Wobenzym is an exceptional blend of systemic enzymes that act together not only to fight inflammation and promote healing but also offer many other health benefits including anti-aging properties. But before we look at Wobenzym in more detail, let’s take a moment to consider what exactly systemic enzymes are and what their role is in promoting health. In fact, we probably need to go back one step further and deal first of all with the question of what is an enzyme?
What is an enzyme?
Enzymes are essential if life is to occur. They function as biocatalysts, that is to say they are the biological substances that exist to enable chemical reactions to work or work faster within the body. Without enzymes, the chemical reactions that our bodies require for life to exist as we know it would simply be too slow.
Enzymes are very specific and only work with certain substrates. It’s a bit like a lock and key system – only the right key (enzyme) will work with the right lock (substrate). There are approximately 3,000 enzymes in our bodies and they are responsible for over 7,000 enzymatic reactions.
What are systemic enzymes?
Most of us probably think of enzymes in relation to digestion. Whilst it’s true that a great many enzymes are derived or created from what could be termed ‘protein digesting enzymes’, digestion is only part of the human body’s enzyme story.
Systemic enzymes are those that operate, not just for digestion, but throughout the body in every system and every organ. Indeed, the word systemic means ‘body wide’. Systemic enzymes have roles in:
* Anti-inflammation; Systemic enzymes act as the first line of defence against inflammation and play an important part in pain relief. They also aid quick recovery from sports and other injuries
* Anti Fibrosis; Fibrosis is the formation or development of excess fibrous connective tissue in an organ or tissue that occurs as part of a reparative or reactive process. Systemic enzymes effectively eat scar tissue and fibrosis
* Blood Cleansing; Fibrin is a fibrous protein that is involved in the clotting of blood. When there is an excess of fibrin, blood can become thick and sticky. The risk of blood clots forming increases and that’s bad news because blood clots are one of the leading causes of strokes and heart attacks. Systemic enzymes eat up excess fibrin and in doing so improve circulation and reduce the risk of experiencing a catastrophic cardiovascular event
* Immune System Modulating; Systemic enzymes seek to keep the immune system balanced. If the immune system is low, enzymes act to improve immunity by increase immune response, producing more ‘Natural Killer’ cells, and improving the efficiency of the white blood cells. If the immune system is overactive, enzymes will seek to calm everything down by eating up excess antibodies
* Virus Fighting; Systemic enzymes are capable of recognising the difference between proteins that should be in the body and those that are foreign (should not be there like the proteins found in the cell walls of viruses). They can help to combat viral infections by attacking viruses
What’s in Wobenzym?
Wobenzym was originally developed in Germany in the 1960’s. At that time its primary use was in the treatment of osteoarthritis - Wobenzym acts as a natural anti-inflammatory. The ensuing 40 plus years of scientific research and evidence have served to confirm the benefits of Wobenzym, not just as an anti-inflammatory treatment. It’s hardly surprising, therefore, to find that Wobenzym still remains Europe’s most popular nutritional enzyme supplement.
In particular, Wobenzym supplies the following key enzymes:
* Pancreatin; Helps reduce joint discomfort and swelling
* Papain; Exhibits strong anti-inflammatory effects
* Bromelain; Reduces inflammation and the pain associated with it. Helps the body to reduce swelling of joints and strengthens the immune system
* Trypsin; Accelerates repair of injuries, boosts immune system activity, and may help maintain healthy circulation
* Chymotrypsin; Helps to maintain free blood flow to enhance circulation
* Rutin; A powerful free radical scavenger. Rutin also acts as an anti-inflammatory by inhibiting the enzymes that produce inflammation
How does Wobenzym work?
Wobenzym acts to replenish our bodies with systemic enzymes. Unfortunately as we age, our bodies lose the ability to naturally produce sufficient systemic enzymes for our needs. This aging process begins at about the age of 27. Our bodies only make a finite amount of enzymes during our lifetimes. By the time we reach 27 years of age, we have already used a significant amount of our enzyme supply. If we were to keep consuming enzymes at such a high rate we would simply run out and be dead by the time we reached our 40’s. To stop this and to make our enzyme supplies last, our bodies begin to ration enzyme output.
The knock on effect of all of this is that it takes longer for us to recover from injuries, sprains and strains the older we get, because our systemic enzyme supply is diminished. And if our joints do not heal themselves properly, they become susceptible to developing osteoarthritis.
By replenishing diminishing systemic enzyme stocks, Wobenzym quickly acts to reduce inflammation and swelling, enabling the body to heal itself. Wobenzym also provides effective long term joint support.
How do the enzymes in Wobenzym help to reduce inflammation?
One of the main functions of the enzymes in Wobenzym is to break down and destroy harmful proteins known as Circulating Immune Complexes (CICs). CICs are at the root of most joint inflammation. They are protein chains created by the immune system in response to irritation.
For example if you injured your left shoulder, your immune system would react by creating a CIC specifically tagged for your left shoulder. When the CIC reaches your left shoulder, it causes pain, redness and swelling i.e. inflammation. Whilst initially inflammation is useful to us - it tells us that something is wrong - it is also self perpetuating. The CICs cause the initial inflammation but then the inflammation itself leads to more CICs being created. This simply exacerbates the whole situation, slowing down recovery and possibly leading to further damage.
By breaking down and destroying CICs, Wobenzym cleanses the blood of these harmful proteins and clears the way for the body’s natural repair and healing processes to take over.
What are the health benefits of taking Wobenzym?
Over the past 4 decades numerous studies and clinical trials have been undertaken to look at the benefits and effects of Wobenzym. Although once considered only as a treatment for both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis (N.B. it is still extremely helpful for those suffering from these diseases), these studies have revealed that Wobenzym may have a large number of other beneficial health effects including:
* A treatment for joint and muscle pain; Wobenzym acts as a safe and natural alternative to anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen (see below for more details)
* A treatment to reduce injury and promote healing; Wobenzym has the ability to help reduce the pain of traumatic injury by as much as 50%. It also promotes the body’s natural healing processes. Because of these properties, Wobenzym is often routinely prescribed for surgical patients as it helps to prevent the pain associated with post-surgical fluid retention (oedema) and bruising. Wobenzym is also especially useful in treating sports injuries. Even some Olympic teams use Wobenzym to help reduce injuries and stimulate healing if injury does occur
* A treatment to reduce C-reactive protein (CRP) levels; CRP is a marker of chronic infection within the body. Whilst assessing CRP levels is not specific enough in itself to diagnose a particular disease, it serves as a general marker for infection and inflammation. When levels are high, it alerts medical professionals to the fact that further testing and treatment may be necessary. Testing CRP levels may also be used to screen otherwise seemingly healthy people for coronary heart disease and cardiovascular disease. Higher levels of CRP equate to a higher risk of suffering from a coronary event. Indeed, research published in the New England Journal of Medicine, has documented that individuals with high levels of CRP have up to 6 times the likelihood of a heart attack or strokes as individuals with lower levels. Wobenzym has been shown to significantly lower CRP levels - on average by 30%!
* A treatment to promote cardiovascular health; Not only does Wobenzym reduce CRP levels, it may also protect the heart and cardiovascular system in a number of other ways. Wobenzym helps to reduce the incidence of blood clots (see above).Blood clots can block veins and arteries throughout the body causing a whole range of diseases from varicose veins through to life threatening strokes, heart attacks and pulmonary embolisms (blood clots that block the blood vessels in the lungs)
* Wobenzym also has anti-spasmodic, anti-arrhythmic (helps to reduce a heart rate that is going too fast) and cholesterol lowering capabilities.
But these are not the only uses for Wobenzym. As research continues, so the list of ways in which Wobenzym may be useful to our health and well being grows and it now includes such things as:
* Helping to resolve many of the molecular features of aging
* Providing protection from environmental toxins in the air, water and food
* Treating autoimmune and rheumatic illnesses
* Using its antioxidant properties to improve feelings of well-being
* Benefiting viral injection treatments
* Helping in the treatment of herpes, cancer and hepatitis C
* Lowering inflammation involved in allergies and alleviates the symptoms for the sufferer
Why are there no side-effects with Wobenzym unlike other anti- inflammatory drugs?
Many of the medications that we take to reduce pain and inflammation belong to a class of drugs known as Non Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs). Whilst these medications may take away our pain they have potentially lethal side effects. They work by stopping the body from making CICs. But not all CICs are harmful - some of them are essential such as those that maintain the lining of the intestines and those that keep our kidneys functioning properly.
NSAIDs can also be highly toxic to the liver. It’s an alarming fact that around 100,000 Americans end up in hospital each year because of the side effects caused by NSAIDs with another 20,000 a year dying from these medications.
Systemic enzymes, on the other hand, are remarkably safe, well tolerated and have no known side effects. This is because they are able to recognize the difference between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ CICs. They only destroy ‘bad’ CICs. This goes back to the lock and key idea that we discussed right at the start of this article - only the specific enzyme will work on the specific CIC. By destroying the ‘bad’ CICs, they lower inflammation and in doing so reduce pain.