Is treating psoriasis naturally with enzymes the answer?
I tried to find some fellow psoriasis sufferers who have tried treating psoriasis naturally using enzyme supplements. Could it really be this simple? I found one ringing endorsement that I will mention in a bit but first I decided to give a dummies guide to enzymes and how it may indeed help your psoriasis.
It is more or less agreed that people with psoriasis do not have a perfectly healthy digestive system. In fact this is almost true for all chronic autoimmune disorders such as Alopecia areata, Celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, Dermatomyositis, Diabetes mellitus type 1, Graves’ disease, Lupus erythematosus, Rheumatoid arthritis to name but a few.
The dummies guide to enzymes and how it may help your psoriasis
So why are enzymes so important?
The food that we eat are large complex molecules that must be broken down into smaller particles so that they can get through the wall of the digestive tract. In other words small guys welcome, but big guys not on the guest list. And guess which guy will cause the most trouble, yes the big guy!
What are the different types of enzymes
Different types of enzymes are required to break down different types of food. We can break down our food types into the following;
Carbohydrate digestion begins in the mouth. The enzyme ptyalin starts here (ptyalin is part of amylase enzymes that only breaks down carbohydrates. Carbs do not get further digested in the stomach after the mouth, so theoretically if carbs totally bypassed the stomach, it wouldn’t make any difference.
Next it is passed into the Duodenum (part of small intestine) where the pancreas do their job by releasing lots more amylase enzymes. the pancreas also produce lots of alkaline substances to neutralize any stomach acid.
Basically the enzymes here break down carbs(aka complex sugar molecules) into simpler sugars which finally get another round of amylase enzymes in the upper part of the small intestine and finally transformed into glucose which fuels your body.
Protein is digested mainly in the stomach. There are two principles at work there, namely hydrochloric acid and the pepsinogen enzyme. This combination breaks down protein into smaller amino acids called peptides.
These peptides are further broken down into simpler amino acids when it enters the duodenum by protease enzymes released from the pancreas. If you have a perfectly working digestive system then the protein should be successfully converted to simple amino acids and ready for absorption by the body.
Fat is unable to be broken down by the amylase or protease enzymes as it is not water soluble. Therefore fat is prepared for digestion through bile production in the liver and stored in the gallbladder. Bile will break down fat into smaller fat droplets.
The pancreas is again put to work and releases a fat digesting enzyme called lipase into the duodenum which digest the fat and makes it ready for absorption.
Just for your information, bile contains alkaline substances to neutralise any stomach acid, lecithin (the main emulsifying agent that prepares fat for digestion) and cholesterol. Therefore if you have your gallbladder removed, it would be wise to supplement your diet with lecithin.
Hows does enzyme production affect your psoriasis?
It is widely believed that people with psoriasis are unable to digest proteins efficiently. This has the very harmful effect of creating excess toxicity in the bowel which weakens the gut lining and therefore over time gives a free pass to toxins to invade the rest of the body.
This leads to inflammation and for people with psoriasis genes, triggers the skin to become inflamed and therefore create the psoriasis lesions.
What foods can you eat to ensure you get enough of these enzymes?
What enzyme supplements can you take to help psoriasis?
These are the two I am familiar with;
- MULTI-DIGESTIVE ENZYME WITH BENTAINE HCL – contains all the differenet enzymes required for perfect digestive health
- Bromelain – pineapple extract which contains protease enzymes to aid the breakdown of protein
You must ensure that you are taking the right dosage. Start with one, that you take DURING the beginning of your meal. If you do not suffer an GI discomfort, up the dose to two tablets on Day 3, and keep upping until you feel a slight discomfort. When this happens you know that the optimal amount to take is one less than that.
Ensure to lower your dose if you are having little protein. If you are just snacking on fruit then do not bother taking any supplement.
Side effects of enzyme supplements for people with psoriasis?
After a certain time, your body should have increased intake of nutrients, therefore, correcting its digestion problem. At this stage, you can stop taking the supplements. I would estimate that 4 weeks of supplements should be enough to see great improvement.
On a personal level, I have taken bromelain (which contains protease enzyme) but I am currently trialling out Betaine HCL after reading this glowing report. I will give an update after 4 weeks.
Improve Your Digestion – The Drug Free Guide To Achieving A Healthy Digestive Tract – Patrick Holford