes. Usually I take 1 pill 3 times a day and within 2 days, I notice relief. You have to take these enzymes on an EMPTY STOMACH. If you don't, they will only dissolve the food you eat (or most recently ate) instead of the yeast. Its good to take an hour before a meal or 2 hrs after. I also take a high Protease enzyme, which dissolves the bacteria and also helps to dissolve the yeast.

I heard rave reviews about Pine Cone Extract. I just ordered a bottle. I read on several message boards that its good for candidaisis and yeast infections. I will start taking this for prevention and will keep you posted.

Enzymes for Candida
Posted by E. G. (Haiku, Hawaii) on 06/11/2009

A couple of years ago I went to an Ayurveda practitioner because I had been feeling tired, weak, sluggish, etc, for a year or two. The practitioner told me that I had an overgrowth of candida, and he prescribed a candida diet for a month, as well as special enzymes which break down the cellular structure of candida. He told me I should start to feel better right away. He was right!

I was worried that I wouldn't be able to stick to the candida diet, because I had always had a very strong sweet tooth, and I had tried quitting sugar before, but was unable to. However, what I found out was that the enzymes which killed the candida almost completely removed my sugar cravings by the second day. It was amazing. As boring and bland as I found the candida diet, that's how much better I felt each day. I ended up doing the diet for two months because it felt so good; suddenly I had energy again, I lost a bunch of excess weight very quickly, the puffiness of my face disappeared by the second day or so. I ended up staying off cane sugar for about a year. I also avoided other forms of sweeteners, or had them very rarely. I found that sometimes the sugar cravings would come back after eating something sweet, and I would take some more enzymes and presto, the cravings would disappear! I wanted to write and share my experience, because the enzymes made all the difference in the world for me. I don't think I could have done the candida diet without it. When you have candida, trying to stop eating the foods that the candida feeds on can be extremely difficult. I don't know how, but somehow the candida makes you crave the foods that it craves. But if you take the enzyme formula which is specifically made to kill candida, then following the candida diet will be almost easy. That was my experience anyway.

Try the enzymes and the diet together and you should start feeling better on the first day. Within a month or so, you should be free of candida. Keep in mind, if you resume eating a diet high in sugar and gluten, etc, then the candida will probably return. It did for me. Also, what I found was if I ate even a tiny amount of sugar (one french fry dipped in catsup, for instance), I would start having sugar cravings again within an hour or two. So I recomend the enzymes and going totally cold turkey on sugar. Even a small amount will make you crave more.

good luck, and great website!

Replied by AprilRain
(Cleveland, Ohio, USA)

I've been reading alot about Candida & how it can affect the body. I believe mine has got really bad after taking alot antibotics through out the last year. Now all of a sudden i have acid reflux when i never had it before in my life I definently am working on ridding my body of yeast but could you help me with a sugar free diet? It seems like almost everything has sugar in it. Can you eat dairy or bread during this time your trying to rid the body of Candida?

Replied by Bluesgene
(Lakemont, Georgia)

Can you use ANY enzymes? I assume you mean digestive enzymes, protease, etc??? Good to hear you got rid of the candida so quickly. I have been following candida diet for quite a long time, as well as anti-fungals...not completely better but then again, I do fall off the wagon (so to speak) once in awhile....seems to wipe all the good work out. Thanks for your post.

Replied by Sarah
(Chicago, IL)

Hello, I have a question to E. G. from Haiku, Hawaii regarding enzymes for Candida. First of all, I am glad that you have found something that works for you! Could you please offer more details regarding the specific enzyme type, if you cannot mention the brand, perhaps you could mention the types of enzymes in the mix? Thank you so much in advance. I have been reading extensively about yeast overgrowth and am convinced that this is the cause of many of my son's health problems. I am trying to find something that will help him. He is a teenager and has been suffering from several of the symptoms attributed to Candida. His main concern is the horrible acne all over his face and acne, but I think that the acne is only one of the problems and that the condition should be treated from the inside. This is the source of tremendous sadness and distress to him. We have tried many different treatments for his acne, including painful laser treatments and antibiotics, but I believe the topical and the laser treatments don't address the underlying causes and the antibiotics in turn, worsen the problem. He wants to try Accutane, but I want to do everything I can to prevent him from doing it. Thank you again.

Replied by Linda
(York County, Maine)

Hi Sarah, you may consider a homeopathic tablet....search drugstore.com.....brand name (if EC will allow) is Nature's Cure.....Best, Linda

Replied by Christine
(Durban, KZN, South Africa)

Hi E.G. from Haiku or anyone else who knows - please tell me what these enzymes are and where would I look for them - at a health store, at the supermarket or from a homeopath? I am very interested in finding out more and trying it out on myself and my animals. Is there anywhere that the diet is published? I think this is a very important post, many people don't know about candida and how it affects our health. Thanks, Christine

EC: Search google with the key words "enzymes for candida" and you will find them!

Replied by P Mitchell
(Tucson, AZ)

The cell wall of candida is composed of cellulose, which does not break down in your digestive tract without a little help. What you are looking for is an enzyme supplement with cellulase, which breaks down the cellulose for you. Be sure to take this on an empty stomach, between meals, so that the cellulase can focus directly on the candida. I would also recommend supplementing with a probiotic high in saccharomyces boulardii, which feeds on candida and leaves the good microflora in your gi tract alone. Because s. boulardii feeds on the candida, it will help minimize Herxeimer reactions, and the byproduct of its metabolism is toxic to c. albicans. S boulardii can colonize in your gut with regular supplementation, but once you quit taking it, it will eventually flush from your system. Use it on an empty stomach along with a regular, high-quality probiotic for several months to a year and it will help your body have time to re-establish a strong, healthy colony of microflora to keep the candida under control.

You might also consider adding methionine and cysteine (amino acids) to your routine if you are on an anti-candida diet. Research has shown that under starvation, c. albicans reacts by increasing the rate at which it switches phenotypes (that is, switching from yeast to fungus), and that this increased inclination to switch phenotypes is passed on to future generations of c. albicans. Methionine and cysteine have an effect on the candida which interrupts or inhibits this reaction. I don't know that supplementation has been studied to show any positive effects (the studies were performed in petrie dishes, not the gi tract), but it can't hurt.

I hope this helps other sufferers.

Enzymes for Digestive Disorders

2 User Reviews
5 star (2) 

Posted by Lou (Tyler, Tx) on 11/18/2012

Has anyone tried eating fresh pineapple by itself first thing in the morning? Pineapple has great curative effects on the digestive tract, along with its natural enzymes. Also, perhaps papaya. Read about papayas and cancer online. Papaya enzymes worked pretty well for me with my lifelong stomach problems. Also, Super Digestive Enzymes at GNC contain protease, lipase and amylase (all of which was recommended by Dr. Oz).

Replied by Kelly
(Whitby, Ontario, Canada)

I didn't think anyone with Gastroperesis could eat any raw fruits, let alone an acidic pineapple??

Enzymes for Digestive Disorders
Posted by Bumblebee (Saco, Me., Usa) on 11/13/2012

I went through all the tests etc. Finding--my stomach was working about 15% of "normal" food transit. So I had all the discomfort, bloating, fatness, nausea etc. What worked? Unbelievably great results for me with gastric enzymes. I am taking a composite of 6 digestive enzymes:amylase, protease, lactase, lipase, cellulase, phytase and HCL betain. That way all the bases are covered-each one breaks down a different food element. I don't take them for every meal-just one or two meals that are bigger (usually not breakfast). Also, I have found that I can skip a day or just use once a day. Perhaps my body is learning how to cope better. I am 60 yrs and in excellent health except for the abdominal/stomach problems of the past. I have heard that as you get older the body makes less enzymes.

P.S. the GI doctors were useless... You would think that one of the three I went to would have suggested I try digestive enzymes!

Enzymes for Lactose Intolerance

1 User Review
4 star (1) 

Posted by Anne (Chicago, Il) on 09/24/2009

I am lactose intolerant but have always taken Lactase supplements every time I eat milk, cheese or ice-cream (I don't have a problem with yogurt because of the natural bacteria that's in it.) This almost always helps unless I have a day where I eat an unusually large amount of dairy. I have also heard that Apple Cider Vinegar creates digestive enzymes so I've also been drinking about 1 tsp 2 times a day of ACV with juice. I don't think that is as effective as the lactase enzyme but it seems to help more than doing nothing. Also, my aunt says she can build a 'tolerance' to dairy - she will make sure to drink a little milk every day so she doesn't lose it.

Replied by Eve K
(Houston, Tx)

Raw milk (cow and goat) and fermented raw milk products (kefir, yogurt, cheeses) naturally contain the enzymes needed for digestion. these enzymes are removed during pasteurization. raw goat milk in particular is very digestable for those with lactose intolerance. Raw milk is not available "retail" in many states, but you may find local dairies selling it.

Enzymes for Ovarian Cysts

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Soph (Port, Or) on 12/22/2012

Being sick for 14 mths, (lower rt. abdomen pain shortness of breath, dizziness, nausea, fatique, chills, dry heaves, rash basically flu symptoms) lost 10lb and weighed 100lb. Took tons of tests. We easily paid for 15 grand even with best insurance. Finally, a small ovarian cyst 2.3 was found, but doctor didn't believe cyst could make anyone this sick. A radiologist believed it was adenomyosis the obgyn disagreed, ordered MRI test while they argued back and fourth. I went on a 12-day juice/broth with colonics to send the body into autolysis etc.. Afterwards, I started apple cider vinegar, alkalizing along with 5 different kind enzymes to dissolve inferior/scar collagen tissue (serrapeptase, interphase, zymessence, wobenzym and vitalyzm) I was proactive in making myself well I'm blessed to have a MD who is a ND chinese medicine mixture I'm finally feeling better!

Replied by Cj
(North, Mn)

Hi Soph - just wondering if the Apple Cider Vinegar and enzymes are still working for you? Have you gained any weight back using this method? I've been battling ovarian cysts for two years now, and in the last few months I've lost over 10 lbs - gaining them back is proving difficult and I'd love your imput.


Enzymes for RLS

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Alleg (Ghent, Ov, Belgium) on 02/24/2012

My husband's RLS almost stays away if he takes digestive enzymes with his meals - during the day time it is gone and sometimes his legs move a bit just after he falls asleep. We think this is great considering there was a time he was prescribed Rivotril and had to up his dose. The enzymes also have improved his sleep and the number of bathroom trips is down to one.

Replied by Alleg
(Ghent, Ov, Belgium)

I want to add that Rivotril=Klonopin (generic name clonazepam) is a benzodiazepine.

Enzymes for Shingles

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Ann (Deer Park, Washington, Usa) on 01/04/2013

I saw a blog about shingles treatment in Europe. They are taking Bromelain (an anti-inflamitory made from pinapple) and Papaya Enzymes (digestive aid). I suffered from re-occurances of shingles for 5 years, but when I started taking 1 Bromelain per day and Papaya Enzymes after each meal (following the directions on the bottle), the symptoms were gone in less than 48 hours! I am now free of all the shingle symptoms. Both items are sold in most health food stores or on line where other vitamins and herbs are sold. Hope this helps someone else as well as it has helped me.

Replied by Henry.g
(Abbotsford, Canada)

Ann, could you give me the brand name you are using as there are so many available but do they work? Just as well have the right one, you can email me if you don't want it posted here thanks, gerrit.h [at] shaw.ca.