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Edward Howell Enzyme Nutrition (1985)

(Outline Book Discussion)

Chapter 1

Introduction to Enzyme Nutrition

Howell introduces some new concepts and terminology in the Chapter 1, including the Food Enzyme
Concept, the Food Enzyme Stomach, and begins to lay some groundwork for two competing theories
of enzyme activity. These two competing theories are The Theory of Parallel Enzyme Secretion (1904)
and The Law of Adaptive Secretion of Digestive Enzymes (1943), the history of which is a central theme
to Chapter 4.
Most interesting in Chapter 1 is the research Howell presents about the pH level of stomach acid with
respect to enzymes. The long held theory that food enzymes are rendered useless by the low pH of
stomach acid is severely challenged by this research. It may also be interesting to note that this belief in
the stomach acid-destroying-enzyme theory is the #1 reason cited by those I have spoken with who argue
against the use of raw food and food enzymes for therapeutic purposes (and these people are usually
trained in biology/chemistry)
Chapter 2

Food Enzymes Add Life

Chapter 2 deals with the concepts of heat and enzymes. Howells theories challenge traditional science
and their views of enzymes only within the language of the chemistry field. Howell proposes that
enzymes need to be understood on the biological level as well, which may explain their medicinal
properties a little better.
Chapter 3

The Private Lives of Enzymes

Chapter 3 shows how enzymes function in the body. Howell details this history, a fairly recent one (as
early as 1928) and chooses to focus on 3 main enzymes the human body deals with:
Lipase (breaks down fat)
Protease (breaks down protein)
Amylase (breaks down carbohydrates/starches)
The concept of pre-digestion is discussed extensively, and this very concept is what separates ingestion
of cooked food versus raw food and its effect on the human body. Without this concept of pre-digestion in
humans (as well as animals), the raw food theories and their benefits would be rendered invalid.
Chapter 4

Two Important Discoveries

Chapter 4, imo, highlights the book. Howell tracks a portion of anatomy called the Food Enzyme
Stomach and the displays the physiologists who confirm its existence. The comparative physiology of
the food enzyme stomach in cows, birds, whales, and humans show how wild animals and humans are
alike in their digestive functions. Taking a raw food diet away from these life forms would negate the
similarities and purposes of a Food Enzyme Stomach for all creatures.

Howell also compares the Theory of Parallel Enzyme Secretion (1904) by B.P. Babkin and its apparent
grapple on science. Babkins theory stated that the body secretes enzymes in equal and parallel
amounts, regardless of the necessity of a particular enzyme. For example, if one was to eat a protein
heavy meal, one would expect only Protease to be secreted. Babkins theory would argue that not only
Protease would be secreted, by also Lipase and Amylase (breaks down fats and carbds, respectively) in
equal amounts to the Protease.
The evidence at hand, instead, supports the Law of Adaptive Secretion of Enzymes (1943) by Professor
Grossman (et. al), which states that the body only secretes the necessary enzymes for the particular food it
is consuming. The original theory by Babkin gave the impression that enzymes are some trivial
commodity that can be used up at will. Babkin was still defending this theory in his writings as late as
1935, while Howell shows that evidence debunking it had been fairly prolific since 1907. Howell even
We can say that this acceptance of a false doctrine for so many years is
a tragedy, an unpardonable oversight by science. I would say it set back
acceptance of the philosophy of enzyme nutrition 50 years, for the
Theory of Parallel Secretion encouraged the idea that enzymes are
expendable, that the body can waste them with impunity, and that they
are utterly unimportant. A more fictitious chain of contradictions is hard
to imagine(p. 65)
Some very eye-opening facts in this chapter.
Chapter 5

The Fatal Process

In Chapter 5, Howell relies on some very fascinating numbers in this chapter to address decreases in brain
size with cooked food diets (which contradicts the facts usually accepted by science). The other numbers
that are used to show the relative size of the pancreas (ie- the enzyme factory) with the raw food versus
cooked food diets displays that enzymes are wasted by this constant reliance on the body to digest food.
After this, the chapter tends to shift direction (and lose focus, imo) with sections on sugar consumption
and food irradiation. Both of these items are important, but perhaps could have benefited by being
included elsewhere in the book.
Chapters 6 - 9 A Multitude of Facts About Enzymes
The most notable discussion for the rest of the book is the detailing of the raw milk diet before the
pasteurization laws kicked in, which you will find in the early part of Chapter 6. The rest of the book is
very informative, yet it deals with the hows and whys of raw food found in many other books that
have been written on the topic. The discussion on either May 23 rd, 24th, and 25th (all 3 days will be the
same discussion) will deal mainly with Chapters 1 through 5, with a brief overview of other areas of the
Other topics in this book include enzyme supplements (Chapter 6), weight loss and enzymes (Chapter 6),
details about enzyme inhibitors (Chapter 7), fasting (Chapter 8), disease and enzyme therapy (Chapter 8),
and reducing heart disease with the fat digesting enzyme Lipase (Chapter 9).