Enzyme therapy is defined as the use of enzyme supplements in the treatment of cancer. Its other names include proteolytic enzyme therapy, systemic enzyme therapy, pancreas enzyme therapy, and digestive enzyme therapy.
An enzyme is a naturally occurring protein in living organisms that primarily speeds up or slows down biochemical processes in the host. Enzymes can be either of the digestive or the metabolic category.
The chief role of digestive enzymes is to assist in food metabolism (food breakdown, uptake, and utilization in the body system). A large number of digestive enzymes are produced by the pancreas and operate in the digestive system. Metabolic enzymes primarily drive the other biochemical processes of life. This includes building new cells and carrying on repair work for damaged tissues.
How Does Enzyme Therapy Work?
Enzymes that are targeted for use in this therapy are first extracted raw from animals’ organs (for instance, from the pancreas) and some plants, such as the papaya and pineapple. The extracted enzymes are then processed in a way that will preserve them. They are then packaged in capsules as powder or tablets, in which form they are administered in specific doses during therapy.
The complementing methods of this procedure may include the Gerson therapy and other compatible therapies. In some of these procedures, enzymes are introduced into the cancerous cells to make them highly susceptible to proliferation-inhibitory processes.
Currently, research is ongoing on complementing chemotherapy with enzyme supplies. The enzyme telomerase is chiefly responsible for the proliferation of cancer cells. It makes the cancer cells very stable, enabling them to resist apoptosis (cell death by self-destruction). Shay and others maintain that telomerase as present in about 90 percent of cancers in human beings. Elizabeth and colleagues have documented evidence that telomerase also activates the glucose energy-giving pathway (the glycolytic pathway) that enhances multiplication of cancer cells.
Advantages of Enzyme Therapy With Different Types of Cancer
In 1999, Gonzalez documented results in a study involving pancreatic cancer patients. He found the survival rate of patients under enzyme therapy was higher than in control patients with same cancer who were not taking enzyme therapy. However, other researchers have claimed that those results were only based on a small sample of patients and may have the involved bias in sample selection. This bias, they further proposed, may have involved variables including age and cancer stage.
Indeed, enzyme therapy has been applauded as well as disputed with regards to its advantages in treating different types of cancers. Other studies showing effectiveness in treating pancreas cancer have been conducted by Chabot and his team (2010).
What is the Effect of Enzyme Therapy on Metastasis?
Pathogens (harmful micro-organisms), including cancer cells, are coated with a protein-based covering called fibrin. This is what makes them too so easily able to evade the immune system; the fibrin prevents them from being identified as foreign invaders. Metabolic enzymes such as proteases (whose work is to digest proteins in what is called proteolytic activity) speed up the rate of fibrin breakdown. This process exposes spreading (or metastatic) tumor cells to the immune system.
Enzyme therapy supplies proteolytic enzymes sufficiently. These enzymes effectively expose metastatic cancer cells to identification by the immune system. In this way, enzyme therapy can help inhibit and prevent cancer metastases.
Does Enzyme Therapy Enhance the Effects of Chemotherapy?
Enzyme therapy enhances the treatment effects of conventional chemotherapy. For instance, the internationally approved drug asparaginase, which is used in mainstream medicine for chemotherapy, is an enzyme.
There are several studies going on the positive effects of enzyme supplementation in patients with multiple myeloma who are undergoing standard chemotherapeutic treatments. Chabot and others, in a 2010 study, reported that Gemcitabine chemotherapy produces better results than the proteolytic therapy.
Does Enzyme Therapy Enhance the Effects of Radiation Therapy?
Enzyme therapy is being studied as to whether it enhances, to a significant degree, the positive effects of radiotherapy. A study by Dale and colleagues (2001) showed a positive result after co-medication of enzyme therapy in uterine cervix radiotherapy. The model used involved hydrolytic enzymes for proteolytic activity.
Can Enzyme Therapy Reduce the Side Effects of Chemotherapy and Radiation?
Studies of this therapy using enzyme supplements have identified cases of reduced side effects in cancer patients who had been on chemotherapy for a given period. The overall results show an improved quality of life, longer living, and other possible benefits. Dale and his team, in 2001, showed evidence that hydrolytic enzymes led to a reduced occurrence of acute chemotherapeutic side effects. Burial and colleagues, in the same year, documented a positive preventive effect of hydrolytic enzymes on the neck and head cancer radiotherapy. Martin and others (2002) showed the possibility of an advantageous effect of proteolytic enzymes in reducing the side effects of toxicity in patients who had undergone adjuvant pelvic irradiation.
However, some analysts say these results are not strongly founded using scientific means. There have been other, mixed results regarding the positive effects of enzyme therapy in patients undergoing radiotherapy. One German study concluded that the effect was not much more than would be expected from a placebo.
The Influence of Enzyme Therapy on the Immune System
Enzyme therapy has been reported to help expose pathogens in the circulatory system and tissues. This, as has been argued, enhances the potency of the immune system to identify, act on, and fully destroy pathogens. Examples of such pathogens are cancer cells.
Does Enzyme Therapy Increase Quality of Life and Survival Rate?
Studies indicate that the use of enzyme therapy together with other conventional types of treatments may increase the longevity of cancer patients. Precautionary measures should be taken in the administration of this procedure. For example, it is important to ensure that diets containing raw meat do not harbor bacterial contaminants. It is especially important for patients with weak immune systems. Special care should also be taken in treating people who are allergic to the materials from which enzymatic extracts are taken.
- Enzyme therapy is also known as proteolytic enzyme therapy, systematic enzyme therapy, pancreatic enzyme therapy, and digestive enzyme therapy.
- Enzymes are protein bio-molecules that speed up or slow down biochemical reactions in living things. In humans, some enzymes are involved in food breakdown as it passes from the mouth throughout the digestive system (digestive enzymes). Other enzymes are involved in the biochemical processes in the blood circulatory system, tissues, and organs (systemic enzymes).
- Cancer cells have a protective outer coat made of fibrin protein that makes them able to evade identification by the immune system. Introducing proteases/ proteolytic enzymes causes these pathogens to be exposed; the immune system identifies and protects the body from them.
- The introduction of supplemented proteolytic enzymes to a patient’s system is the basic principle of enzyme therapy. It aims to strengthen the immune system’s work of pathogen identification, ultimately leading to recovery.
- Enzyme therapy has shown promising results in the treatment of cancer. To get the naturally occurring enzymes from food, it is recommended to eat raw food as enzymes are destroyed while cooking.
Effects of enzyme therapy
- Strengthens the immune system
- Enhances healing
- Prevents Metastasis (spread of cancer)
Enzymes therapy and chemotherapy
- Reduces side effects
- Complements most chemotherapeutic treatments
Enzyme therapy and radiotherapy
- Complements pelvic radiotherapy
- Complements head and neck cancer radiotherapy
Cancer types where studies proved the positive effects of enzyme therapy
- Pancreatic cancer
- Pelvic cancer
- Cervical cancer
- Head and neck cancer