Today I have a guest post from Dr. William Wong about one of my favorite, secret supplements for fighting inflammation; systemic enzymes. You never really hear about these which is a shame because they’re awesome for anyone over 35 or those guys who are beat up from years of athletics, heavy training, etc.
What have the years of pounding your knees, grinding your shoulders and pushing all of the other joints of your body done to that smooth sponge like gliding surface?
The hyaline was formed early in life from something called mucopolysaccharides. Your body stopped making the stuff somewhere during or after puberty. Now, the inside of the joint has no blood supply. The articulating surfaces are fed directly by the mucous synovial fluid which gets it’s supply of nutrients through the joint capsule membrane from the blood supply on it’s outside. If we still made these mucopolysaccharides our joints hardly ever wear. But we don’t so they do.
Dr.Max Wolf M.D. and Ph.D. times 7 of Columbia University is widely acknowledged as the father of systemic oral enzyme therapy. (1). Wolf found that as we age or are under stress our bodies own production of enzymes is depleted. Age related changes he said are directly attributable to depletion of enzymes. Systemic enzymes differ from digestive enzymes in that the tablets are taken in between meals so that the constituents can be absorbed into the blood stream and do their work there instead of expending their action on digesting food.
With 40 years of use and over 160 peer reviewed verifying studies behind it, systemic enzymes are the second best selling over the counter preparation in Germany. When a joint or any soft tissue is injured or infirm the body creates irritants called Circulating Immune Complexes. It’s these complexes that cause the inflammation of joint capsules, bursae, tendons, muscles, blood vessels, internal organs etc. These complexes also are responsible for autoimmune diseases such as Rheumatoid Arthritis and Lupus. In those conditions a large build up of the complexes attack the joints or muscles, respectively thinking these to be foreign invaders. Enzymes eat Circulating Immune Complexes. (2).
In eating away at the substances that cause inflammation, its pain, swelling and redness are reduced. As a consequence pain is relieved. But for athletes the other actions of systemic enzymes are just as important. These enzymes are anti-fibrotic. “Over expression” of Fibrin and Fibrinogen create the matrix in the blood vessels for arteriosclerotic plaque. Systemic enzymes control this over expression and eat away slowly at established plaque. Systemic Enzymes are also used in Europe to fight thrombosis, blood clots deep in the veins. (3). Isn’t cardiovascular health why most of us started exercising in the first place?
Now science has found that a little critter called a C- reactive protein is the cause of inflammation in blood vessels and can possibly lead to heart disease. Two things destroy C-reactive proteins: aspirin and systemic enzymes. Aspirin use has side effects; the natural enzymes do not.(4). According to the Wall Street Journal, April 20 1999, 20,000 Americans die from aspirin, ibuprofen and that whole class of Non Steroidal Anti Inflammatory Drugs. That means that more Americans die every year from aspirin and its related drugs than die from AIDS!
The enzymes are also a great blood cleaner. In eating away at Circulating Immune Complexes, necrotic derbies and fibrin in the blood these actions reduce the viscosity of blood by removing the gunk. This is a different mechanism for reducing blood viscosity than aspirin. (5) To anyone who exercises or plays a sport, thinner blood means improved circulation to working muscles and increased micro circulation. Most folks walk around with blood that’s as thick as catsup! (6). Folks who exercise make that worse by the dehydration they suffer. Many endurance athletes make things worse still by taking the drug EPO which in order to have greater numbers of red blood cells to move oxygen around with. EPO was invented for cancer therapy patients suffering from extreme anemia. It was never meant to augment the hemoglobin count of athletes. Mainly triathloners, tennis players and cyclists use this drug. They have also been dying of blood clots caused from using this stuff!
Systemic Enzymes help the body to recover faster from exercise, preventing micro trauma from becoming macro trauma. In cases of injury, systemic enzymes are used by pro-athletes to reduce the effects of injury and speed healing. European sport physicians have found that recovery times are cut dramatically. (8).
Now we come to something that over exercisers and endurance athletes are seriously lacking in – an immune system. It is common knowledge in exercise physiology that for each day of heavy training there are two to three days of immune suppression to follow. If you tag too many workout days together, as we manic compulsive boomers tend to do, then in time the immune system becomes completely trashed. There are numerous cases of marathoners coming down with chronic reoccurring infections because they don’t have anything in their bodies to fight bugs for them. Systemic Enzymes to the rescue!
This is a supplement that I take regularly during periods of heavy training or increased volume, or really any time I have any aches and pains I want to get rid of. I also have many of my clients on them. If it sounds like something you want to try click HERE now and use the coupon code “JASONFE” at checkout for a 15% discount.