Emily’s Vitiligo- part 11
Ever since we heard about the new pseudo-catalase treatment being tested in Europe, I had wondered about taking a dietary enzyme supplement. So we went ahead and added that to the regime, 6-25-96. My theory is that if the skin needs catalase to repigment, the body must be robbing the skin for some other need. This might be an over-simplification but we are willing to try it. We use a product that has 150 Units of catalase. It is called Power Enzyme Complex and it is made by New Spirit Naturals. You can order it from at 1-800-922-2766, tell them I sent you and my products will be cheaper in the future. This is a vegetarian product; we actually started with a non-vegetarian brand and have now switched over. We started at 1 capsule per day and are now using 2 per day.
We only used the catalase for about a year, and then we stopped using it, in an effort to reduce the supplements she takes. If we start losing ground we will try this again.
There are many thousands of different enzymes in our bodies and in the raw foods that we eat each day. The enzymes in our foods aid digestion. Enzymes are specific protein catalysts; they actually speed up the process of breaking down the food.
One of the guys I work with (Glenn Strickland) said it this way:
If the food you eat is over processed, it will be devoid of enzymes. The purpose of these enzymes is to help digest the food that you eat. You body will rob your immune system of its enzymes, to help breakdown the enzyme lacking food.
Your immune system uses enzymes to breakdown the toxins it finds in your body. The cells of the immune system carry enzymes with them.
Foods That Contain Catalase
1. Enzyme Nutrition by Edward Howell, page 35.
2. Food Enzymes by Humbart Santillo, page 12.
Another good book on enzymes is, Enzymes The Fountain of Life by D.A. Lopez, MD. It goes in depth into the process of how large enzyme molecules are absorbed when taken orally.
The following is information on how to find out if a food contains catalase, from Albert R Gordon, Jul. 2, 1997.
Although animal liver is often used as a source of catalase for laboratory experiments, you will find catalase in most plant species. I recall reading reviews many years ago that outlined specific plant species that have large amounts, but I do not recall the sources (I’d check the Annual Review of Biochemistry). There are several books out also but these may be quite dated by now.
You can easily test for the presence of catalase in a plant by using 3% hydrogen peroxide in a beaker and dropping a small chuck of plant with cut sides into the beaker. The evolution of bubbles (oxygen) is indicative of catalase activity. Fleshy stems and leaves will rise to the surface.
Plants that do not have large amounts of catalase usually have large amounts of a related enzyme called peroxidase. Peroxidase breaks down hydrogen peroxide using an electron donor that is oxidized in the process. Catalase tends to work best at higher hydrogen peroxide concentrations whereas peroxidase is most efficient at lower hydrogen peroxide concentrations.
This shows that plants in general contain either catalase or peroxidase, which break down hydrogen peroxide. If the excess hydrogen peroxide in the skin is causing the breakdown of melanin or inactivation of the melanocytes then plants may be the protectors of these cells. Adding more plant foods and reducing animal proteins may in fact allow the melanocytes to perform their intended function.
Sugar Cane also contains tyrosinase, an enzyme important in the production of melanin. We have been eating evaporated cane juice since we went on a health food diet. The brand we use is called Sucanat. (Sucanat North American Corporation, 26 Clinton Drive #117, Hollis, NH 03049 USA) Remember that enzymes are destroyed at about 120 degrees F, so you should eat raw foods to get them in your diet. Unfortunately Sucanat confirmed to me that they do heat the juice to above 120 degrees F.
I am concerned about the direction we are taking with food processing in this country. We are all concerned about food borne pathogens like the new strains of E-Coli and Salmonella. The problem I see is that we are looking towards the quick fix instead of addressing the root of the problem. Many of us are ready to embrace irradiation of our foods to eliminate the pathogens. The concern is that the pathogens are not the only things affected by irradiation. Irradiation destroys the enzymes in the food as well. As I have found from the available literature, these enzymes are important in a long and healthy life. The real fix to the pathogen problem is a conversion from factory farming of livestock towards buying more locally grown, organically produced vegetable, grains, fruits and legumes. We are creating the problem by our own demand for animal products, with the huge demand come huge amounts of manure. The more we purchase animal products, the more antibiotics are used for bio-security. The more antibiotics used, the more virulent forms of bacteria are grown. So with each dollar we spend, we can vote to have more locally grown, organic produce and fewer factory farmed animal products. Creating less manure and causing fewer problems with bacteria and pollution from runoff.
I have also read that as we age our ability to produce hydrochloric acid in our stomach is reduced. This is called achlorhydria. The same source talked about a doctor that cured his vitiligo with these supplements. There is a test a doctor can perform to check for this condition. It requires dropping a radio transmitter into your stomach, with a string attached. The acid levels are measured and transmitted back to a recording device. For more information on the low stomach acid test follow this link. There are HCL supplements you can buy; a company called Freeda’s makes a vegetarian tablet. We have not tried this, as Emily is still very young.
Permanent Goosebumps and Carrots
Emily has been getting “permanent Goosebumps” lately. We just give her a carrot a day and this seems to keep them under control. Vitamin A is known to be good for Permanent Goosebumps (I learned this from Dr. Williams he publishes a newsletter called Alternatives) and beta-carotene from carrots is a precursor to vitamin A. Our bodies can make vitamin A from beta carotene. Permanent Goosebumps are little bumps that Emily and I get when we haven’t had enough beta-carotene. They look and externally feel much like regular Goosebumps but don’t go away, unless of course I eat or juice a carrot. I say externally feel because you don’t actually get the tingling up the spine feeling, of real Goosebumps. I think that in certain areas of the skin that this occurs, the waste products that the skin is trying to eliminate are not able to make their way out.
I would suggest staying away from vitamin A supplements; I feel that carrots and carrot juice are the appropriate way to get beta-carotene (precursor to vitamin A). Other sources are sweet potato, winter squash, pumpkins, mango, apricots, papaya and cantaloupe. Food sources are better than beta-carotene supplements as foods have other important carotenoids. Carotenoids are powerful antioxidants.
This problem has seemed to disappear over time, or maybe we just eat enough carrots now.
Skin Conditioner and Pine Tar Soap
We have gotten into the habit of applying a skin conditioner after showering (after reading Neal Barnard’s book, Eat Right, Live Longer). The one we use is cruelty free and something we picked up at the local food coop, April 1997. It is called Yuzu (Japanese Citrus) Moisturizing Formula and ShiKai makes it.
We have also changed over to castile soap (we get it at our local HFS) from the standard brands we used to buy at the grocery stores.
Soap that we have recently started using contains Pine Tar; it is made by Aubrey Organics. Pine Tar is also called pycnogenol and it is a powerful anti-oxidant, more powerful that vitamin C.