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Q. I recently read the following on Dr. Micahel Eades' (dr. protein power) blog & would appreciate your opinion:

Have you any comments on the RAW FOOD movement and particularly Dr. Cousens claim of a ?cure ?

Dr. Eades' response:

I don t know anything about Dr. Cousens. I do know that people in the raw food movement seem to believe the raw foods deliver ?natural? enzymes unaltered by cooking to the GI tract to help it do its work. Problem is these ?natural? enzymes are made of protein and are denatured (the same alteration process as cooking does with heat) as soon as they hit the stomach acid. The fact that proteins can t make it through the stomach without being completely altered is why diabetics can t take insulin pills and have to get their insulin via injection. Insulin is a protein, just as enzymes are, and it can t make it through the stomach without being denatured.

Thanks so much! I love your blog & have learned so much from you over the past 4 months of being raw.


A. Thanks for your email, K.M. When I was first learning about raw foods many years ago, all of the literature said that enzymes were the reason to eat raw foods. Most claimed (and still claim) that by not heating foods, enzymes were intact and therefore the human body didn't have to use as many of its own enzymes to break down the foods. It made a lot of sense. The living enzymes were helping my body and I was reaping the benefits of better digestion and increased energy.

A few years ago, however, I started to read opposing thoughts on the enzyme "fact." Some were now claiming that the enzymes in living foods never make it past the stomach to do any good in the body, just as Dr. Eades is claiming in your quote, above.

What ! I was confused. How come just about everyone was saying that enzymes were the reason for raw foodists' health if that wasn't really the case? Could the backbone of reasoning behind consuming a raw food diet be collapsing? I did a lot of research on it, wanting to find out the truth. As with most health information, there is enough information against something as there is for it. It was frustrating. I wanted to know the truth!

Then I found peace about the whole issue, and here's why: on a raw food diet my body has healed (and continues to heal) from all kinds of health problems. No other way of eating ever healed my body like this. Nothing, absolutely NOTHING---not even doctor-prescribed medications---gave me health. Not until I began eating a living, raw food diet did my body begin to heal!

Was it the enzymes in the raw foods that allowed my body to heal? I have no idea---and it no longer matters to me! We can observe, study, and experiment as much as we want in order to find and understand every possible bit of knowledge about the body and health. When it comes right down to it, however, as much as we learn it's near impossible to ever fully understand everything completely.Some things are obviously true, however, no matter how much we understand the hows and whys of those things.

The truth about a raw food diet is as plain as can be: Those consuming a living, raw food diet regain health and vitality. It's not a fluke---it's happening all over the world. People are regaining health and youthfulness by consuming raw foods. We may not now, or ever, fully understand why raw foods are allowing our bodies to heal and thrive---but, it doesn't change the fact that it's happening. People's bodies are healing on a raw food diet!

It's one of our goals here at Pure Jeevan to collect inspiring stories of raw food healing through our My Raw Story series. When there is so much evidence of healing and health, regardless of the scientific facts of how and why it's happening, the truth will be so obvious it won't matter why it's happening.

So, that's my opinion on the raw food enzyme controversy. Take a look at the My Raw Story series to see proof that the raw food diet does, indeed, aid the body in healing from all kinds of illnesses! If you, or anyone else, has experienced success on a raw food diet, please check out our My Raw Story Guidelines to consider sharing your story with others here on our blog!

Original Comments

Below, we have included the original comments from this blog post. Additional comments may be made via Facebook, below.

On May 6, 2009, RawinCayman wrote:

I agree wholeheartedly! Interestingly, Dr. Young of the very successful pH Miracle program (an alkaline based way of eating high in raw living foods) also does not encourage the whole enzyme idea. He does not even support the consumption of enzyme type supplements (I forget his actual reason for this). However, he also does not subscribe to the whole "stomach is naturally acidic" theory either. He believes that the stomach produces HCL only as a by-product of the sodium bicarbonate the stomach produces to alkalize food! I suspect there is much more to discover about how our bodies really work and I actually enjoy the different theories and seeing which one I'm intuitively drawn to. A diet high in raw and living foods works! Discovering the exact why's and wherefore's may be ongoing for some time, but it makes it all the more interesting I think! Good thing we can put it all into practice without waiting for absolute explanations.

On May 6, 2009, Jim Dee wrote:

Interesting points! I've heard of others with some similar views. If I think of it, for example, I'll dig out my Rawkathon archives and look up some interesting things Dr. Gabriel Cousens had to say regarding enzymes. Plus, I also recently picked up an entire science book about enzymes at a thrift store. I added it to our ever-growing raw foods library here at Pure Jeevan, intending to leaf through it at some point.

BTW, interesting username you have there. Does it mean you're a raw foodie from the Caman Islands? Just curious... :-)

On May 6, 2009, RawinCayman wrote:

Type your comment here.
Hi Jim, Yup... I'm a raw foodie who lives in Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands. I've been dabbling since I discovered it 3 years ago but just this year made it a priority to be consistent with it. It's a bit of a challenge as farming is not big here (not much arable land) and most of our foods are imported (I have to get raw nuts etc shipped), but hey, at least I can get truly organic coconuts almost year round. Not many people here are into raw - I'm part of a community of 2, I think. There could be a few others....I'll change that soon :-)

I read a lot of the raw food sites/blogs and I've got to say I really love Raw Jeevan. Your blogs are always such a good combo of inspiration and information. I really appreciate what you and Wendi are doing. Keep up the great work!!

On May 6, 2009, debbiedoesraw wrote:

Enzymes, hmmm, well I can say that after taking large doses of them on an empty stomach that I did notice some good things happening.. but now I am taking much less. I agree, who cares why we get better, it just ROCKS that we do and that we all feel and look younger every day!
Wendi, we got your card today, so pretty, Sam liked the sparkling pink stones!
love you

On May 7, 2009, RawBin wrote:

I know some will say that the stomach acids will break down the live enzymes before they get into the digestive track. The stomach produces much more acids to breakdown meats and processed foods than if it received a glass of green juice.
I often wondered about this myself until I watched my upper G.I. and then my daughter's upper G.I., where they had us swallow barium in front of an x-ray camera. You could see it travel down as we swallowed. It hit the stomach and immediately began to filter out the bottom of the stomach into the intestine. This took only seconds! Yes, the stomach acids may alter some of your enzymes, but certainly not all of them.

On May 7, 2009, KimLin wrote:

There is some interesting info on Jon Barron's site. It's a three-part article on enzymes that may be helpful to those wanting more info. Here's the link to the first one