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Table of Contents > Alternative Modalities > Enzyme therapy Print

Enzyme therapy

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Related terms
Background
Theory/evidence
Safety
Author information
Bibliography
Technique
Dosing/interactions

Related Terms
  • Adequate protein diet, Barry Sears, carbohydrate, diet, fat, low carbohydrate diet, protein.

Background
  • The Zone diet is an unproven dietary regime, which has been popularized by Dr. Barry Sears through sales of his 1995 book, The Zone. Despite claims made in the book, there is little available research to support its overall benefit.
  • The Zone diet is a calorie-restricted diet that provides adequate protein, moderate levels of carbohydrates, essential fats and micronutrients spread through three meals and two snacks that approximately maintain the protein-to-carbohydrate ratio throughout the day.
  • Proponents believe that the Zone diet promotes optimal metabolic efficiency in the body by balancing the hormones insulin and glucagon. Insulin is responsible for converting, in the blood, incoming nutrients into cells. Glucagon regulates glucose in the liver. Overall, the Zone's food plan consists of a dietary intake of 40% carbohydrates, 30% protein and 30% fat.
  • Under this diet, recommended foods include fruits and vegetables (fresh or frozen), oatmeal (whole grain), protein powder (e.g. soybean isolate), chicken, turkey, lean beef, fish, low-fat cottage cheese, soy food, nuts (e.g. almonds, cashews, macademia, pistachios), extra virgin olive oil, natural sweeteners, such as fructose or stevia.

Theory / Evidence
  • Recent research seems to indicate that a low total caloric intake is associated with longer life expectancy. Based on animal studies, animals eating calorie-restricted diets may live 1.5 to 2 times as long as animals eating high-calorie diets. Theoretically, similar effects may occur in humans. The caloric restriction recommended by the Zone diet is below that of the average American and may be of benefit in weight loss and if maintained over decades in increasing life expectancy. On the other hand, athletes in training will likely suffer from decreased performance if restricted to the low calorie diet recommended by the Zone.
  • Despite proposed benefits, currently there are no high quality clinical trials available about the Zone diet or similar diets consisting of the recommended 40% carbohydrates, 30% fat, and 30% protein. The Zone diet is quite complex in terms of caloric restriction, ratio of carbohydrates/protein//fat, spacing of meals, preferential intake of certain fats, and avoidance or inclusion of a few specific foods.

Safety




Author information
  • This information has been edited and peer-reviewed by contributors to the Natural Standard Research Collaboration (www.naturalstandard.com).

Bibliography
  1. Cheuvront SN. The zone diet and athletic performance. Sports Med. 1999;27(4):213-228.
  2. Natural Standard: The Authority on Integrative Medicine.
  3. Sears B. The Zone Diet and athletic performance. Sports Med. 2000;29(4):289-294.

Technique
  • Zero Balancing is different from other types of bodywork because it focuses on both body structure and energy flow at the same time.
  • During zero balancing, the client fully dressed. With the client seated, the practitioner first evaluates the torso. Then the patient lies in a supine position on a padded table, similar to those used for massage and physical therapy. The touch used during zero balancing is called "interface," and has been described by clients as pleasing, gentle, and relaxing.
  • During a session, the practitioner works on finding places where energy fields may be obstructed or otherwise disrupted. Zero balancer practitioners pay particular attention to the skeleton, which they believe holds most of the body's energy. Their practice focuses much attention on the spine, shoulder blades, pelvis, hips, sacro-iliac joints, legs and feet, as they systematically travel up the body. After treating the upper body, the practitioner usually progresses again to the lower body for a final look.
  • Practitioners use a technique called fulcrum, which involves using the arms and hands in a specific geometry to help access energy fields and bring the skeleton and joints into balance. Clients generally feel the touch as lifting, bending, pushing, pulling, sliding, and rotating.
  • One session usually takes 30-40 minutes. Practitioners typically recommend at least three sessions, followed up with regular maintenance visits every 2-4 weeks. Zero balancing sessions range from $50 to $100 each.
  • Certification is available for healthcare professionals who complete a combination of education and practice with the Zero Balancing Health Association (ZBHA).

Dosing/interactions
  • A health professional should always be consulted before starting enzyme therapy. Enzyme therapy may have harmful interactions with other drugs or supplements.
  • Bromelain: Interactions have been noted with some antibiotics, blood pressure drugs, anti-cancer drugs, drugs that increase the risk of bleeding (like aspirin, anticoagulants or warfarin (Coumadin®)), anti-platelet drugs (like clopidogrel (Plavix®)), antidepressants, alcohol, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen (Motrin® or Advil®) or naproxen (Naprosyn® or Aleve®), narcotics (like codeine), potato protein, soybeans, and herbs or supplements with similar effects.
  • Human studies suggest that bromelain may increase the absorption of some antibiotics, notably amoxicillin and tetracycline, and increase levels of these drugs in the body. Bromelain may increase the actions of the chemotherapy (anti-cancer) drugs 5-fluorouracil and vincristine, although reliable scientific research in this area is lacking. In theory, use of bromelain with blood pressure medications in the "ACE inhibitor" class such as captopril (Capoten®) or lisinopril (Zestril®) may cause larger drops in blood pressure than expected.
  • A typical dose for adults (18 years and older) is 80-1000 milligram tablets up to three times daily. Dosing for children is not determined. There is not enough scientific research to recommend safe use of bromelain in children.
  • Some experts suggest that bromelain may cause drowsiness or sedation, and may increase the amount of drowsiness caused by some drugs. Examples include benzodiazepines such as lorazepam (Ativan®) or diazepam (Valium®), barbiturates such as phenobarbital, narcotics such as codeine, some antidepressants, and alcohol. Caution is advised while driving or operating machinery.
  • Trypsin: According to current available literature, there are no well-documented interactions. However, this does not mean there are no associated risks. Oral dosage in the combination product Phlogenzym®, which contains rutin 100mg, trypsin 48mg, and bromelain 90mg, has been given as two tablets three times daily for osteoarthritis.
  • Chymotrypsin: This enzyme is contraindicated in ocular surgery cases involving congenital cataracts, high vitreous pressure and a gaping incisional wound, or if the patient is twenty years old or younger. Oral dosages in a 6:1 ratio (trypsin: chymostrypsin) in a combined amount of 100,000 units USP four times daily has been used to treat inflammation, edema, and respiratory secretions. The same ratio of 200,000 units USP has been used four times daily for ten days to treat burns.

Copyright © 2011 Natural Standard (www.naturalstandard.com)


The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.

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