Enzyme source

About fifty years ago animal source was the only source of enzymes, commonly known as “pancreatin” which are typically derived from porcine or bovine pancreas and include lipase, amylase and protease trypsin. Approximately 80% of the enzyme supplements sold in health food stores today are plant-based.

The only advantage of animal source enzymes is what is called the law of similar, the basis of homeopathy. The theory is, although the source is not human your body recognizes it as similar and therefore is able to use it more effectively. But even more it has disadvantages:

  • Animals can be exposed to antibiotics and steroids which wouldn’t be healthy
  • Animal source enzymes are weak compared to microbial enzymes
  • Animal enzymes are unstable at a low pH or acidic environment. Since the stomach is acidic much of the enzyme is destroyed before it can do its job
  • Animal enzymes are temperature sensitive and since we don’t have the same body temperature as the animal source this can affect the enzymes

Animal source enzymes work well as anti-inflammatory, aid in the relief of stress on the pancreas and the liver, but are poor digesters of fats. If the body needs digestive assistance in the breakdown of foods, glandular enzymes are not the answer.

On the other hand microbial enzymes most commonly derived from the fungal organisms Aspergillus oryzae and Aspergillus niger have several distinct advantages when compared to animal enzymes:

  • These organisms produce wider variety of enzymes and their enzyme contents are more controllable and predictable
  • Fungal enzymes are the most potent enzymes and can be up to a hundred times more effective digesting proteins, carbohydrates and fats
  • The pH range of fungal enzymes is broad which makes them active in stomach acid and throughout our body
  • There is no contamination with antibiotics or steroids
  • There is a reliable supply of raw material to make microbial enzymes

Plant enzymes consists of bromelain and papain from pineapple and papaya. These enzymes are activated at a temperature higher than normal human body temperature, which is why they are primarily used for inflammation.