About ten years ago an enzyme called nattokinase became available to the general public. Nattokinase is a byproduct of the microbes active in fermenting soybeans and it breaks down a protein in the body called fibrin. Among other things, fibrin is a major component of scar tissue. Scarring of my connective tissue was still a major issue for me, so I decided to try it.
It worked wonderfully. I had less pain, less inflammation, and more freedom of movement. However, it turns out that the scar tissue in my head and in my liver was inflamed for a reason. Soon after I began taking the nattokinase, bone chips began working their way out of my head as the scar tissue around them disintegrated. They were small, smaller than current technology can easily detect. And as they followed the cranial nerves out to the surface, it was clear that their source was in an inoperable area near my brain stem.I also had a build up of caustic fluids from both the mechanical irritation from the bone chips and the toxic acidic byproducts of my healing process.
I recently read that around 95% of cerebral spinal fluid leaks are misdiagnosed. When a leak is diagnosed, there is no agreement on treatment, beyond the extremely novel and high-tech prescription of bed rest. That helped me understand why I had bloody serum and cerebral spinal fluid oozing out my nose, along with debilitating headaches, for decades and no one could get a grip on the problem. If you have ever had something in your eye, you can understand how painful a miniscule object can be. My body also had to get rid of the fluids from the broken down scar tissue and the toxins that had accumulated in it. Contemplate a couple of dozen pointy scratchy bits scraping their way along already damaged nerves along with how sore your nose gets after a few days with allergies or the flu. OUCH!
Serrapeptase is another enzyme now readily available. It is made by microbes originally found in silkworms and they need it to dissolve their cocoons so they can emerge as butterflies. It helps regulate certain types of inflammation by breaking down ‘avital’ tissue. Vital tissue is alive and metabolizing properly. Avital tissue is either dead or dying. While I needed some inflammation to get the chips and fluids out of my head, too little inflammation leaves me stuck with a stagnant knot of waste material and too much inflammation causes so much pain and swelling there is no room for the waste to move. I certainly have a lot of ‘avital ‘ tissue as a result of trauma and serrapeptase is the help my body needs dealing with it. Besides, the metaphor of emerging from the cocoon of disease into the butterfly of health is too good to pass up!
Under stress, the body tends to shut down extraneous activities like digestion. Over long periods of stresses such as chronic pain the lack of digestive enzymes and circulation in the guts lead to malabsorption and eventually malnutrition, no matter what you eat. Besides which , like most of my relatives, I don’ t digest carbohydrates. A standing joke is that if you don’t mind rinsing off the leaves, we can eat the same wilted lettuce salad for a week running.Seriously, my ancestors had to have evolved to thrive on beer, fish, and hibernating animals over the long northern winters. Their only access to vegetable matter through the long winter months was what they preserved through fermentation. Starches, fibers, and sugars were all turned into ethyl alcohol, and the fermentation microbes produced all the enzymes and vitamins needed. I’d do great on a diet of medieval beer and smoked salmon, but that’s not practical in New Mexico. Salmon is hard to come by and expensive while modern beer has nothing on the real stuff. so I have to take digestive enzymes, and eat a high protein, high fat diet. Digestive enzymes can also be of help in reducing inflammation. Inflammation produces heat, and most digestive enzymes prefer temperatures slightly higher than 98.6. So they can help to break down waste products and avital tissue in inflamed areas.
Metabolic enzymes are catalysts to the myriad biochemical reactions that keep us alive and well. Their biochemical activity depends on a variety of trace elements. Iodine is one of the best known trace minerals our body needs, and it is often added to salt. What isn’t as well-known is that most table salt has been purified of all the trace minerals you might need for healthy enzymatic functioning. It is pure sodium chloride except that it has added chemicals to keep it from turning into a bunch of lumps that don’t fly out of the salt shaker. The added chemicals used to be aluminum compounds which I could not tolerate at all, now there are a bunch of different additives none of which are useful to your body. I know of three different sources for sea salts that are readily available now, and I don’t mind the occasional lump. Himalayan salt and Realsalt from Utah are both fossil salts that are mined. Celtic sea salt is harvested in the salt marshes off the coast of France with minimal processing. There may be more sources out there as demand grows.
Unfortunately, like about 20% of my fellow beer-drinking Americans, my ancestors lost a specific enzymatic pathway so I don’ t metabolize B-12, folic acid or cholesterol properly. There are enough of us that I can buy (and take) methyl-B-12, methylated folic acid, and pregnenolone. Most people are aware that deficiencies of folic acid during pregnancy results in birth defects. Recent research indicates that deficient folic acid leads to high levels of homocysteines, and high level of homocysteines are associated with high incidents of heart troubles. The heart is the most relentlessly active muscle in the body, so it does look like folic acid is essential to cell metabolism as well as division. B-12 deficiencies are associated with anemia, but it is also necessary for a myriad of nerve and brain functions, including memory. I needed a lot of it to recover from the nerve damage from mercury poisoning. B-12 is also very active in the biochemical pathways that detoxify environmental poisons. If you are processing heavy metals, or any of the various insecticides, herbicides etc out there, your body can use up a remarkable amount of B-12. Pregnenolone is a hormonal precursor made from cholesterol that is needed for making all the adrenal and sex hormones. I found if I have enough pregnenolone, I can sleep. It’s not the most sensible physiological response, but if I don’ t have the raw materials for endorphins, adrenals, and sex hormones, I get stressed. Which means I need more of all of the above.
Enzymes help me to break cycles of stress and inflammation, and stay on track with actually healing. Names in different colored type are links to Amazon for the various vitamins and enzymes should anyone be interested.