Ahhh January – the holidays are behind us and cold and flu season is right on schedule. Coughs, fevers, sore throats and the dreaded cold are making their post-holiday rounds spreading moans, groans and sick days. Vitamin C, chicken soup, throat lozenges and aspirin are always wise choices, and even boosting the immune system with Echinacea, Oregano and Elderberry supplements can take the edge off.
But did you know there is a little something you can do for yourself each and every day that will not only boost your immune system but also greatly improve your overall health? Something that can send a cold or flu bug packing before you even get sick? In a word...or make that two words...think proteolytic enzymes.
When we are living and eating from the modern diet – things like white flour, white rice, pasteurized milk, processed cheese, chemically preserved foods, soda pop, candy, TV dinners – well you get the idea, when everything we eat has been cooked and processed, we force our body to divert its production of enzymes away from the proteolytic enzymes designed to govern our metabolic functions into enzymes designed to break down dead protein in our diets.
According to Jon Barron, director of the Baseline of Health Foundation, supplementing with digestive enzymes at mealtime can ease that burden on the body so that it no longer has to divert it's resources. Supplementing with proteolytic enzymes between meals means that the enzymes can go straight into the bloodstream and augment the proteolytic functions that are occurring in your body 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
So what does this mean for your immune system? How can a proteolytic enzyme actually make a difference as to whether or not the cold your kids bring home from school will affect you? Simple. Barron writes that the primary vehicle the immune system uses for destroying invaders is enzymes. Macrophages for example literally digest invaders with proteolytic enzymes and supplementation significantly improves the ability of your immune system to do its job. Not only that, bacteria, molds, viruses and fungi are protein/amino acid based and proteolytic enzymes taken between meals literally go into the bloodstream and digest these invaders before they take hold.
Proteolytic enzymes are available in any and all health food stores. Barron recommends that whatever brand you choose needs to have a lot of protease – at least 200,000 HUT, 300,000 if you can find it. Make sure that your enzyme not only has protease, but a variety of types – allowing it to work optimally in a variety of pH ranges.
Here's to a cough and cold free season!