Digestive System

Digestive System

Enzymes are essential for normal metabolism. They are protein catalysts that stimulate and accelerate many of the body’s biological reactions. Thousands are produced naturally and fall into three main categories:

  • metabolic enzymes that build new cells and repair damaged ones in the blood, tissues, and organs
  • enzymes that are found in raw foods
  • digestive enzymes that break down food and help with the absorption of nutrients into the blood, many of which are made in the pancreas.

Enzyme therapy treatment is a vital component of your dog’s bone cancer therapy since a cancer patient has greatly reduced levels of digestive enzymes, the pancreas and digestive tracts are often weak and the immune system will generally show signs of depletion. So, enzyme therapy involves taking a large number of digestive enzyme supplements daily as part of the canine osteosarcoma (K9 OSA) alternative or integrative protocol.

Also known as digestive enzyme therapy, pancreatic enzyme therapy, systemic enzyme therapy, and proteolytic enzyme therapy, high enzyme therapy is part of a multi-prong approach to eliminate cancer from the body. The total program includes diet, immune boosters, nutritional supplements, pain relief, emotional and energy healing, and systemic and environmental detoxification, all of which strengthen the body’s defenses against disease.


Why are digestive enzymes so important?

  • When the food is partially broken down by digestive enzymes in the upper stomach, the demands on the digestive organs and the rest of your dog’s body are greatly reduced since much of the digestive work is already completed.
  • Taking digestive enzymes with food means less sludge in the bloodstream, intestinal tract and colon. Digestive enzymes taken on an empty stomach cleans up the bloodstream and spares the immune system from getting involved in cleaning up the bloodstream. So the “guards” and “maintenance crew” can regain strength, energy, and focus on protection and systemic reparation.
  • Supplementing digestive enzymes not only powers up the immune system and metabolic enzymes, it can remove the protective fibrin coating from cancer cells, allowing white blood cells to identify, attack, and destroy them.


The basic components in a digestive enzyme are:

  • Protease Enzymes. Protease enzymes digest protein. Taking protease enzymes with meals spares the natural pool of protease enzymes circulating in the blood so they can continue to breakdown and eliminate unwanted microorganisms in the bloodstream.
  • Lipase Enzymes. Lipase enzymes taken with a meal, digest dietary fat, relieving the gallbladder, liver and the pancreas, in their production. Lipase enzymes additionally aid in protein absorption from fatty foods such as fish or seeds.

  • Amylase Enzymes. Amylase enzymes helps to break down and assimilate starches and carbohydrates. Supplemental amylase can also help reduce stress.



Excellent Digestive Enzymes and particularly made for pets are:

  • FloraZyme LP. Florazyme LP contains high potency enzymes and friendly intestinal bacteria and liver and pancreas concentrates provide vitamin and other important nutrients. The plant enzymes are stable in the wide range of acid and alkaline conditions found throughout digestive tracts.
  • FloraZvme EFA. FloraZyme EFA contains highly concentrated enzymes to replace those destroyed by pet food processing. Friendly bacteria help maintain normal intestinal function. Safflower petals have essential fatty acids and other nutrients vital for skin health and immune system function.
  • Prozyme Plant Based Digestive Enzymes. Prozyme is clinically proven to increase the absorption of foods up to 71%.  It is a combination of four highly concentrated and purified natural plant-derived enzymes (lipases, amylases, proteases, and cellulases) and all ingredients are of human grade quality. Prozyme is not a drug and will not interfere with any medication or therapy.


People enzymes work well for pets and the selection is wide.

Plant enzymes are preferred by many.  Jarro-Zymes® Vegetarian Plus, and Rainbow Light Advanced Enzyme System are good choices for plant derived enzymes. And these are just a few among many.

Depending on the product, you may also find these ingredients:

  • Fungal Protease and Fungal Pancreatin. These are names of particular strains of protease enzymes which are optimized for different pH levels. This is important as pH levels change as you move through the digestive tract. By using strains optimized for different pH’s, you are assured that the proteolytic process is optimized through the entire digestive process for better digestive health.
  • Malt Diastase Enzymes. Malt diastase, or maltase, digests complex and simple sugars and breaks down unused glycogen in muscle tissue. (Stored glycogen built up in the muscle tissue leads to progressive muscle weakness and degeneration.)
  • Invertase Enzymes. Invertase break down sucrose (like refined table sugar) into glucose and fructose. Unrecognized sucrose intolerance may be a contributing factor in many allergies.
  • Alpha Galactosidase. Alpha Galactosidase helps to minimize gas, bloating, and flatulence caused by certain foods, typically legumes whose sugars are not digested in the small intestine. When they pass into the large intestine, the sugars are fermented by native microbial flora and produce gas resulting in bloating, and general discomfort
  • Glucoamylase Enzymes. Glucoamylase is added to digestive enzyme formulas to assure the breakdown of maltose into glucose molecules.
  • Lactase Enzymes. Lactase enzymes digest lactose milk sugar into glucose and galactose. Supplemental lactase enzymes have been found to decrease the symptoms of lactose intolerance associated with the consumption of dairy foods.
  • Cellulase Enzymes. Cellulase digests cellulose (fiber). Cellulase, which is not found in the human system, breaks the bonds found in fiber to increase the nutritional value of fruits and vegetables.
  • Hemicellulase Enzymes. Hemicellulase helps break down fiber components in the intestinal tract.
  • Pectinase Enzymes. Pectin found in fruits may coat proteins eaten in the same meal to halt their complete digestion. Pectinase breaks down the pectin coating the proteins, reducing the possibility of food allergies.
  • Ionic Minerals. Ionic minerals are added to many formulas to increase the bio-electric activity level of the ingredients in the formula and sustain their activity for a significantly longer period of time. (Ionic means the minerals are broken down to their smallest form.)



The two most important things in a digestive enzyme formula.

  • A digestive enzyme formulation should be designed to help digest the food we eat and clean up the bloodstream. It must be well rounded in protease (to digest protein), amylase (to digest carbohydrates) and lipase (to digest fats) to be truly effective… because 95% of the food we eat is protein, carbohydrates and fat. Protease, amylase and lipase are the three most important ingredients in a digestive enzyme formulation.
  • Check to see that the potency of the product you are purchasing is expressed in units of activity, not in mg. (an overall mg. per capsule is fine, but the individual components must be expressed in units of activity.) Example: Protease units are expressed in HUT (150,000 HUT). The units of activity are based on the Food Chemical Codex (FCC). The latest version of activity units is FCC # 4 version assay procedure set forth by the National Academy of Sciences and accepted by the American food industry. The accurate wording and unit measurement for each enzyme that meet these standards are: Protease HUT, Bromelain GDU, Amylase SKB, Malt Diastase DP, Lactase ALU, Cellulase CU, Lipase FIP.

Digestive enzyme supplements can be a combination of plant and animal components, derived from animal pancreas and plants such and pineapple and papaya, or made strictly from plants. Enzymes can be taken in pill, capsule, and powder form.


  • Do not give your dog a large amount of proteolytic enzymes if he or she has bleeding or blood clotting issues since the large amount of enzymes tend to thin the blood.
  • Discontinue proteolytic enzymes (proteases) before surgery, such as an amputation due to osteosarcoma, to lessen blood loss. After surgery, proteolytic enzymes reduce edema and speed healing.
  • If your dog has allergies, read labels and check to see the source of the enzymes.


Dosage for dogs taking people digestive enzyme pills or capsules

Dr. Steven Eisen has suggested the following:

Split the daily dose in two. Beginning with 6 pills/caps daily, you give your dog 3 in the morning and 3 in the evening, increasing the dosage in this way…

  • If your dog weighs 19 pounds or less, give a total of  6 pills/caps daily for day one and two. On day three, dose 8 pills/caps and continue at that dose.
  • If your dog weighs  20 – 29 pounds, start with a total of 6 pills/caps daily one day one and two. Day three and four, move up to 8. on day five move up to 10 and continue at that dose.
  • If your dog weighs 30 – 39 pounds, begin with a total of 6 pills/caps on days one and two. On days three and four, move up to 8. On days five and six, go to 10 caps/pills daily. Day seven, dose 12 pills/caps and continue at that dose.
  • If your dog weighs 40 – 49 pounds, begin with 6 pills/caps on days one and two. Move to 8 caps/pills on days three and four. On days five and six, dose 10 caps/pills. On days seven and eight, move up to 12 caps/pills daily. And on day nine, dose 14 caps/pills and continue at that dose.
  • If your dog weighs 50 – 59 pounds, begin with 6 pills/caps on days one and two. Move to 8 caps/pills on days three and four. On days five and six, dose 10 caps/pills. On days seven and eight, move up to 12 caps/pills daily. On days nine and 10, dose 14 caps/pills. On day eleven move up to 16 caps/pills and continue at that dose.
  • If your dog weighs 60 – 69 pounds, begin with 6 pills/caps on days one and two. Move to 8 caps/pills on days three and four. On days five and six, dose 10 caps/pills. On days seven and eight, move up to 12 caps/pills daily. On days nine and 10, dose 14 caps/pills. On days eleven and twelve, move up to 16 caps/pills daily. And on day 13, go to 18 caps/pills daily and continue at that dose.

Continue the above doses for a total of 30 days from the beginning dose.

After 30 days decrease the dosage by two pills/caps every two days until you are giving 4 pills/caps to a dog under 40 pounds.

Dogs over 40 pounds should be on 6 pills/caps daily.

Including enzyme therapy in you canine osteosarcoma program, along with the canine cancer diet, immune boosters, nutritional supplements, and systemic detoxification should, at the very least, greatly improve your dog’s quality of life and buy you more time with your best friend. With a little luck, you may even see him or her live to a ripe old age. I am certainly hoping this will happen for you.