Foundation, NJ U. S. A
the Message Continues ... 11/98
Newsletter for October 2009
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Lipase: The Missing Enzyme
by Bill Sardi
Fats are the most difficult component of the diet to digest.
Fatty foods cause more indigestion than proteins or starches.
Most Americans have crossed-wires when it comes to fats. Because
of bulging waistlines, most Americans battle between fat-phobia
and fat-craving. The human body is programmed to crave fats.
Without essential fats and fatty nutrients animals and humans
cease to thrive.
Omega-3 and omega-6 fats from flaxseed and cold-water fish
were found to be essential for human health by physiologists in
the 1930s. Fat-soluble nutrients such as beta carotene, lutein,
and vitamins A, D, E and K fulfill important functions in health
maintenance. So fat isn't all bad. The American diet is
intentionally laden with saturated fats and hardened
hydrogenated fats, leaving about 80% of the population deficient
in the essential fats required for the maintenance of the human
nervous system, the production of hormones and the control of
Foods actually taste better when they contain fats. A famous
fast-food quarter-pound hamburger actually has a saturated fat
content equivalent to 16 pats of butter! The fast-food engineers
really know how to stimulate our taste buds. It is worth noting
here that weight loss is a common finding among individuals with
chronic heart failure. It is evident that malabsorption of fats
is related to heart failure.
In one study subjects with heart disease had 10 times more
fat in their stool than heart-healthy individuals. This means
those with heart disease weren't absorbing their fats (Am J
Cardiiology 5: 295, 1960). Yet heart patients are typically
placed on low-fat diets! These individuals were leaner, but not
The pancrease produces about a liter and a half of digestive
juices per day in an array of enzymes (pretease, amylase,
cellulase, lactase and lipase). Lipase is the enzyme designed to
digest fats. With advancing age the body produces less and less
digestive juice, about 13% less per decade of life. For these
same reasons, fat blockers such as Olean and Elestra are
undesireable. They keep fat from being absorbed, but they also
keep fatty nutrients from being available.
Undernutrition occurs in about half of the patients with
chronic heart failure. Fats are a major source of fuel for the
heart muscle. The use of lipase has been suggested to improve
fat absorption (Am J cardiology 8: 43, 1963). It was not till
1997 that researchers found that lipase also can help to control
LDL cholesterol and is helpful in stubborn cases of high
triglycerides. (Lipds 32: 1147, 1997).
Low levels of lipase have been found among adults who have
benign fatty tumors surrounding their eyelids, an unsightly
condition called xanthelasma. Adults with this condition often
hide these fatty growths with makeup. While lipase is untried in
these cases, a course of daily lipase with meals may prove to be
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