FAQ 3: What do enzymes do for cancer?

Why, what are enzymes, anyway?
What do enzymes trypsin and chymotrypsin have to do to with cancer?

Enzymes are large protein molecules, present in all living things from bacteria to whales to marigolds. They are nature’s chemists. All activity of living things depends on them— the greening of leaves in the spring, the bolt from an electric eel, the wagging of a dog’s tail, the illumination of a firefly.

From the instant of conception, enzymes play the supreme role in all life processes. Without them the fragile male sperm could never gain entrance to the enormously larger and tougher female egg to complete the act of fertilization. As it is, the sperm is equipped with a minute amount off enzyme to dissolve a tiny crevice in the egg membrane, thereby gaining admittance.

Virtually all the foods we eat (alcohol is a notable exception) are totally indigestible until enzymes work on them and break down complex foods into simpler substances which can be absorbed into the bloodstream. But for enzymes, we could gorge ourselves with food— and starve. [Emphasis mine.] Or the food we eat could be lethal as cyanide. (Digesting a lamb chop, for example, could liberate enough ammonia to kill, were it not for enzymes which instantly synthesize ammonia into harmless end products.)

In a twinkling, enzymes perform chemical transformations that are difficult or impossible to perform in the laboratory. To digest a piece of steak in the laboratory— to break it down to its component amino acids— it is necessary to boil the steak for nearly a day in concentrated acid. At body temperature, enzymes accomplish the same thing in a few hours!

No one knows for sure how enzymes achieve their chemical wizardry. But each enzyme is specific in its action— it usually acts on only one substance. Thus, the enzymes which are known to be able to break a pat of butter are powerless to break up sugar, and the sugar enzymes are unable to split proteins.

But enzymes do not merely break substances down, they also create new matter. From the bloodstream they take amino acids, say, that originated from cow muscle (steak), and use them as building blocks to produce human muscle—quite a different substance. They change sugar into glycogen, which the liver can store to supply energy needs as they arise.

Chew a piece of bread for a few minutes. You will note that it gradually becomes sweet. This is enzyme action. The body can’t utilize starch, but it can absorb certain sugars. So an enzyme in saliva has converted some of the starch into sugar, a process later completed by enzymes of the digestive tract.

… In the intestine, a molecule of the enzyme invertase can break down a million times its own weight of sugar.

How many different enzymes are there in the human body? More than 650 are known and researchers guess that many more will be discovered. There are trillions of cells in the body. But even the smallest is estimated to contain at least 100,000 enzyme particles. If a cell is regarded as a factory, the enzymes are the machinery that makes the factory work.

Some of the enzymes are oxidants— fuel burners. They take a minute fragment of food and start it on a series of chemical reactions that produces one of the most extraordinary substances on earth: adenosine triphosphate, or ATP for short. In effect, ATP is a minute storage battery which releases stored energy to make muscle fibers contract. Every time your heart beats, your eyelids blink, or you take a breath, it is ATP that provides energy for the action.

… Today, many researchers are convinced that a number of diseases trace to missing or faulty enzymes.

… Diabetes, researchers think, may be due in part to the lack of an enzyme governing the production of insulin in the pancreas. And there is mounting evidence that leukemia and other cancers trace to faulty enzyme behavior. [Emphasis mine] Today, an estimated forty-four diseases have been related to enzyme disturbances.

Such observations lead in an obvious direction. If enzymes are deficient or lacking, it should eventually be possible to make up the lack with synthetic enzymes. Or if one group of enzymes is too active, it should be possible to offset their activity with chemical controls.

With the solid accomplishments already at hand, and with exciting goals ahead,  enzymology represents research’s wave of the future.

(The Reader’s Digest Our Human Body, 1969, Enzymes: “Nature’s Converters,” pp.187-189 from “Enzymes, Medicine’s Bright Hope,” by J.D. Ratcliff, Reader”s Digest, June ’61 cond. from Today’s Health, Sept. ‘60 copyright 1960, Amer. Med. Ass’n. Chi., Ill.)

To better explain, following are quotes from well-known proponents who, early on, like Dr. John A. Richardson, recognized ‘the logic of finding a control for cancer in nature,’ fought long and hard to disseminate information to advance the cause, and treated cancer victims with ‘drugless medicine’:

An enzyme is a catalyst … a substance which causes a chemical reaction to take place without, itself, becoming a part of that chemical reaction. There are numerous enzymes within the body that are responsible for the hundreds of chemical reactions which must take place in order to keep the body functioning normally. (Dr. Philip Binzel, Alive and Well)

Unfortunately, immunological studies pursued research based on the foregone conclusion that cancer cells are undoubtedly foreign.

For three-quarters of a century classical immunology has, in effect, been pounding its head against a stone wall in the vain quest for “cancer antigens,” the production of cancer antibodies, etc., etc. The cancer or trophoblast cell is non-antigenic because of the pericellular sialomucin coat.. (Letter from Dr. Krebs to Andrew McNaughton, the McNaughton Foundation, San Francisco, Calif., dated Aug 2, 1971.)

… (O)ne of the great false assumptions that plagues almost all orthodox cancer research today (is) the assumption that cancer cells are foreign to the body. Quite to the contrary, they are a vital part of the life cycle (pregnancy and healing). Consequently, nature has provided them with a highly effective means of avoiding the white blood cells.

One of the characteristics of the trophoblast is that it is surrounded by a thin protein coating that carries a negative electrostatic charge. In technical terms this is called the pericellular sialomucin (italized in original text) coat. The white blood cells also carry a negative charge. And since similar polarities repel, the trophoblast is well protected. The blocking factor, so-called, is nothing more than a cellular electro-magnetic field.

Part of nature’s solution to this problem, as pointed out by Dr John Beard in 1905, is found in the ten or more pancreatic enzymes, of which trypsin and chymotrypsin are especially important in trophoblast destruction. These enzymes exist in their inactive form (as zymogens) in the pancreas gland. Only after they reach the small intestines are they converted to their active form. (G. Edward Griffin, World Without Cancer, pp. 89-90)

Basically … cancer is not caused by some strange invading force from outside the body, but rather by malfunctions of normal mechanisms solely within the body itself. These malfunctions are the result of a deficiency in a chemical substance found in certain foods and of a deficiency in certain enzymes produced in the pancreas. The natural chemical food factor is known as nitriloside, or vitamin B17, and the pancreatic enzymes are known as the trypsins.

Vitamin B17 is a cyanide-containing compound that gives up its cyanide only in the presence of an enzyme group called beta glucosidase. But the miracle of nature is that this enzyme group is found to any appreciable extent only (bold mine) in cancer tissue. When it is found elsewhere, it always is accompanied by greater quantities of another enzyme called rhodanase, which has the capacity to convert the cyanide immediately into completely harmless substances.

But nature’s mechanism will not work if one fails to eat the foods that contain this necessary vitamins, which is exactly what has happened to modern man, whose food supply has become further and further removed from the natural state. [Emphasis mine]

The enzyme factor is equally important, and it is probable that it and the food factor were intended to work together. Basically what happens is this. The enzyme trypsinogen is converted to trypsin, and there along with chymotrypsin, is utilized in the digestion of animal protein. The surplus is absorbed into the blood stream and serves to digest or dissolve the protein covering that protects the cancer cells from the attack of the body’s white blood cells. Once this is done, the white cells move in on the cancer cells and destroy them just as if they were foreign invaders to the body. But, once again, if the pancreas is weak, or if it is “exhausted” by metabolizing too much sugar, or if the diet contains too much animal protein, then the enzyme is deficient for the job nature has cut out for it. (Dr. John A. Richardson, Laetrile Case Histories: The Richardson Cancer Clinic Experience, p. 6.)

The point is that a combination of enzymes, vitamin supplements, and a modified diet are the nutritional remedies necessary to address not only the deficiencies which brought about the malignancy but also assist the body in rebuilding a damaged body, and regain health and wellness.

It has been heartening to note that, where there used to be blind obedience to whatever is ordered/advised by their health professionals, cancer victims and their families, are now more apt to ask questions, expect answers, and seek/research for further information, concerned as to the how and wherefores of advised treatment. I am confident that, slowly but surely, public awareness will eventually break the hold of ‘scientific arrogance and political vested interests’ prayed for by G Edward Griffin in his book World Without Cancer.


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