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You are what you eat?

Many people have heard the saying: “You are what you eat.”  Well, I believe that’s true to a degree, but it’s probably more accurate to say “You are what you absorb.”  If you don’t have the right enzymes, even so called ‘healthy’ diets can be of limited value if your body doesn’t digest the food and properly use it for its many functions.

As most of us know, enzymes are catalysts that speed up chemical reactions in the body, and in the case of digestive enzymes, these are needed to break down the various types of proteins, fats and carbohydrates that we ingest.  Also, research has shown that without proper enzymes, the body has a more difficult time digesting the food we eat and this may in turn lead to a variety of health problems and issues.   This can be especially true for those of a ‘certain age.’   I’m not just speaking about the over 50 crowd either.  Research now shows that enzymes needed for digestion of food into absorbable nutrients decreases by about 10% per decade after the age of 20!  [ref. :Improvement in Protein utilization in Nursing-home patients on tube feeding supplemented with an enzyme product derived from Aspergillus niger and Bromelain.  Nutrition Vol 17, No 4, 2001 348-350.]. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed

So according to this research, by the time one is 50, a third of one’s digestive enzymes and possible capacity are gone.  This may explain why you might hear the saying …that “When I was younger I could eat Grandma’s spaghetti and meat balls, but now all I get is indigestion or gas or both!”  As hard as it may be to hear, especially for us 70 million plus Baby Boomers, the capacity of one’s digestive system may be compromised simply by growing older.   Other research, has suggested similar results [e.g. Ishibashi T et. al.:  Nihon Ronen Igakkai Zasshi. 1991 Sep:28(5):599-605] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1721657   [Feldman et. al  Effects of Aging and Gastritis on Gastric Acid and Pepsin Secretion In Humans: Gastroenterology, 1996:110-1043-1052] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8612992 ) and [another eg. Herzig et. al: BMC Geriatr. 2011 Jan 2511:4  Fecal pancreatic elastase-1 in older individuals without known gastro diseases or diabetes mellitus] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21266058 )

Knowing this, it certainly would seem prudent to support your digestive system with supplemental digestive enzymes–not only, but especially as we age!

“Do it for your peace of mind, Do it for your digestion, Do it for your health!”

Written by Dr. Paul Nemiroff