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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

More on Gut Bacteria (and enzymes)

Below you will find some links to general information and some specific info, too, about what's known or strongly suspected about gut bateria and the health and aging issues I talked about briefly last time.  They are worth at least a quick perusal.

But while I am still on this subject I want to discuss som major MIS-information that shows up in gut flora/fermented foods discussions and also in many other areas of nutrition--especially the raw foods stuff.

Enzymes in food.  Touted as being very health-ful to eat raw, untreated enzymes.  Here's the deal.  Yes enzymes are important--even critical for well being.  They are proteins with a very specific 3-dimensional shape and they help chemical reactions that otherwise could not happen.  You body makes trillions of enzymes over your lifetime.  They always need the right building blocks to be constructed, of course--like particular vitamins or minerals.

The enzymes in the food we eat are specific for the compound it comes in.  Enzymes in carrots help the carrot plant in some way.  Enzymes in kefir (for instance) are specific for the bacteria and yeasts in the kefir, so they can digest the components of milk in the fermenting process.  When you eat the enzymes from something raw, the acid in your stomach and the digestive process denature that enzyme just as your digestion breaks down ANY protein molecule.  They're protein and they do not survive your stomach acid.  They have the same use to you as a molecule of any protein--nothing special.

There are those who would have you believe eating enzymes is particularly healthful.  No!  Having adequate nutrition to build the specific enzymes your body needs is very healthful, but eating those from "out there" doesn't mean diddley!  This kind of junk science is all over the net.  Be wary.  Enzymes you build internally keep you alive.  Enzymes you eat are fuel--nothing more!

Ok, here are some links to gut flora:  make you anxious  in digestion in aging in disease general info and disease discussion

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