How youthful is your skin? Try the following simple experiment. Pinch the skin on the back of one hand between the thumb and forefinger of the other hand for five seconds. Then let it go and time how long it takes to return to normal. If it takes five seconds or less, the biological age of your skin is less than fifty. Ten to fifteen seconds indicate an age range of sixty to sixty-nine. Time exceeding fifteen seconds shows the biological age of your skin as seventy or more. It takes longer as we age. This is reflected in the wrinkles we bear from the deterioration of tissue under the surface of the skin.
Many researchers claim that aging skin is often caused by a lack of protein and a weak circulatory system. These deficiencies cause tissue, muscles, nerve fibers and blood vessels to become rigid. They are responsible for loss of muscle tone and skin elasticity, resulting in sagging and drooping skin and muscles. However, this degenerative process can be slowed and sometimes even reversed with enzyme therapy.
We all feel pride when our skin is clear, smooth and radiant. We cringe when it is dry, crusted, sallow, wrinkled and lifeless. Products that offer skin renewal are like magnets for most of us. Oddly enough, enzymes are mostly ignored in this ongoing quest. However, they play a vital role in skin care and maintenance.
Physical degeneration is characterized by inflammation and a gradual thickening (hardening) of the mucus and sub-mucosal tissue. This increased level of hardening chokes arterial circulation (hardening of the arteries), cutting off oxygen and the food supply. The tissues clump and break down, giving rise to skin disorders. These skin problems can be skin eruptions such as moles, liver spots, calloused feet and other dead cell accumulations. The lymphatic system becomes stagnant, is unable to utilize antioxidants and puts the body in oxidative stress and premature tissue aging.
How are enzymes related to the health and appearance of our skin?
- Enzymes are the “catalysts” that work in healthy digestion, freeing the nutrients in our food that will form the building blocks for glowing skin.
- Enzymes are the power source behind efficient circulation that will bring nutrients to the skin.
- Enzymes are responsible for reducing the various unsightly signs of detoxification that come through our skin.
- Enzymes slow the aging process that is evidenced by sagging and wrinkled skin.
In this article I will discuss how enzymes hold the aging process at bay, and you will learn how enzyme therapy can enhance skin care.
Feeding from Within
The health and appearance of your skin is determined by the nourishment it receives from the blood. The skin’s underlayer, or dermis, is made up of collagen (protein). Collagen extracts the nutrients it needs from the blood. The outer layer of the skin, the epidermis, is not nourished from within. It continually dies and sloughs off, allowing the new skin cells of the dermis to rise to the surface. This creates an ongoing process of continuously renewing the skin that is fed from its deeper layers.
The skin needs fats, proteins and carbohydrates to remain healthy and vibrant. That is why digestive enzymes play such a vital role in healthy skin upkeep. Enzymes determine which nutrients will be available for skin nourishment. If your digestive system has an enzyme deficiency, these nutrients stay locked inside the foods you eat and exit the body undigested. The skin becomes undernourished, weak and susceptible to problems.
Digestive Enzyme Deficiencies
The digestive system makes its own enzymes to break down foods and unlock nutrients. Plus, many healthy foods contain their own supply of digestive enzymes. So, all of us should be getting plenty of naturally-occurring enzymes in our diets. Why then does the condition of our skin tell us that so many suffer from enzyme shortages?
For one thing, food enzymes are fragile and easily destroyed. Cooking food above the temperature of 118 degrees destroys many food enzymes, and because the modern diet consists primarily of cooked and processed food, it is essentially devoid of food enzymes. Secondly, not only are many of our food choices inherently lacking in enzymes, they are also lacking in nutrition which places an even greater demand on our digestive system. Our genetic programming, which determines body type, can also cause us to have difficulty with the digestion of certain foods.
When the body is lacking enzymes for any of these reasons, you will surely see it in the appearance of the skin. A shortage of proteolytic enzymes (protease) is especially noticeable in the skin. This is because the dermis feeds primarily on protein. Protease breaks down protein to make it readily available to the cells. Without enough protease, the skin can literally starve.
Detoxify! (Fighting Free Radicals)
In addition to the natural process of elimination, the body is in a continuous detoxification battle with free radicals. These invaders roam through our body on an endless search-and-destroy mission. The pollutants we breathe; the hormones and antibiotics we ingest in our meats; the pesticides we consume on our fruits and vegetables; the bacteria, fungi and parasites to which we are exposed – these are just a few of the toxins that must be discharged from our system.
Along with the kidneys, the bowel and the lungs, the skin is used by the body for detoxification. Incomplete elimination of toxins through the kidneys takes place when we have trouble with urination or simply do not drink enough water. The same problem occurs in the bowel when we suffer constipation or diarrhea. The lungs cannot do their part in detoxification if we smoke tobacco or breathe polluted air. What is left? Our skin then takes over the job. This is painfully brought to our attention in noticeable conditions like acne, eczema, psoriasis, pimples, blackheads, lyploma and cellulite.
An ever-present supply of enzymes reduces future damage to the skin by toxins. Enzymes support the repair of cells already impaired by free radicals. In fact, enzymes are the only substance in the body that can rebuild injured cells by infusing them with oxygen and fortifying nutrients.
Signs of Damage
The effects of unchecked toxins on our skin can clearly be observed. Incomplete digestion and the adverse action of free radicals cause skin disorders of all kinds in the majority of American adults. The remedy is multi-enzyme therapy. Major enzymes work together to address skin eruptions. Any sores, blemishes, lesions or blisters on the skin are known as eruptions. Protease, lipase and amylase combine digestive and detoxifying action to manage the following most common skin disorders.
- Acne: poor digestion of fats
- Eczema: poor digestion of sugars
- Psoriasis: poor digestion of proteins
- Pimples and blackheads: toxicity
- Lyplomas: rancid fats
- Cellulite: toxins trapped in fats
- Wrinkled skin / loss of skin elasticity: overall poor digestion
In addition, almost all skin hives and rashes will respond favorably to enzyme therapy. Fortunately, if given the proper formulation of enzymes, digestion becomes much more efficient. The skin begins to clear, and the hair glows with a healthy sheen.
The Protein Connection
Specialized proteins fed by protease maintain the integrity of our supporting tissue and furnish nor- mal elasticity for the skin. The interlocking of elastin, a yellow, fibrous protein that is the basic constituent of elastic connective tissue, with collagen in the layers of the skin keeps it smooth and supple. However, as we age this interlocking system hardens. The aging process is arrested when there is an adequate supply of enzymes to feed the skin, to deliver abundant supplies of oxygen, to keep the cells plump and to allow the dermis to replenish itself with healthy new skin.
Imagine that the cells and tissue of the body look like a sponge. These cells and tissues need the moisturizing agents delivered by protease in order to function efficiently. When the body’s cells lack protease, they become thirsty and atrophy or waste away because of insufficient nutrition. The characteristics of a sponge disappear. The cells absorb less of the necessary protein and the cellular walls break down, dry and shrink. By this time, aging has set in.
The circulatory system plays a key role in aging. A sluggish system delays the delivery of needed nutrients to the skin. A blood supply low in essential nutrients sabotages the skin’s needs. Once again, it is enzymes to the rescue! Enzymes are the digestive catalysts that make nutrients available to the blood for their journey to every cell in the body. Because the skin is the largest organ of the body, it is a primary benefactor of an enzyme-rich circulatory system. Skin that is well enriched by oxygen and high quality nutrients always looks radiant, firm and smooth.
Protease enzymes are the life force of the circulatory system and its blood. Protease keeps the blood moving by cleaning up congested red blood cells that stick together in clumps. Through microscopic blood analysis we can see how, after only ten minutes, one dose of protease immediately loosens sticky cells and frees the blood flow. Because our body is composed of protein, protease feeds and fortifies the cells of the blood itself, making them stronger and better equipped to carry out the task of distributing nutrients.
Foods for the Skin
It is no surprise that the foods that promote healthy skin are the same foods that promote health everywhere else in the body. You know the list – fresh organic fruits and vegetables, whole grains, healthy omega 3 and 6 fatty acids and lean “clean” proteins. These foods provide the vitamins, minerals, proteins, essential fatty acids and antioxidants necessary to repair and replenish the skin. Also a diet high in fiber helps clear toxins and stays ahead of the waste. And last but not least, one of the most important nutrients for healthy skin is water! You should drink at least half your body weight in ounces daily, so that means a 150-pound person should drink at least 75 ounces each day.
On the other hand, there are a few foods you definitely want to avoid if you want healthy skin. They include refined “white” flours such as breads, pasta and baked goods; fried foods or greasy snacks; processed meats, sugar, junk food, sodas and alcohol.
So, your grocery list for healthy skin is:
- Fresh organic vegetables – red and green peppers, broccoli, tomatoes, cucumbers, kale and squash just to name a few!
- Fresh organic fruits – apples, oranges, grapes, melons, berries, pineapple and bananas
- Healthy fats – avocado, almonds, walnuts, brazil nuts, flax seeds, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, olive oil and cold water fish such as salmon
- “Clean” protein – beef and poultry that are organic, grass-fed, antibiotic- and hormone-free
- Whole grains rather than processed refined foods
- Water, water, water!
Conclusion: Postpone Aging with Enzyme Rejuvenation
There are four ways in which the body rids itself of wastes. The colon, kidneys, lungs and skin (yes, skin!) are the four major organs of elimination. That means they are also considered protectors of our blood, among other things. They work tirelessly at keeping the blood free of unwanted debris, each in its own unique way. Unfortunately, when our bodies are short on enzymes, these wonder- workers are not always effective. Especially as we get older, our bodies simply cannot effectively detoxify our blood and lymphatic system without help. To assist with elimination, enzymes are there- fore absolutely necessary.