Dear Vega Community members,
while reading "THRIVE - The Vegan Nutrition Guide" I found it rather astonishing to read about positive effects of digestive enzymes which are present in raw foods. I don't doubt that those enzymes definitely exist (plants also need to digest in some way)!
But as a student of Molecular Medicine I know that 90% of all nutrients are absorbed in the small intestine, but before food (or, infact, the thyme) can get there it passes the stomach. In the stomach there is a very low (i.e. acidic) pH, which means that most proteins and enzymes (which are proteins!) that are not in some way guarded from that hostile environment will be denaturated i.e. destroyed; thus they are non-functional when leaving the stomach (and entering the small intestine).
There are (human-made) proteins that actually can retain their function in the stomach. For example I can think of the protein-digesting enzyme Pepsin. But Pepsin is denaturated when it leaves acidic environments (at pH>5).
So enzymes that are (by theory) said to help in digestion (and to do so for at least moderate result they have to work in the small intestine, s.a.) cannot pass the stomach in their natural and functional state and then work in the small intestine with a more moderate pH (~ 5-8).
Do you have any explanations for Brendan's theory (and actual results on himself and maybe you?) of digestive enzymes?
Thanks for your answers!
~Stefan aka TK