She [Dr. Freeland-Graves] and others throw cold water on the common claim that leaving food raw allows its enzymes to take over the work of the body's own digestive enzymes.
"That's just not scientific," says Freeland-Graves.
Enzymes are complex proteins, and when we ingest food, she explains, whole proteins are quickly broken down into their component amino acids — so the body doesn't absorb intact enzymes. If it did, she notes, the immune system would launch an attack.
The enzyme claim by many raw foodists is "completely false," says Graham, noting that "we fight that (notion) at every turn."
The pancreas is forced to work harder with a cooked food diet. "Although the body can manufacture enzymes, the more you use your enzyme potential, the faster it is going to run out..." wrote Dr. Edward Howell, who pioneered research in the benefits of food enzymes. A youth of 18 may produce amylase levels 30 times greater than those of an 85 year old person.
Enzymes are what make seeds sprout. Sprouts are, in fact, one of the richest sources of enzymes. Other excellent sources are papaya, pineapple and the aspergillus plant. Science cannot duplicate enzymes, because they are the stuff of life itself. Only raw food has functional "live" enzymes. Therefore the liver, pancreas, stomach and intestines must come to the rescue and furnish the requisite digestive enzymes to the individual nourished solely on a cooked food diet.
So who's information is out-of-whack? Or are we talking apples and oranges here? Can we get some help from our Doctor buddies out there? Let's see if David Wolfe and Dr. Gabriel Cousens can clear this up.
Regardless of definitions, the bottom line is that it takes less overall energy to digest raw food. And raw food, for a fact, has more of just about everything than cooked food. If you want to suffer less when you eat your cooked food (especially if you've been eating mostly raw for a good amount of time), be sure to take your enzymes, (we've heard good things about Vitalzym but don't trust us, ask around).