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Questions for Dr. Kennedy
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Enzymes and Digestion
Posted by: Sean
Date: August 2, 2001 10:39 AM

I read that there is no point in supplementing with exogenous enzymes as they are inactivated at stomach pH. This would seem illogical to me. What is your opinion? Also in light of your assertion that the body can selectively secrete individual enzymes what do you think of food combining theories advocating separation of protein and carbohydrates to different meals?

RE: Enzymes and Digestion
Posted by: Ron Kennedy, M.D.
Date: August 2, 2001 1:24 PM

Most people who needs enzymes are in the older age groups (over 30 let's say) which no longer makes those extremely high concentrations of stomach acid able to destroy them (enzymes that is). Enzymes work at lower (acid) pH in the duodenum, in fact the lower pH is the trigger for the secretion of secretin which stimulates the pancreas to release enzymes. Some proteolytic enzymes are secreted by the stomach itself and work well at the lowest possible pH. Clinically enzymes work, regardless of theoretical considerations. Of course, like all categories of supplements there are some brands of enzymes which do not work as they were not well made to start with. Spend more, get more. As to food combining, fruit and protein do not seem to digest well together regardless of the explanation, so I always separate those unless we are talking about pineapple and/or papaya, both of which contain large amounts of digestive enzymes. Otherwise, if you avoid refined carbs as you should, raw food and protein seem to do well together as does cooked food and protein if you add good enzymes. I always, always, always add enzymes to any cooked food I consume. No exceptions.

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