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Enzymes are an integral part of the body’s metabolism, growth and repair. They are crucial for gut health, the ageing process and maintaining overall good health.
Six facts about the fantastic enzymes :
1.Enzymes are protein or protein-like substances found in our body which acts as a catalyst at a cellular level and speed up the biochemical process of energy production, growth and repair of tissues.
2.Enzymes are specific and are very selective to which substance they bind to and activate the process of breakdown and digestion. Whatever food, we consume, each of the food types stimulate a different set of enzymes. Carbohydrate stimulates enzyme Carbohydrase like Amylase. The enzyme lactase digests lactose. People who lack lactase suffers from lactose intolerance. Protein stimulates enzymeProtease like Pepsin, trypsin. Lipid stimulates enzyme Lipase which digests fat by emulsification. Some more examples of enzymes are: ATP synthase helps to convert ADP to ATP. Helicase unzips DNA strands.
3. Enzymes are sensitive to temperature and ph change. A slight temperature change can either slow down or speed up the enzyme activity. Large temperature changes can denature and can even lose their function. Similarly, ph changes can directly influence enzyme activity.
4. Enzymes stores in our body can be depleted slowly due to causes like ageing, unhealthy food habits like overprocessing, refined food consumption. Overcooking of food can cause the breakdown of natural enzymes present in the food. Therefore, enzyme deficiency in the body can lead to digestive issues like bloating, gas, food intolerance, anaemia, lethargy and heartburn.
5. There have been multiple enzyme supplements available and marketed commercially with different benefits in the market. But it is essential to know that not enough studies/researches are done to prove either their efficacy or side effects. So, before using the supplements, it is crucial to inform your Physician or else, it may have a drug interaction with your regular medicines currently taken.
6. Certain food rich with natural enzymes which can be consumed but in moderation: Pineapple has bromolein, and Papaya has papain, and they both are protein enzymes. Avocado has Lipase, and bananas have amylase and maltase. Natural raw honey, wild sprouts (alfa, alfa) and kefir are also rich in digestive enzymes. Fermented food like saurkraut, kimchi is rich in digestive enzymes and even probiotics.
The liver is the second largest organ in the body and has more than 400 functions. It is the primary organ of filtration, which mainly helps in the metabolism of food and absorb the necessary nutrients. It eliminates the toxins from our body daily and purifies the blood. So, it is an essential organ of detoxification for our body. Some critical functions to highlight:
1.It produces bile which helps the fat to break down during the process of digestion. 2.It helps in the production of haemoglobin from its iron storage ( liver stores iron) 3.It convert excess glucose into glycogen. 4.It cleanses the blood from toxins and poisonous substances. 5.During breakdown of protein, urea and poisonous ammonia is produced. The liver helps to eliminate them through the kidneys.
However, even if we have a powerful detoxifying organ, it gets sick and tired if we do not care enough. If we frequently consume refined, processed food, sugary items. To multiply this load, frequent intake of alcohol, smoking, drugs causes a greater danger. Also not to forget the environmental toxins, pollutants, heavy metals, pesticides from food, toxins from home cleaning products, cosmetics, perfume, the liver is unable to take the load at some points.
Signs of lousy liver functioning:
1.Tiredness 2.Collected fat around the belly. 3.Oily skin 4.Pale yellow fingernails 5.Oily skin, acne 6.Allergies 7.Digestive issues 8.Irregular bowel 9.Brain fog, headache 10 Pain on the right side of the abdomen.
Methods to detoxify the liver: 1.Eliminate the toxic sources as much as possible: We need to cut down the processed, canned, and sugary food. The refined, vegetable oil which is unhealthy fats, should be eliminated from the diet too. It is essential to minimize the use of toxic household cleaning products, cosmetics, perfumes as much as possible. As far as practically feasible, relocating from the polluted area is advisable.
2.Again it is essential to limit smoking, alcohol, drugs as much as possible.
3.Fasting: It is a crucial tool to rest the liver and minimize its load. Fasting accentuates the detoxifying process, stimulate autophagy and strengthen the immune system.
4.Focussing more on whole foods and organic vegetables, fruits given by Mother Nature than the packaged, canned food with preservatives.
5.Drinking lot of water every day will help to flush out toxins. Water added with lemon or a tinge of vinegar is beneficial. 6. Letting out toxic emotions like anger, frustration, resentment, and fear by mindful, spiritual and relaxing techniques.
7.Getting a goodnight sleep helps in the detoxification process.
8. Consuming foods which can restore the microbiome flora like fermented foods, prebiotics and probiotics. Essential foods like cruciferous vegetables, iron-rich food like spinach, beets are all useful.
9. Herbs like dandelion, milk thistle, cilantro, thyme, turmeric, garlic and green tea proves beneficial.
Skin is the largest organ in the body and is most prominent. So, any kind of changes of ageing can be visible clearly in the skin. The skin, like other tissues, possess the extracellular matrix. This matrix comprises collagen and other structural compounds called Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) and proteoglycans. All these compounds together contribute to the tightness of the tissues which keep our skin stiff and makes us look younger and radiant.
As we age, we tend to lose more collagen, proteoglycans and GAGs slowly. A research study has shown that another vital hormone produced in the liver called Insulin Growth Factor -1 (IGF-1) is related to facial ageing. These IGF-1 levels are inversely proportional to the levels of serum insulin in the body. When insulin level is high like in case of insulin resistance individuals, the IGF-1 level is low. So, insulin resistance individuals tend to age faster usually. Hyaluronic acid is a lubricant which is also naturally produced by our body which helps the skin and connective tissues to retain the moisture. We tend to lose this lubricant due to ageing and unhealthy food habits.
Facial ageing causes the horizontal and vertical lines to look prominent, thinned skin, loss of elasticity and collagen, loss of tissues and bones in the cheeks, fat atrophy, puffiness around eyes, sagginess around the neck and so on.
Common factors which aggravate the ageing process:
1.Smoking 2.Too much sun exposure causes skin damage. But, daily exposure to 10-15 mins of sunlight is useful for Vitamin D synthesis in the body.
3.Too much chemical-based cosmetic products like cremes, lotions, make up products are harmful. 4.Alcohol /drugs consumption 5.Refined processed food and too much sugar
6.Chronic stress causes high cortisol level. 7.Sedantery lifestyle and lack of exercise.
Specific important ways which prevent facial ageing :
1.Exercise: Most preferably maintaining an active lifestyle with the routine exercise of 30 mins to1 hour is ideal.A particular activity like high-intensity interval training (HIIT) is short periods of 7-10mins of intense exercise with intervals of rest, and low-intensity exercise is beneficial to keep the cortisol level optimum.
2.Enhance the quality of sleep: Sleep induces the release of HGH, human growth hormone and Insulin growth factor-1, which helps to prevent the breakdown of collagen and proteoglycans.
3.Intemittent fasting: Fasting of at least 16 hours can stimulate autophagy, body’s renewal mechanism, activates the immune system. Fasting increases the antioxidant activity and increase stem cell production. 4: Foods: Collagen rich foods: These foods are a rich source of collagen, amino acids and hyaluronic acids.
Fermented foods: bone broth, green leafy veggies, caviar or fish roe, citrus fruits, mushrooms and seaweeds. To know more about collagen, please refer to my previous post https://healthhappinesshealing.org/wp-admin/post.php?post=4448&action=edit
Healthy fats:Omega 3 fatty acids like EPA and DHA found in oily fishes like salmon, tuna, sardines, nuts like walnuts, macadamia, pecan nuts, seeds like chia seeds, flax seeds. Saturated fats like in grass-fed butter, ghee, coconut oil, olive oil are very helpful.
Organic Acids:Organic acids promote the growth of probiotics in the body, which helps to support the immune system and the cell renewal process. Organic acids found in fermented foods like saurkraut, kombucha are quite known for beauty benefits. The citric acid found in citrus fruits is also vital. Enzyme rich foods: Enzymes are essential for digestion and absorption of proteins in the body. Certain fruits with individual enzymes present in each of them like papaya contain papain. Figs contain ficans. Pineapple contains bromelain and kiwi have actinidain are all-powerful proteolytic enzymes which helps in the polysaccharide metabolism and the digestive process. Fruits are also rich in antioxidants which prevent free radical damage.
Vitamins: Fat-soluble vitamins D, K, E, A are all essential for the prevention of free radical damage and cells renewal process.
5.Essential oils: These natural oils work naturally on the skin by hydrating and moisturizing. Some commonly used oils for beauty purpose are geranium, frankincense, lavender, jojoba, myrrh, rose and rosemary.
So, it is crucial to understand that to have a healthy body, a glowing skin, and healthy hair; it is necessary to correct our food habits and lifestyle rather than spending an enormous amount on cosmetic treatments and beauty products. The approach should be inside out rather than external means.
Seratonin is a neurotransmitter, secreted in the gut and the brain. It plays a massive role in our state of wellbeing.It is responsible for giving us a feeling of a happy state of mind, a sense of satisfaction, relief from pain and control our impulses. It helps to co-ordinate the autonomic, motor, cognitive functions, appetite, emotions and feelings. It also controls our circadian rythm, which is the awake sleep cycle as a precursor of melatonin.
Tryptophan — 5 Hydroxytryphtophan —-Serotonin—- N -Acetylserotonin—Melatonin
When serotonin is low, it may give rise to several problems in our overall wellbeing. Before diving into the symptoms, it is essential to know what causes to reduce the level of serotonin in the body:
Causes of Low Serotonin : 1.Sedentary Lifestyle 2.Inadequate sleep. 3.Chronic Brain inflammation 4.Leaky gut syndrome 5.Poor blood sugar control 6.Magnesium deficiency 7.Omega 3 fatty acid deficiency. 8.Vitamin deficiency, namely Vitamin D, B1, B2, B6 and folate.
The different symptoms when the serotonin level is low: 1.Anxiety and Panic attacks 2.Social phobia 3.Mood swings 4.Depression 5.Low self-esteem 6.Overtly sensitive,having a sense of guilt, regrets 7.Trouble sleeping 8.Obsessive behaviour like controlling, impulsive, neat freak.
The serotonin level can be measured by Urine biomarker test (Organic Acid test).
The natural ways to improve the level of serotonin are:
1. Reducing the intake of carbohydrate, especially with a high glycaemic index like sugar, processed food. Also, switching the diet to a moderate amount of carbohydrate with a low glycaemic index like brown rice, whole grains. 2.Exercise increases the tryptophan level and balances the serotonin and dopamine balance. 3. Get better quality of sleep every day by following a routine. Make sure to get up and sleep at the same time daily to keep the awake sleep cycle intact.
4.Exposure to sunlight so the UV light absorbed in the skin can simulate Vitamin D production, which in turn stimulates serotonin production. That is why, in winters, many people suffer from depression and mood swings due to lack of exposure to sunlight. 5.Meditation helps to maintain the serotonin dopamine balance and the calmness of mind. 6.Getting a cold shower of 2-3 minutes will also stimulate the serotonin receptors. So, after a cold shower, people tend to feel relaxed. 7.Getting a body massage also helps to stimulate serotonin receptors.
8. Seratonin boosting foods: Wild-caught fatty fishes, green tea, turmeric, fermented foods, nuts, seeds, low glycaemic fruits and veggies, dark chocolate.
Time and again, it has been proved by extensive Medical researches that most of the chronic illnesses, including autoimmune disorders, type 1diabetes, irritable bowel disorders, migraine are all associated with gastrointestinal disorders. A patient who suffers from chronic symptoms’, the history should be thoroughly investigated for an underlying food or lifestyle habits that may be co-related. Our body is not a single entity, nor each of its organs works independently of each other. Every structure, including the skin, tissues, mucosal lining, organ, system including a huge colony of microbiota are all interconnected and work together as a biological system. Not only this, the immune system, biochemical processes, endocrine and the autonomic nervous system, are all very much interdependent. Therefore, while considering any chronic disorder, the entire system has to be taken into account, including food habits and lifestyle in the process of management of such illnesses.
1. The food, we eat reaches the intestines where they are bind to enzymes where filtration and absorption take place. Then, the nutrition of the food is absorbed in the bloodstream through the intestinal barrier. Without digestion, the food cannot escape directly through the intestinal/gut wall. The intestinal lining is typically intact and tight. It doesn’t let food, bacteria or toxins to escape directly to the bloodstream. Nutrients of food also absorbed through small villi on the intestinal wall. Usually, there are tiny holes of 1-7 microns in the gut lining through which the nutrition permeates into the bloodstream. When there is Leaky gut, the holes become bigger about 200-300 microns, and the intestinal villi are damaged too because of which the intestinal integrity is lost. That is the reason leaky gut is also called intestinal permeability. There is directly permeability on the gut lining through which the food material, bacteria, toxins escape into the bloodstream. The immune system comes into play and starts reacting. There is extensive inflammation of the intestinal lining and its structures. There is swelling and slowly scarring of the intestinal walls.
2. Evidence has proved that genetic predisposition is one of the leading causes of leaky gut. But, emerging researches have shown the not only DNA is to be blamed alone. Lifestyle conditions like high gluten diet, fat, sugar-rich diet, smoking, alcohol, stress, pain killers (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) and food intolerance are some of the common conditions predisposing leaky gut. Therefore, leaky gut commonly found in chronic conditions like Celiac disease, irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease, HIV/AIDS, cystic fibrosis, chemotherapy and radiotherapy patients. Leaky gut not only creates symptoms in bowel disorders but also linked to most conditions of autoimmune origin. It may be associated with autoimmune diseases like Lupus, Type 1diabetes, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, Chronic fatigue syndrome, asthma, allergies and mental illness. Autoimmune disorders are difficult to diagnose and treat. They can be managed and controlled but has no permanent cure.
3. Trigger factors of leaky gut are like a gluten-rich diet, dairy-rich, soy food or drugs like antibiotics or over the counter pain killers like aspirin, acetaminophen which may disturb the intestinal lining and cause leaky gut. Such triggers lead the immune system to be activated, causing an immune response in the body to produce antibodies against our own body’s intestinal tissue lining, causing inflammation. This inflammation can increase the intestinal permeability that is the escape of food and toxins directly into the bloodstream leading to symptoms like pain, diarrhoea, joint pain, fatigue, headache and depression. As Leaky gut is associated with a number of symptoms, so, it is called Leaky Gut syndrome.
4. Common symptoms are Diarrhoea, Constipation Pain abdomen, bloating Skin rashes like acne, eczema, rosacea Brain fog, memory loss Depression Chronic Fatigue Joint pain.
5. Though strong evidence shows that many chronic conditions are associated with an underlying cause of leaky gut. Leaky gut is still not considered an official medical diagnosis, nor it has a standard protocol of treatment. A proper detailed history of the patient can detect the leaky gut condition. Therefore the management also differs from individual to individual depending on the full range of trigger factors.
6. Diet and lifestyle changes do help a great deal in such conditions. Drugs that suppress the immune response and also to control the inflammation are required in some cases. The most important message is that we know our body better than anybody else. Even if we go to the best of the specialist physician, we should do what works best for us. Never stop self investigating and self-analysing yourself about why and what may trigger or lead to such symptoms. Be your observer, and make changes accordingly, which may be very helpful.
7. Hold on to basics. As, from my own experience, the best thing is leading a simple life; more fundamental is food and lifestyle, less is the list of complications or symptoms of chronic illnesses. Stick to the essential food habits that you may have inherited from your ancestral lineage because that’s how your genetic makeup and your body is comfortable. Follow work, exercise and sleep balance. Always maintain calmness of mind by using techniques of meditation and mindfulness because a healthy mind has a high impact on the physical body.
Other measures that can be beneficial are: To limit the amount of carbohydrate from the diet. To eat more of fermented food (Kombucha, sauerkraut, kimchi, yoghurt) Limiting dairy products and using more probiotics in the diet. Eating more of soluble fibres in the diet. Limiting the use of antibiotics and pain killers and using them only when necessary.
8. Vitamin deficiency of D, A, C, Zinc are related to increased intestinal permeability. So, dietary sources and vitamin supplements can be helpful to some extent. Vitamin D also suppresses inflammation in the gut. Certain supplements like Curcumin, L glutamine, collagen peptides, Zinc and probiotics are also helpful in some instances.