natural wellness

Enzymes for Healing Joint & Muscle Pain, Gastro-Intestinal Disorders, Sinusitis, Allergies, Fibromyalgia and More

Introduction: What Enzymes Can Do

Enzymes have many important functions in the body, besides helping to digest foods.  Systemic enzymes are catalysts, facilitating thousands of metabolic reactions, from fighting inflammation to cleansing the blood to deactivating infections.    Enzymes can help many people who suffer from debilitating health issues, including acute or chronic inflammations, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid or osteoarthritis, digestive disorders, skin problems, and immune sensitivities.   This article will focus on protein-digesting enzymes to reduce symptoms causing these and other painful conditions, thus restoring health.

Some Foods Can be Difficult to Digest

Some of the above mentioned conditions are often directly caused by an inability to fully digest dietary proteins, leading to toxic deposits in the body.    The offending proteins are vegetarian source: nuts, seeds, wheat gluten, soy and cow dairy.   Wheat gluten for example, consisting of long chain amino acid protein molecules, often 20 polypeptides or more, must be digested or broken down to a single molecule to be excreted from the body.   Yet when the body cannot fully digest the gluten, undigested protein molecules circulate and deposit as toxins in different locations: joints, muscles, bursa, cartilage, lymphatic tissue, intestines, skin, and a host of other areas.  Protein toxins can be deposited in organs such as liver and kidney, and even affect endocrine glands such as the thyroid.   Systemic enzymes taken without food can promote detoxification by dissolving these protein deposits so the body can eliminate them.

Food Rotation: A Useful Concept

Problems can arise when one or more of these proteins is consumed too much or too often (i.e. daily).   To assist in prevention of disease, one can rotate these foods, being aware to minimize the intake of nuts, wheat, soy, and dairy, to no more than three days a week each (every other day maximum).  This would lessen the chance of protein toxin deposits causing health issues.

Which Enzymes?

There are many different types of enzymes for specific effects.  Proteolytic (protein-digesting such as protease) enzymes are the most important enzymes for dissolving protein toxins.  It may be helpful to use a broad-spectrum enzyme formula with pancreatin, an enzyme with protease, amylase and lipase to digest protein, carbohydrates and fats.  For recent injury or trauma causing inflammation, high potency bromelain along with papain, pepsin or serrapeptase are effective in reducing swelling.  Chymotrypsin, a powerful synergist, is useful for increasing the potency and effect of other enzymes.

To resolve health issues, one must take enough of the appropriate enzyme to effect a change.  For example, to treat consistent body pain, once should take high-potency pancreatin (50,000+ IU per 500 mg. tablet), at least 2-4 tablets two times per day without food.   Tablets should be enteric-coated so they are not neutralized by stomach acids, and taken for several weeks.


Enzymes promote the body’s own regeneration processes.  With the use of appropriate systemic enzymes over time, patients have resolved such serious symptoms such as inflammation, back, neck and joint pain, gastritis, sinus pain, skin problems such as acne, cysts and allergic or immune symptoms including congestion, sinus pain and more.

For more information on systemic enzymes, see, or

Annie Osborn has been practicing acupuncture and natural/holistic medicine in Santa Rosa for over 15 years.  She can be reached at 707-494-8606, or visit

Feeling Young Again: How to Reduce the Effects of Aging with Natural Supplements

Are you feeling the effects of aging?  Whether you are in your early 40’s or late 80’s, you may experience some of the following signs or symptoms:

  • Increased skin wrinkling or sagging
  • Weight gain especially around the belly/hips
  • Increased body pains or inflammation
  • Decrease in memory or brain function
  • Low energy, fatigue, or lack of stamina
  • Decrease in muscle strength or mass
  • Increased heart problems (high cholesterol, blood pressure, arteriosclerosis, etc.)
  • Vision problems, i.e. needing stronger glasses, ocular degeneration, or cataracts

While the degeneration process inherent in aging is inevitable, the visible and internal effects of aging can be significantly reduced with the use of natural supplements available in health food stores and from holistic practitioners.  By supplementing with certain nutrients, one can experience a sense of greater well-being and youthfulness, increased quality of life, as well as extended lifespan.

The most effective utilization of supplements requires a foundation of proper diet, lifestyle, and exercise.  No supplement can compensate for deficiencies in these areas.  A healthy diet consisting of good quality whole foods-proteins, vegetables, grains, and fruits, excluding sugar and allergenic foods, is fundamental.   (Please note that allergenic foods are individualized: some people should stay away from wheat, dairy, nuts, and soy; some can tolerate them in moderation.)   Research has shown that individuals with a lean body mass (calorie restricted diet) have a significantly longer lifespan.

Supplements to Support Aging Well

Free radicals are among the top contributing factors in aging.  They are known to accelerate the aging process by damaging cells through oxidation.   Powerful anti-oxidants such as glutathione scavenge the free radicals and promote detoxification via the liver.   Foods high in anti-oxidants include blueberries, green & yellow vegetables and green tea.  Other anti-oxidant nutrients include alpha lipoic acidgrape seed extract, vitamin C, and coenzyme Q10.  CoQ10 powers the cell’s vital energy, and protects and supports the heart.

Cells are the fundamental unit of every living thing.  Healthy cell structure and replication are crucial for vibrant aging.  Ribonucleic acid (RNA) is important for healthy aging as it supports transcription of DNA and thus proper cell replication.  RNA, extracted from brewer’s yeast, has been shown to stabilize cell processes, and increase synapse function as well as short-term memory.

For increased brain function or memory, also consider acetyl-L-carnitinevinpocetine,phosphatidylserine (PS) or gingko biloba.

Essential fatty acids (EFAs) are important because they support the integrity of the cell structure.  They feed the brain, which is 60% fat.  EFAs play a major role in reducing joint or other inflammation, and can prevent plaque buildup in arteries.  Omega 3 fatty acids (EPA, DHA) found in fish oils and flax seed are the most deficient EFAs in the typical American diet.

EFAs also nurture and tonify the skin, the most visible organ.  Another vital skin supplement ishyalauronic acid, which helps retain moisture and regenerate skin elasticity.   It also lubricates arthritic joints.  Hyalauronic acid can be taken internally or applied topically as a cream.

Some herbs effective for anti-aging include ginseng, maca or tribulus.  These adaptagenic herbs work by supporting the immune system to reduce stress, tension and enhance endurance, stamina and vitality.

Vision health is supported by bilberry, an herb containing phytochemicals that nourish the eyes and enhance visual function.

Protein is essential to life; amino acids are the building blocks of protein and are fundamental for longevity. The amino acid L-Carnosine has been shown in clinical studies to protect against age-related degradation of protein, extending cellular lifespan.  LCarnitine can protect the heart and liver, and aid in weight loss by increasing fat metabolism.  Because muscle strength and mass deteriorate as we age, L-Creatine can be helpful.  L-Phenylalanine promotes vitality and alertness, and can decrease pain.

Many people lose the ability to properly assimilate nutrients as they age.  Enzymes are crucial to increase absorption of vitamins, minerals, protein, fats and carbohydrates.   A supplement containing pancreatin (or vegetable enzymes if vegetarian) can spark those digestive juices.  Because most people have difficulty fully digesting or breaking down proteins, protease is especially important as we age.

Aging need not be a discouraging process.  The wisdom we acquire as we grow older can help sustain a fulfilling life.  With nutritional and supplemental support, we can reduce pain, fatigue, inflammation, while increasing mental & visual acuity, physical vitality, stamina and an overall sense of joy.

Annie Osborn has been practicing acupuncture and natural/holistic medicine in Santa Rosa for over 15 years.  She can be reached at 707-494-8606, or