Today I wanted to answer a question that I've received from one of my existing patients who is vegan and they are on a 100% plant-based diet that is mostly raw.
The question is - "Why would you recommend digestive enzymes for someone who's on a 100% plant-based diet and should be getting all the enzymes that they would ever need from their food?"
This is a good question! Well, the reason is from what I've seen clinically over the years, digestive enzymes can take the pressure off of a distressed digestive system. I use enzymes for these people in addition to all the enzymes from their apples, celery sticks, cucumbers, and kale.
How does the digestive system get distressed if you're eating all the right foods?
There are cases when, and some people are not going to want to hear this - switching to the most "awesome" diet in the world doesn't seem to always solve the problem.
Now I can say this with a lot of confidence because I've seen it over and over and over again. It's not because there's something wrong with the diet. The issue is that their digestive problem has either been acquired over a period of time or they had some Achilles' heel (possibly genetic), no pun intended, that's affecting their digestion. This could be due to infections, autoimmune problems, etc.
In this the case, food particles, even if they are good foods can set off a negative response in the digestion. Not well known yet is the fact that yes, you can have autoimmune reactions to certain foods even if they are foods that are supposed to be awesome for you.
The digestive enzymes can help mediate this because they break those food particles down even further and overall, the digestion is more productive, leading to less stress on the immune system and better overall digestion.
Digestive enzymes allow the person even on "awesome" diet to do better with that diet and reduce sensitivities that may be affecting their immune system.
Another important question I wanted to answer is "do I have to be on these digestive enzymes forever?"
The short answer is no - with digestive enzymes I am purely trying to make the digestion less stressed so that we don't have to use the enzymes in the future.
Many times, when trying to get health improvement I have to use intermediate measures and for a lot of people, I will use the digestive enzymes - they may do very well with them and be done taking them in a couple of months. It just depends on the situation. Certainly, I have patients and customers who continue to use them, which I don't have a problem with because I know that they are not causing some deleterious issues with their intestines over the long run. I cannot say that about if they are using animal-based enzymes or enzymes derived from animals, such as pancreatin, ox bile, chymotrypsin and so forth.
I have seen issues with people sensitizing to animal-based digestive enzymes if they have been using them for any length of time.
Additionally, have put out some information before about why I don't use papain and bromelain which can be plant-based sensitivity issues for some people. Here is the link to the youtube video about bromelain and papain.
Dr. Lorn Allison
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