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Enzyme Pills

Here are some of the claims I have found on advertisements for enzyme pills:
1) many Americans suffer from an enzyme deficiency that can be corrected by taking (the product)
2) the American diet is generally enzyme-deficient because most of the food we consume has been cooked or processed
3) enzyme deficiency causes heart disease, joint pain, obesity, and many other health problems that (the product) can correct.

Such advertising is misleading nonsense. In your stomach, food is separated into carbohydrates, fats and proteins. Then enzymes made by your body break carbohydrates into their building blocks called sugars, proteins into amino acids, and fats into monoglycerides, fatty acids and glycerol. Only these building blocks can be absorbed into your bloodstream. Foods do contain enzymes, but these enzymes do not function in your body because they are broken down into amino acids like any other proteins. It makes no difference whether they are broken down by cooking or processing, because the enzymes in food are irrelevant to your digestion.

Enzyme pills are prescribed for people with specific diseases that cause absorption problems, such as cystic fibrosis. However, responsible scientists and doctors would never claim that lack of enzymes cause heart disease, joint pain or obesity and certainly there is no evidence that enzyme pills will cure these conditions.

Checked 2/3/16

June 1st, 2013
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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