Digestion by Design: Part 6

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By Melanie Stewart

It’s time to meet the Dream Team! Let me introduce the Small Intestine, responsible for absorbing precious nutrients, and his good friend King Pancreas, creator of vital enzymes that release those nutrient gems. As food leaves the stomach, it enters the small intestine and the conversation between the two begins. This is also where your pancreas would like you to remember that you are not a chicken. A chicken has three pancreatic ducts, one for each enzyme. (Protease for protein, Amylase for Starch and Lipase for fat) You, on the other hand, have only one.This means the pancreas must make a choice. The dominate food dictates the dominate enzyme.

In a perfect world, the conversation would go something like this: King Pancreas inquires what food has arrived. The small intestine replies, “An apple, a LIVE enzyme-active food that began breaking down in the mouth because it was chewed so thoroughly, liquefied briefly in the stomach because it wasn’t held up by any other foods, and still contains enzymes to support your contribution; just a dash of amylase, please.” Or, maybe it’s a salad with grilled chicken, the dominant food being protein so, “… hit me up with some Protease, we got a little fat in the dressing. So, a bit of lipase please and a nice variety of LIVE lettuces and other veggies that have pretty much digested themselves, so just a dash of amylase.”

As your food is processed in this perfect internal world, the nutrients are extracted and transported via a separate route to your liver, where they will be biochemically processed and distributed to your cells. The balance of the chyme (liquefied food) works its way to the large intestine, or colon.

More commonly, the conversation goes like this:
King Pancreas: What have you got?
Small Intestine: I don’t know! I can’t really tell… it’s all fermented and putrefied and I can’t tell which food is dominant!

Now enzyme secretion by the pancreas is perturbed.He’s fussing at the small intestine, the small intestine is frustrated and they both shout back to the stomach, “What’s going on??” To which the stomach replies, “Don’t blame me! I’m Switzerland. They neutralized me!!”
Now the imperfectly digested remains travel with difficulty through the digestive tract. We have this highly sophisticated machinery of enzyme activity, hormonal feedback, and nutrient absorption which is now compromised. The balance of the intestinal flora is disturbed as bad bacteria multiply and helpful bacteria are discouraged. In time, the intestinal wall can become porous, what we call leaky gut syndrome, allowing bacteria, fungus and undigested food particles direct access to the bloodstream. This can initiate an immune response that may lead to food allergies, skin rashes and even autoimmune disorders. Any available nutrients are sent to the liver, along with plenty of toxic materials, to be biochemically processed and distributed, stored, or eliminated.

A DEAD food dominated and ill-combined diet puts a lot of stress on the King! It wasn’t designed to be used ALL day EVERY day breaking down these modern convenience foods. As a result, enzyme production can weaken, compromising food breakdown and access to all those vital nutrients.

King Pancreas would really like if we would follow our simple rules and eat more LIVE, enzyme active and well-combined meals, so that he can take a bit of a break! He is even willing to sound the alarm, typically in the form of acid indigestion or heartburn! Sadly, the most common response to symptoms is suppression. Rather than honoring the warning, we pop a little purple pill, drink some seltzer or chew an antacid, effectively muting the King.
From a holistic perspective: King Pancreas is your greatest cancer prevention organ. As King, it will demand energy as needed to produce the enzymes that break down the food to access the nutrients needed to keep you alive. And if that means stealing energy from others, so be it! On the other hand, by choosing a well-combined, LIVE food dominated diet, full of enzyme rich foods, the workload is reduced. This frees up energy for your immune system, enabling it to better hunt down and destroy pathogens before they can do permanent damage, including cancer cells.

Melanie Stewart has written 2 books for children (Yum Tum, Good Food is Fun! and Yum Tum, We Get it Done!) and one for adults (Yum Tum For Everyone!) all available on Amazon or at: https://www.yumtumnutrition.com/ All content is commentary or opinion and is protected under Free Speech laws. It’s not meant to give individual medical advice or to make any health claims on the prevention or curing of diseases.