Enzymes and Beauty

By Betsy Bartlett, nutraMetrix Research Coordinator

Each individual’s skin is different, and what it takes to keep it healthy varies from person to person. Our skin goes through many changes throughout a lifetime for a variety of reasons. Some people, who identify with a history of skin concerns often respond well to dietary enzymes, both topically and internally. That high-end spa at your last vacation resort is relying on it. Many people are pleasantly surprised by the health of their skin from increasing foods or supplementation rich in enzymes, having not even complained of noticeable skin problems to begin with. It goes without saying, it may benefit one’s health and beauty to maximize your intake of dietary enzymes from plant sources and colorful foods. By doing so, perhaps you will discover you digest your foods more easily and have less stomach upset, AND you may also be supporting the health of your skin.

Poor dietary choices and stress will often lead to digestive complaints. These digestive disruptions may be a sign of a your body’s inability to adequately make enzymes or properly support tissues enzymes that are responsible for maintaining or delivering nutrients to mucus membranes, connective tissue and skin. Without enough of them, your body can’t absorb the nutrients from your food. Amylases break down carbohydrates, Lipases break down fat, and Proteases break down proteins.  These enzymes help your body to break down food into nutrients that are absorbed in the digestive tract. Full functioning of a spectrum of these enzymes is essential for well-being.

Optimal gut health is linked to many areas of health all over the body, including maintaining normal cholesterol levels, to supporting normal immune function.  Some skin problems could be the result of underlying nutrient imbalances needed for optimal digestion, or inadequate activity of necessary nutrients required to overcome the common processed nature of the average American diet. You can support your immunity, health, beauty and digestion by eating plenty of enzyme rich foods such as raw fruits and vegetables, but if diet falls short consider supplementation.

When you consider enzyme production naturally decreases with age, supplementation may help support and maintain skin health.  Adopting a healthier lifestyle, including stress relief, sleep and a colorful diet to include adequate enzymes all may help to maintain the epithelial structure and barrier of skin. Sadly, the over-cooking of food destroys naturally-occurring enzymes, which may make supplementation important. Intervention, which may consist of supplementation of plant based enzymes could contribute to many areas of healthy aging. When looking for an enzyme supplement that may address a wider range of digestive issues, look for products that contain a full spectrum of enzymes to include: proteases, amylases, lipases and the supporting cast of sucrases, maltases and cellulose as well as paying attention to the lifestyle suggestions below.

  1. Be sure to include both raw fruits and vegetables and lightly cooked vegetables in your daily diet, as well as raw nuts and seeds.
  2. If you do heat or cook your food, do so gently at lower temperatures when possible and for the shortest time possible.
  3. Chew your food well to release the enzymes and make them readily available for use in your body.

Small steps when done regularly can lead to huge changes in your health.

Cutler, E. 2006. Why enzymes are essential to a healthy immune system.
Lee, S, et al. 2006. An update of the defensive barrier function of skin. Yonsei Med. J., 47 (3), 293–306.
Lipski, E., 2005. Digestive Wellness. NY: McGraw–Hill.
Westen, R., & Webb, J. 2000. The missing piece of the equation—enzymes in well-being and proper function of digestive organs. Vegetarian Times.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.