Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Protein 2

Presto at  Six Weeks, 7/1989
The first one in our family to take proteolytic enzymes was Presto, our late and much-loved cat.  Presto was a barn cat from Ellettsville, the next town west of Bloomington.  Our friend who owned the barn said that we should take him even though he was only six weeks old because his mother wasn’t feeding him enough.   When we got to the barn the other kittens ran away but Presto came right over to us.  He was so tiny and thin I was not sure he would ever be healthy but we took him anyway. 

As a kitten Presto was friendly and playful but he got sick a lot.  In adulthood he was mostly healthy until about age 10 when his condition started to fall off a bit.  The vet recommended that he take Pancreaved (now Pancreazyme), a pancreatic enzyme that would help him to digest protein, which is sometimes a problem for older cats.  After taking it for a couple of months Presto looked like a different cat.  His coat, which had always been a bit skimpy, became thick and shiny and he had more energy.  He lived to the ripe old age of 17.

Several years back my husband and I used to play racquetball.  One day while we were playing I pivoted sharply and my shoe stuck to the floor.  Instant agony! Nothing was torn or broken but something below my right knee was severely pulled.  It was bad enough that I walked with a cane for the first week or so.  I didn’t go to a doctor because I already knew what I’d hear:  rest, ice it, and take an anti-inflammatory.  I did get acupuncture right away which probably helped to cut down the swelling.  I also looked in the supplement section of our local food co-op for something that might help.  A man I’d never seen before said, “I’ve heard that these are pretty good.” 

That was my first introduction to Wobenzym, a proteolytic enzyme supplement invented in Germany in 1960 and used by German athletes like Boris Becker and Steffi Graf to help in healing injuries.  I began taking it and got better quickly.  When we started playing racquetball again I noticed that I was running faster and hitting the ball harder.  “This is good stuff – you should take it too,” I told my husband.  These days we each take four a day, in the morning because it can keep you awake if you take it at night.  When I do get an injury I find that it goes away in a day or two.

I believe that, like Presto, I had trouble digesting protein.  When I started exercising more in the early 2000’s I would go as fast as I could on the cross trainer and not break a sweat; my heart rate stayed around 125 bpm.  I think my muscles simply weren’t strong enough to do anything more.  Between the protein supplement and the Wobenzym I’m now the strongest I’ve ever been in my life at age 65.  These days I average 138 bpm and I’m soaked by the time I finish.

Here is the reasoning: 

In order to be in shape you need to get a good workout.
In order to get a good workout you need to have strong muscles.
In order to have strong muscles you need to get enough protein.
In order to get enough protein you need to have enough of the right enzymes to digest it.

Presto at 14 Years, 05/2003

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