Lipase a digestive enzyme - are you deficient?

Lipase is the enzyme responsible for the digestion of fats.

When I visited Chris Carter who ran a scan on me using the Asyra system, one of the identified problems was gall bladder imbalance and a lipase deficiency

I always take digestive enzymes but could not understand why I was still bloated. Do we need them? Yes, especially if you eat cooked foods as they no longer have enzymes once they are cooked. Enzymes are destroyed by cooking.

Those of us suffering from hypothyroidism especially need digestive enzymes as we are usually low in stomach acid (betaine hydrochloride) and many digestive enzyme products such as Viridian, actually contain betaine hydrochloride.

However, I was finding that some brands did not agree with me. Lipase was the main enzyme I was lacking and not the others.

Digestive enzymes all have different jobs.

Protease digests protein, Lipase fats, Amylase carbohydrates.

In her book, "You are What You Eat" Gillian McKeith states that eating certain foods together can cause digestive upsets and this is purely because they requires different enzmes to digest them. Fruit uses different enzmes and so do vegetables. Combining food reduces the effect of enzymes and they can interact with each other.

Eating protein and carbohydrate together will usually result in bloating and digestive upset. (I will cover this on a seperate page)

Fats require a special digestive process. Lipase is the primary digestant used to split fats into fatty acids and glycerol. Bile breaks down the large fat molecule to tiny droplets which provide lipase with an enormously increased surface to work on. This action takes place in the small intestine and the lipase involved here is a part of the pancreatic secretion.

Lipase deficiency usually causes high cholesterol, high triglycerides, difficulty losing weight and diabetes or a tendency towards glucosuria (sugar in the urine without symptoms of diabetes).

Lipase requires the co-enzyme chloride, so those who are lipase deficient have a tendency towards hyphochlorhydria (low chlorides in their electrolyte balance)

Those who are intolerant of fats would benefit from lipase supplementation as would those who are lipase deficient.

Those who are deficient have reduced cell permeability.This means that nutrients cannot get in and the waste cannot get out. An example of this is diabetics who are lipase deficient and cannot get glucose into their cells but wastes or unwanted substances can not also get out. Those with "hidden viruses" and diagnosed with "Chronic Fatigue Syndrome" also fall into this category.

Lipase has vast importance for our health, not just because of the commonly recognized diseases of fat metabolism such as obesity and being underweight, cardiovascular disease,diabetes, strokes and degenerative muscle diseases, but also for skin problems, autoimmune diseases, cancer, degenerative diseases of the brain and nervous system, and also for rejuvenation and regeneration in general.

Fats, oils and related fat-soluble vitamins and other biochemicals, such as lecithin and cholesterol, are called lipids. The majority of our brain, nerves and cell membranes are made up of lipids.

Lipase plays a major role in optimal cell permeability, allowing nutrients to flow in and out.

Lipase is not only needed to digest and absorb lipids from food, but also for the internal use of them.

The majority of our digestive lipase is released by the pancreas, another endocrine organ which also plays a key role in the digestive process.

Lipase can only do its job when bile has emulsified the lipids from our food. Taurine is a major componenet of bile and a deficiency of lipase, taurine or lecithin can lead to a reduction or lack of bile which in turn will cause the formation of gallstones from cholesterol.

At this stage, liver problems can occur as well as malabsorption. It is beneficial to those with liver disease or those who have had their gallbladder removed to add lecithin and lipase to their food to avoid deficiencies of essential lipids.

A sensitivity to gluten also causes malabsorption of nutrients and lipids. Gluten inflames the gut wall erasing the absorption villi and therefore reducing its absorption surface. Fat malabsorption is called steatorrhea. Stools become fatty, bulky and smelly that frequently stick to the side of the toilet bowel. The worse this is, the higher the fat content. The fat has become insoluable and causes chronic mineral deficiencies, essential fatty acid deficiencies as well as deficiencies of fat-soluble vitamins.

Aging causes pancreatic lipase reduction. The combination of declining lipase production, reduced bile flow, reduced intestinal absorption surface, and food high in fat leads to lipid deficiencies, especially fat-soluble vitamins, phospholipids and essential omega-3-fatty acids.

This, then escalates to cause the development of degenerative diseases. Mineral deficiency in the presence of an adequate diet is usually due to poor production of gastric acid, fat malabsorption, or a combination of both.

Those with thyroid disease commonly suffer with digestive disorders due to the slowing down process. Combined with the above, we are at higher risk of developing severe problems.

The liver also produces its own lipase, so with so much lipase action within the body, it is easy to see how important this enzyme is in maintaining the smooth running of the body and optimal health.

With a deficiency of lipase in the liver, we can develope degenerative fatty liver disease and likewise if there is not enough in the blood, our blood vessels will clog.

So you can see that lipase deficiency will eventually lead to high cholesterol (common in hypothyroidism) and cardiovascular disease as well as high triglycerides.

This may then cause liver and spleen enlargement, inflammation of the pancreas or chronic pancreatitis, fatty deposits, fatty tumors or lipomas under the skin, deposits in the retina white inner eyelids, yellow-brown skin patches, inflammatory skin and muscle diseases, chronic muscle pain, spasms and cramps, varicose veins and fragile arteries, lack of energy.

Also the early formation of an arcus senilis – a bluish-white opaque arc in the top part of the iris, which may later become a full ring around the iris is indicative of this.

Lipase deficiency can also cause aging of the skin, auto-immune disease, Alzheimer’s disease, arteriosclerosis and atherosclerosis, some cancers, cardiovascular disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, cystic fibrosis, dementia, depression, diabetes, eye diseases, fibromyalgia, lateral sclerosis (A.L.S.), liver diseases, malabsorption, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, obesity, pancreatitis, Parkinson’s disease, psoriasis, Raynaud’s disease, stroke, and vertigo (labrynthis or Meniere's Disease).

Doctors usually recommend a low fat diet for elevated triglycerides and cholesterol or hand out medication in the form of statins, but this is not the answer as we become depleted in essential fatty acids and the problem is still not solved, only the symptoms.

Those with an efficient metabolism can easily gain or lose weight. When the metabolism becomes inefficient, as in hypothyroidism, we have difficulty either gaining or losing weight. However, correcting lipase deficiency may help us.

To solve the problem we either need to ensure a good intake of good oils such as flaxseed, evening primrose, hemp seed oil etc and/or take lipase supplements as well as reducing the consumption of carbohydrates.

Eat plenty of salads and use good oils as dressings. Eating high calorie and high carbohydrate meals late at night will only result in increase fat build up.

In addition to lipase, other nutrients are L-carnitine, co-enzyme Q10, choline or lecithin, inositol, methionine, and vitamin B3 (niacin and niacinamide). TMG is another. Additionally, fat burning can be further accelerated by taking warm water with lemon juice, grapefruit juice or cider vinegar before meals. Warm water first thing in the morning activates the bowel.

Lipase is destroyed by heating over 40 to 45ºC. So to improve fat metabolism, we need to increase intake of raw, unheated and unrefined fats and oils. As stated before, raw food intake is best because it contains digestive enzymes naturally and cooking destroys these enzymes and therefore lipase.

Consume more products such as capra mineral whey. Pasturisation affects lipase content in milk products.

Also, rather than consume Avocado oil, eat the avocado itself which contains lipase (the oil does not) and the same goes for olive oil and cocnut oil.

It is actually quite difficult to obtain lipase from food so if you buy supplements, open the capsule and pour into juice and add some fish oil or flaxseed oil and disperse by mixing with a whisk or spoon to break up the oil (emulsify) so aid digestion.

The amount of lipase you use will depend on what you are eating, so use more if the meal is higher fat content.

To be continued.