Houston Enzymes
 Issue 31,  Fall 2009
In This Issue
Enzymes and your pancreas
Redefined Possibilities
Q and A with Dr. H
Blog - Will enzymes help you lose weight?
Have you checked out the webinar archives?
Enzyme events
Enzymes and Your Pancreas
From Dr. Houston
One of the most frequent questions I receive is whether oral plant-based enzymes have an effect on pancreatic enzyme secretion.  My answer has generally been "No, they do not influence the production of pancreatic enzymes".

Here I want to go into some detail on the above answer.  I have to warn the readers that some of the following is a little technical.

The pancreas has two functions: endocrine and exocrine.  The endocrine part produces insulin and glucagon which help regulate blood sugar levels and is highly regulated by feedback mechanisms.  The exocrine part produces digestive enzymes, but the mechanisms involved in regulation are a little more complex and seem to have several levels.  The primary regulation of enzyme production is hormonal.  Cholecystokinin (CCK) and secretin are the two main hormones involved.  But their production is triggered by a chemical regulator, namely, the lowering of the pH by acidic food emptying from the stomach.  Cells in the duodenum detect the acid which then triggers production of the CCK and secretin, which stimulate secretion of the enzymes.  Secretion is different from production, however.  The digestive enzymes are continuously produced by the pancreas and stored in the pancreatic duct.  CCK and secretin trigger the duct to convulse and push out the stored enzymes.  This is the primary level of pancreatic enzyme regulation.

However, there are some researchers who maintain that an enzyme-mediated feedback regulation of pancreatic enzymes exists.  This is based on research showing that if you place an inhibitor of the pancreatic enzyme trypsin in the duodenum, you see an increase in pancreatic enzyme output.  A Polish study in 2003 stated that high doses of oral pancreatic enzyme supplements inhibited the pancreatic enzyme elastase, but actually increased the enzyme chymotrypsin.  The results were reversible, stopping the enzymes caused levels to return to normal.  Only protease enzyme was affected, not carbohydrase or lipase enzymes.  This only occurred at the highest dosing level used.  A Swiss study in 1998 stated no changes occurred.  So a bit of controversy remains, but there is evidence that the presence of pancreatic protease in the upper GI can inhibit certain enzymes produced by the pancreas.  Most researchers (as I) feel the oral enzyme effect is indirect, possibly caused by production of gastric peptides that could stimulate CCK and secretin production.

However, no study has been performed using plant-based enzymes to assess the effect on pancreatic enzyme output.  Note that I emphasized the words pancreatic in the last paragraph.  Oral pancreatic enzymes are very similar in structure to human pancreatic enzymes, even though they come from pig or cow.  The plant-based enzymes, however, are much different in structure than the oral pancreatic enzymes.  As such, I don't believe the plant-based enzyme would work as regulators of pancreatic enzyme production.  The enzymes involved would have to be similar in structure to the pancreatic protease trypsin, and plant-based enzymes are quite different from trypsin.

Forgive the technical jargon, but I do want to assure our customers that the bulk of the research indicates that no effect on pancreatic enzyme output occurs with plant-based enzymes.  While we never say "never" when it comes to research, I feel the data presented is applicable only to high doses of oral pancreatic enzyme supplements, and not to microbial, fungal-derived or fruit-derived enzymes.

-Devin Houston
Redefined possibilities 

Dr. Houston,
I want to express my profound appreciation for your enzyme products. They have had a life-altering effect on my daughter and subsequently our family.  My daughter was basically a time bomb 90% of the time whenever we tried to interact with her.  Since February 2009 our lives have approached normalcy within the parameters of the typical world. She is now able to think before becoming agitated/aggressive, which has been a miracle to say the least.
Thank you so much Dr. Houston for developing the enzyme products and Ms. Cindy Kelley for your sensitivity to my plight. You've both redefined her possibilities in life.

Lorraine Barrionuevo
Miami, Florida
Q and A with Dr. H
Your questions answered by Dr. Houston
Q: I need help with gas and bloating after I eat. Also, most of the time, I feel full and need to have a bowel movement. Would I need to order  HN-Zyme Prime?
 A: If the bloating is due to starchy foods not being adequately broken down, the enzymes (HN-Zyme Prime, Zyme Prime or ZyCarb) may be helpful by breaking down the foods and "cleaning" the gut.  This reduces the food source for bacteria and yeast that may be responsible for the gas and bloating.  It's worth a try; if it works you should notice a difference in just a couple of days.
Q: Our child is has HFI [Hereditary Fructose Intolerance]; he doesn't have the ALDOLASE-B Enzyme. We want to know if you could help us? 
A: I'm afraid the digestive enzymes would not address your child's condition.  Hereditary Fructose Intolerance and Aldolase B deficiency require strict abstention from fructose, sucrose and sorbitol.  The missing enzyme is actually inside the cell, which is difficult for an oral enzyme to achieve.
Q: I was reading an article about enzymes and was ready to order the HN-Zyme Prime capsules for bloating and gas, which I have a lot of. My question is, which of your enzyme products could suit me for my problem? I do not need anything that will make my stool hard since this is a problem area for me. I do move my bowls daily and do suffer from gas and bloating from eating certain foods.
A: If constipation is a problem we don't want to make it worse. Some enzymes can make stools more firm. I would first suggest using the No-Fenol product, as it tends to soften stools and will break down high-fiber foods that may cause gas and bloating.  If that is not sufficient, I would then add in the ZyCarb product which has more enzymes for starchy carbs. Taking both will help digestion but keep stool firming to a minimum.
Q:Can high doses of enzymes (as determined by actual studies) destroy antibodies in the blood?  I'm specifically curious about interfering with vaccine-derived immunity.  Any help is much appreciated.

A: Only a very small portion of oral enzymes may be absorbed in active form (less than 5%) and it has a very short life in the blood as there are compounds which bind and remove the enzymes fairly quickly. Bottom line is that no, the enzymes will not affect blood levels of circulating antibodies.
From the blog - Will enzymes help you lose weight?

A recent article appeared in a magazine distributed at a chain of health food stores. In the article were quotes made by me and several others on the benefits of enzymes. One of the questions asked was whether enzymes would help with gas and bloating, and the reply was that, yes, enzymes could reduce the gassiness caused by certain foods. Often, people get so gassy that their stomachs and/or abdomens become distended. The article was carefully worded so that, while no claim on weight loss was made, some readers inferred that enzymes...
Have you checked out the webinar archives?

Dr. Houston's recent webinars are recorded and archived for your convenience. Click on the topic to learn more:
Enzyme events 
Dr. Houston will be speaking/exhibiting at the events below.  More info available on our Events Calendar.
  • Web Seminar: November date to be announced.  Discussion by Dr. Houston on Enzymes to support digestion in Autism and PDD. Co-hosted by nutritional therapist Hannah Kaye of South Africa for SAANT (South African Association for  Nutritional Therapists). Details will be announced on our Events Calendar
  • New York: 11/18/09. Presentation by Dr. Houston for NAA Metro NY Metro Chapter.
  • Santa Rosa, CA: 2/27/10. Presentation by Dr. Houston for TACA of Sonoma County's Journey Guide Seminar for parents of children newly diagnosed with autism.

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

  • Live presentations
  • Conference calls
  • Web seminars
  • DVDs
  • Literature

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

Click here for calendar details and updates. 

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