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Enzymes: Nature's Metabolizers
By John Tobe

Editor's note: Following is a transcript of a talk given by John Tobe, now deceased, at the Annual FACT Cancer/Nutrition Convention. Care has been taken to edit the text without altering Mr. Tobe's meaning in order to accommodate limited space.

I have chosen repeatedly to print articles about enzymes inCancer Forum in order to help our readers understand that vitamins and minerals are not absorbed without enzymes. Taking megadoses of factory-made supplements is not necessarily the answer for deficiencies; instead, enhanced enzymatic function may be the better way and actually what the body needs.

MC: Our next speaker is Mr. John Tobe. He's the publisher of the Provoker magazine devoted to many aspects of health and to healing. He is a horticulturist by trade, lives on a farm which sounds pretty interesting, has a farm in Vancouver and St Catherine, Ontario.

I asked how he got started in the area of health and nutrition and he said he just got tired, upset, disturbed by seeing his friends and relatives sicken and die when he became aware that they need not have died. He gives advice, but does not accept any money for his efforts in this field. He is carrying on a fight in Canada and is presently in a legal action regarding a book of his that has apparently disturbed the establishment. I think this will be a very interesting talk, the title of which is Enzymes: Nature's Metabolizers.

JT: I want to talk to you about what I have in mind about enzymes. It is my belief that sickness or disease is basically related to enzymes. Very few of us eat enough wholesome raw food Without it no human being can long remain healthy. I want to tell you the story of enzymes. For the sake of your health and welfare, listen.

Generally speaking, an enzyme is a catalyst that is produced by living things of complex structure. A catalyst is a substance of which even infinitesimal quantities promote chemical change without itself being used up in that reaction. It is known that every process in the body requires some action of enzymes and digesting food is one important reason for the existence of enzymes. There are many different kinds, each acting only on a very limited range of nutritional factors.

According to Dr. James B. Sumner, professor of bioChemistry at Cornell University, three classes of elements are required for good health: minerals, vitamins and enzymes. While your body cannot make vitamins and minerals, your body does have the power to make enzyme's from its own cells. All animal and vegetable cells can and do make enzymes. Enzymes have never been seen, even by the most powerful microscope. But they were isolated by Dr. Sumner of Cornell and they are believed to be protein.

There is a great variety of enzymes and life could not exist without them. Enzymes properly digest all foods, breaking them down into small enough elements to pass through the villi of the intestinal wall into the bloodstream. They are believed to be able to rebuild the food into glands, nerves, muscles and bones. . Enzymes provide the action needed to store glycogen in the liver and muscles for later use. They aid in the elimination of carbon dioxide from the lungs and many other vitally important functions. Specific enzymes help build phosphorus into bones and nerves. There are enzymes that are involved in the thickening of iron into the red blood cells. Others are involved in the coagulation of the blood to stop bleeding. Still others decompose poisonous hydrogen peroxide and from it liberate health giving oxygen. There are enzymes that attack waste material in the blood and tissues, turning it into urea and uric acid which are easily eliminated from the body. Enzymes can turn protein into fat or sugar. There are enzymes that change carbohydrates into fat and others that change fat into carbohydrates. In truth all of the functions of enzymes are not yet completely understood and I do not think they will be wholly understood for a long time to come. Thus, you can understand that enzymes are potent and wonderful things.

All raw foods contain enzymes. However, most people eat mainly cooked foods which are devoid of enzymes, as heat destroys them. I claim that only living organisms are fully capable of regenerating other living organisms and this regeneration takes place by enzymatic action.

Enzymes are found in and form part of all living organisms, but they are destroyed at a temperature of over 120 degrees. While it is true that the human body, through the pancreas, spleen or other organs, is capable of making or creating endogenous enzymes to take the place of and function for the enzymes that were originally contained in the food, the kind of effort required by the body to create these enzymes has not yet been established. It is assumed that it is extensive and taxes the enzyme-creating organs. When we are young, the body's enzyme-creating mechanism functions satisfactorily. But as we grow older, the strain begins to tell, the functions begin to falter and, thus, we run into incurablediseases.

I grant that much of this is theory on my part, but it is theory surrounded by some scientific evidence, much experience and many observations.

Why tax the body's organs to create enzymes when unfired food contains all the enzymes that are required to properly metabolize nature's food without strain or effort on the part of the body? Why not leave the function of cellular degeneration in the capable hands of the enzymes as was the original intent of nature and permit the body's organs to perform the functions for which they were intended?

It has been scientifically established that the body's ability to function properly is contingent on its supply of enzymes. When the supply of enzymes begins to run low, a withering process begins to set in on humans, animals and insects. I ask, is it not wiser to eat sufficient raw food so that your body is not overtaxed with the continuous production of enzymes, especially since the raw food enzymes were created by nature to perform the function? Why overburden an already overburdened body?

Scientists have long been wondering if premature cellular exhaustion is not the basic cause of many of our health problems. It is suggested by many of our authorities that people get old before their time because of enzyme exhaustion and that people are old at 40 because of the lack of enzymes, while others are young at 80 because of the abundance of enzymes.

Researchers have discovered that when undergoing a saliva test, older people were found to have only 1/30th of the quantity of enzymes contained in the saliva of young people. After studying urine samples, another researcher, Dr. Eckhardt of Germany, discovered that the enzymes found in the urine were only half as rich in old age as in the prime of life. Similar deterioration takes place among insects - as discovered by Dr. Burge of the University of Illinois. Old potato beetles were found to have only half the quantity of enzymes as young specimens. Then when fruit flies were studied by Dr. Seckla of Charles University, Prague, and rats by Dr. Falk and associates, they found that enzyme function began to weaken after middle age.

Here are some other interesting facts about enzymes. Raw milk contains enzymes, pasteurized milk or other kinds of milk you buy in the stores do not contain enzymes, yet both are similar in appearance and taste. Similarly, butter made from pasteurized cream contains no enzymes. Wheat kernels contain the important enzymes amylase and protease. In the process of grinding the wheat into flour, the enzymes are not harmed. However, in baking they are destroyed by the heat. Prepared breakfast cereals are devoid of enzymes because of the various processes used in their manufacture. White sugar contains no enzymes because of the heat required in the many processes involved. But the original cane contains its full quota. All the starches and sugars are changed by enzyme action into dextrose, a simple sugar. After absorption, some of the dextrose remains in the blood. Some is changed into glycogen by enzyme action and is stored in the liver and muscles. Some goes directly to the cells to be oxidized by enzymes furnishing heat and energy to the tissues; the spent substances being eliminated as carbon dioxide and burned by the enzyme action to form heat and energy. Some is stored in fatty tissues.

All canned vegetables, fruits and juices contain no enzymes because they have been destroyed by the heat needed in the canning process. The vitamin supplements generally offered by health food stores and other outlets that are made from yeast, cod liver oil, halibut liver oil and wheat embryos, contain no enzymes due to the processing and the heat sterilization. There are some vitamins that are not greatly harmed by heat, but all enzymes are completely destroyed. A good way to judge the amount of heat sufficient to destroy enzymes is if it is hot enough to cause discomfort to your hand, it is hot enough to kill the enzymes. You better bear that in mind and remember it.

Many people ask how long enzymes can live. It is believed that enzymes can remain alive for virtually thousands of years under satisfactory conditions. It is claimed that in Egypt, 3,000 year old mummies still contain their original enzymes. Even prehistoric graves said to be 50,000 years old, buried in ice in Siberia, still contain enzymes in a properly preserved condition.

When do enzymes begin their work in human nutrition? Experiments have shown that enzymes begin their work as soon as chewing commences and they will aid in digesting a quantity of food during its stay in the mouth. When the saliva, gastric and intestinal juices are inadequately supplied with enzymes, what happens? The food tends to lie in a heavy mass in the stomach producing gas due to fermentation and causing discomfort. It has not yet been established whether a deficiency of enzymes can cause food to remain in the digestive tract longer than necessary, thus contributing to constipation and other gastrointestinal disorders, perhaps leading to other serious conditions including malignancy. The vital thing to remember about enzymes is that they are destroyed by heat and various other processes.

That is why I stress that we eat much of our food with all enzymes intact, that is, raw. The more you eat with the original enzymes, the healthier you will be and the longer you will live. I recommend that a minimum of 2/3 of your diet be raw, better still, if you must eat cooked food, allow yourself one cooked meal a day, and keep the other meals raw. My own diet is about 90% raw. It is not difficult and I tell you that from my own experience. I love cooked food and gourmet foods, but it is not difficult to follow a 90% regimen of raw food if you want to. I realize that at 71 years of age, not only does my health depend on the raw food I eat, but my very life depends on it

I claim that at my table are served the best and most wholesome foods in the world, even though they're not all organically grown, especially during the winter months.

In the summer we have our own garden. We have a farm and we grow what we can, but during the winter we need fresh vegetables and I have to buy them at the supermarket or other sources just as you do. Your supply of body enzymes is like a bank account in that you can't keep drawing on it without exhausting the supply. Enzyme exhaustion means trouble, serious trouble. Therefore, keep your enzyme account in balance by eating plenty of wholesome raw food that contains enzymes.

My wife and I are on a juice diet, not completely, but we take a pint or more of raw juice each and every day. I believe that does more to restore and maintain our health than anything else we do. We do a great many other things too, but the juices, I can see, are the best thing we've ever done. I'm not trying to sell you a juicer and I couldn't care which one you buy if you want to buy one. But I beg of you, if you have any problems, please give raw juices and raw foods a chance.

The vegetables we use are mainly carrots for a very good reason, because they're the best vegetable, and they are flavorful . I love beet juice but the truth is, to drink beets straight is pretty rough. So what we do is use about 50% carrots and about 20% beets; then we use celery, turnip and many other vegetables. As a matter of fact I'm a little bit Scotch and so I like to buy as reasonably as possible. When I go to the store to buy, I see the vegetables that are sold at the best price and I use some of that or most of that in all my juices. Don't ignore or forget juices. They can save your life. They can bring back lost health. Give them a fair chance.

A woman came to me less than 3 or 4 weeks ago with stomach cancer and she had had the works. She'd had everything they could give her including radiation. She was pretty sad. I told her what I would do if I were she. She came back to see me in a couple of weeks and she was the same: she wasn't any better; she wasn't any worse. And I said, "Tell me, how much juice are you taking?" She says, "Oh, about a cup a day." Now, Max Gerson, M.D. in his book tells that he insisted on a minimum of 16 glasses a day! Dr. Kirsch, another medical doctor, demanded that they drink a minimum of a gallon of fresh juice a day.

You can't make these juices and put them in the refrigerator. Uh, uh. You make your juices and you drink them. If you've got to make them 4 times or 6 times .a day, make them that often and get your fresh juices because if you're going to the trouble of trying to heal yourself, give yourself a real fighting chance and take enough juice.

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