Enzyme Therapy for Cancer Prevention and Treatment
by Mary Laredo
Enzymes are molecules that act as catalysts for all chemical reactions within the body and are necessary to sustain life. There are two basic categories: digestive enzymes which work in the stomach breaking down food particles before their nutrients can be absorbed, and metabolic (or systemic) enzymes whose primary work begins in the bloodstream digesting foreign debris before traveling to bodily tissues to continue this and other functions. A chronic deficiency of enzymes weakens the immune system, contributes to illness, and ultimately promotes diseases such as cancer. Both enzyme types are produced in the body but are also present in raw foods and through oral supplementation. To achieve and maintain optimum health, an adequate supply of both forms is fundamental. There are twenty-two different types of enzymes produced in the body, primarily by the pancreas, and this production diminishes as we age (1). The three basic digestive enzymes are amylase, lipase, and protease which breakdown carbohydrates, fats and proteins. Additionally, cellulose and lactose break down fiber and dairy. These enzymes work in the stomach during the period of pre-digestion; however, when food is cooked or processed its naturally occurring enzymes are destroyed. Consuming denatured food overburdens the body as it taps into its ever-decreasing enzyme supply in an effort to complete the pre-digestion process.
When insufficient pre-digestion occurs, the body produces an excess amount of stomach acid trying to offset the imbalance. This contributes to acid reflux, heartburn, gas, bloating, and malnutrition (even in overweight individuals) due to incomplete digestion. Partially digested proteins putrefy in the intestines forming toxic substances.
Once these toxins enter the bloodstream, they weaken the immune system and contribute to many serious health conditions as they accumulate in tissues throughout the body. Consuming raw food, reducing the amount of cooked and processed foods as much as possible, chewing food thoroughly to activate enzymes in saliva, plus regular supplementation of digestive enzymes with meals will help offset the ill effects of an enzyme deficiency. Enzyme-rich food ensures its complete digestion and leaves the body’s supplies available for other processes.
Complimenting the work of digestive enzymes are metabolic enzymes which facilitate virtually every chemical reaction and cellular function of the body, including cleansing the blood and reducing inflammation throughout the body, among many other vital bodily processes. A deficiency results when metabolic enzymes are diverted for digestion requirements. A weakened immune system due to an unmet enzyme deficiency allows for the accumulation of pathogens (disease causing agents) and carcinogens (cancer causing substances), and the body’s inability to suppress or contain the growth of cancerous cells.
Nearly all pathogens, including cancer cells, are protected by a protein-based coating, or “fibrin”, that makes it difficult for the immune system to identify and destroy them. This sticky coating can be up to 15 times thicker than the membrane of normal cells (1,5). This is where metabolic enzymes are needed. The bulk of these enzymes are proteases, or “protealytic”, which means they speed up the breakdown of proteins. In sufficient quantities, they digest the protective fibrin membrane and expose the cancer cells to the immune system.
Since the pancreas produces most of the body’s enzyme supplies, supplementing with metabolic enzymes assists this often-overworked organ and helps stave off cancer. An ample supply of pancreatic enzymes should be taken orally between meals to ease the body’s metabolic burden and conserve its enzyme supplies. Unlike digestive enzymes which are taken with food, metabolic enzymes are taken on an empty stomach to facilitate their entry into the bloodstream. Due to their protein-digesting capabilities and health-enhancing properties, therapeutic doses of metabolic/pancreatic enzymes have been successfully used for decades to help treat cancer.
Historically, the case for pancreatic enzymes in cancer therapy was first established in the early 1900s by the Scottish Embryologist John Beard, who observed under the microscope that placenta cells resemble malignant cells as they grow in preparation for the creation of a baby. Observing that the placental tissue stops growing at eight weeks once the fetus’ pancreatic enzyme production begins, Beard theorized that a malignant tumor mass would respond likewise provided a sufficient quantity of pancreatic enzymes was supplied (2,3).
Beard tested his theories with great success using pancreatic juices to reduce tumors in humans and animals, and these findings were published in his 1911 monograph entitled The Enzyme Therapy of Cancer. His pioneering work was all but forgotten following his death in 1923 until a Texas dentist by the name of William Donald Kelley established a similar theory based on Beard’s work nearly forty years later (2,3).
Kelley cured himself of advanced pancreatic cancer using a protocol largely reliant on nutrition and mega doses of pancreatic enzyme supplementation. He went on to successfully treat thousands of other “terminal” cancer patients; but despite his extraordinary achievements, he was ostracized by the medical community who refused (and still refuses) to accept that natural, non-toxic substances are effective treatments against cancer.
New York City cancer specialist Nicholas Gonzalez, MD began a case review of Kelley’s patients beginning in 1981 while still a med student at Cornell University. This included research into oral pancreatic enzymes for cancer treatment, and eventually led to his own practice utilizing the enzyme approach with advanced cancer patients. He continues to treat his patients with natural therapies and enzymes based on the work of Beard and Kelley (4).
Healthy individuals can take small doses of both digestive enzymes with meals and metabolic enzymes on an empty stomach in order to maintain health and prevent a deficiency over time.
Pregnant women should always consult a health care provider before beginning a regime of supplementation.
For people with serious health challenges it may be best to begin oral enzyme supplementation with small doses, gradually increasing until maximum benefits are felt.
Supplementing between meals with as many as 40-60 systemic enzymes as a daily therapeutic dose for cancer patients is not uncommon (3,4,5). A natural health care practitioner can assist in deciding the proper supplement type and dosage.
For high quality professional enzyme supplements and digestive enzyme testing, visit our Natural Health Store.
1. Diamond, M.D., W.John, and Cowden, M.D., W.Lee: Cancer Diagnosis, What To Do Next. Tiburon, CA: Alternative Medicine.com, Inc., 241-6, 2000
2. Fonorow, O.:The Cure for Cancer: Theory, History and Treatment. Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients, June 2004
3. Kelley, Wm. DDS: Cancer: Curing the Incurable Without Surgery, Chemotherapy, or Radiation. Bonita, CA: New Century Promotions, 3-13, 2005 Edition.
4. Gonzalez M.D., N.: Enzyme Therapy and Cancer.
5. Wrba, M.D., Heinrich: Leading European Oncologist Discusses Systemic Oral Enzyme Therapy and Cancer.
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