Houston Enzymes
 Issue 28,  January/February 2009
In This Issue
Myth #3: Enzymes and stomach acid
Q and A with Dr. H
"He can eat like a normal kid"
Join our online radio show and webinar
Enzyme events
Myth #3: Enzymes and Stomach Acid
From Dr. Houston
Enzyme Myth #3: All Enzymes Are Destroyed by Stomach Acid.

This myth states that taking enzyme supplements is a waste of time and money because the enzymes, being proteins, are denatured (destroyed) by the acid in the stomach.

I actually once believed this statement because it was taught to me in medical school.  Not till I was challenged to verify the statement did I find that what I was taught was not completely true.  The majority of enzymes, including pancreatic enzymes, are not stable under acid conditions and so are not effective taken orally.  There are two exceptions: enzymes that have been enteric-coated (that is, treated with a substance that prevents contact with stomach acid) and PLANT-BASED ENZYMES.  The problem with enteric-coated enzymes is that the coating prevents enzymes from working in the stomach.  Only in the neutral pH of the small intestine will they finally function.  Plant-based enzymes, which comprise the bulk of enzyme supplements, are derived from plant organisms that secrete acid-stable enzymes.  These enzymes have been purified and characterized so their pH optimum (acidity/alkalinity at which they work best) is well known and easily determined.  The majority of these enzymes can work in a pH range of 2 to 9 with no loss of activity.  This is not an opinion.  The enzymes can be assayed under lab conditions at different pH and this is easily verified by enzyme manufacturers.

The ability of enzymes to work in the stomach provides the means by which protease enzymes degrade gluten, casein, soy and other food proteins.  The peptides that many find intolerable are degraded or not produced.  The stomach actually becomes a "safe house" when someone who does not tolerate dairy ingests these foods.  No peptide or protein absorption occurs in the stomach, so one has a couple of hours to use the enzymes to break down the proteins before they move into the small intestine where the bulk of protein/peptide absorption will occur.

I was humbled years ago when I had to come back and admit to my "challenger" that I was misinformed about plant enzymes and their acid stability.  It taught me not to take a teacher's word, but to verify the subject matter for myself.  I highly recommend others do the same.
Devin Houston
Q and A with Dr. H.
Your questions answered by
Dr. Houston:
Q:   Do digestive enzyme supplements contain MSG?
A:   No.  Enzymes are used to make MSG, but not the ones we use for digestion.  
Q: My son's blood test for electrolytes showed a low BUN score.  My research indicates this means a diet low in protein.  Yet, my son eats a lot of protein.  Can an enzyme product for proteins help him?
A: Yes, it could help.  Since protein is the only source of nitrogen (and BUN stands for blood urea nitrogen), the proteases would make amino acids more available. 
Q: Another company told me the enzyme bromelain isn't useful for digestion because it isn't activitated until it reaches high temperatures.  Is this true?
A: Bromelain is a great enzyme for digestive use.  Contrary to what you heard, bromelain does not require higher temperatures to be activated.  Anyone who has really studied enzymes should know that most all enzymes work faster at warmer temperatures, up to a certain point, usually around 140 degrees F.  You can actually tell how well bromelain works by mixing raw pineapple chunks into liquid Jello. You will find that the Jello will never set, even with ice added, because the bromelain in pineapple will digest the gelatin, keeping it from becoming firm.
Q: I am wanting to try my daughter on the gluten-free/casein- free (GFCF) diet, but it is very hard to do and maintain. So my question is if I start her on these enzymes, can this be a subsitute for doing the diet? And if so, how does that work? Also, are you saying she can still eat things with gluten/caesin in it and if so, how will that help with the diet?
A:  Yes, many of our customers have been able to go off the diet, orAFP Capsules at least add some foods back to the diet, when taking enzymes.  The product to use is
AFP-Peptizyde, which has proteases to break down gluten, casein, soy and other food proteins that are the source of the peptides that cause the problems.  This keeps the peptides from being formed, basically accomplishing what the GFCF diet does.
"He can eat like a normal kid"
My 12-year-old son has benefited greatly from using TriEnza enzymes.  He had to follow the gluten/casein free diet for two years which was
extremely difficult to say the least.  TriEnza has allowed him to go
off the g/c free diet and eat like a normal kid.  
Dr. Houston patiently answered many of my questions about enzymes when we first started using them and his staff has always been extremely helpful and kind.
I find Houston-enzymes to be a great company that has been
instrumental in my son's progress.  Thank you Dr. Houston for a great product at a fair price!

Michele Tortorella
Indiana, PA
Internet Radio Show and Webinar
Dr. Houston will be hosting a monthly online show debuting on Autism One Radio today, February 16, 1:00-1:30 Eastern.  Our first show topic will be Enzymes in Autism: What works, what doesn't?
Dr. Houston will explore the most recent information in the area of supplements, medicine, and diet.  What's in?  What's out?  What's worth a second look?  Join Dr. Houston as he shares his own expertise and interviews other researchers across the field of enzymes, digestion, and dietary intervention.  Email your suggestions for future shows as we discuss "hot topics." 
The show will be recorded and posted in the Autism One Archives for February 16
On February 24, Dr. Houston will present a Webinar co-hosted by Mandi Rodwell, whose son benefited from enzymes.  Mandi is a distributor for Houston Enzymes in the UK. Will you join us?  Click here for details.
Enzyme events 
Dr. Houston will be speaking/exhibiting at:
  • Autism One Radio: Dr. Houston's monthly show debuts 2/16/09 1:00-1:30EST and will be posted.
  • Web Seminar: 2/24/09, 4:00 PM Eastern Time.  Webinar by Dr. Houston with UK distributor Mandi Rodwell. Live event open to everyone. Register
  • Chicago: Presentation for Parent & Professional Networking Conference, 3/7/09.
  • Niceville, FL:  Presentation for Parents of Challenging Children Support Group, 3/11/09. Contact Lisa at 850-678-7100.
  • Tallahassee, FL: Presentation for NAA Florida, 3/12/09. Contact Jennifer at 850-536-0198.
  • Atlanta, GA:
  • Exhibitor at DAN! Conference, 4/16-4/19.

    Contact Outreach Coordinator Cindy Kelley (866-275-0915) for:

    • Live presentations
    • Conference calls
    • Web seminars
    • DVDs

    Dr. Devin Houston, Ph.D. enzyme biochemist, speaks at no cost to parent groups and parent conferences.

    Check Event Calendar for more details and updates. 

    Toll free: 866-757-8627
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