In this article, we shall be taking a close look at what is cellulose & health benefits that accrue from it. We aim to write a simple explanation that is easily understood by those without medical training.
What is cellulase?
Cellulase is an enzyme that is mainly produced by bacteria, fungi, and protozoans. Protozoans are single-celled organisms that have a nucleus contained inside membranes.
Bacteria, fungi, and protozoans catalyze cellulolysis. Cellulolysis is the process of breaking down cellulose into smaller particles. To catalyze means to increase the rate at which this occurs. So put simply bacteria, fungi, and protozoans speed up the breaking down of cellulose into smaller pieces using cellulase. [i]
Most chemical reactions happen faster when there is a catalyst present. Cellulolysis is the process of breaking down cellulose using cellulase.
There are five kinds of cellulases. They are classified based on the type of reaction that is catalyzed. These types of cellulases are:
· Oxidative cellulases
· Cellulose phosphorylases
I do not think that we need to go deeper into these types at this time. It suffices to know that there are several types of cellulases. [ii]
Our question "What is cellulase & Health benefits? "requires going back to digestion and cellulases. We will do that by first taking a look at what cellulose is.
What is Cellulose?
First off, cellulose is a carbohydrate, and It is critical to the outer cellular structure of all green plants. There are very few compounds that are more commonplace globally. It is vital in the food supply of many of the world's creatures.
No animal can digest plant fiber. Plant fiber has a great deal of cellulose in its construction. No creature, including humans, can digest it without the help of the enzyme cellulase. I think you will see how valuable this makes it to our very survival.
Cows have developed a very specialist digestive system that allows them to tackle the digestion of large amounts of cellulose. This digestive system includes four stomachs that can hold large quantities of cellulose enzymes. Without this adaption, cows would never be able to grow to the size they do and acquire such strength.
Without cellulase, we humans would get very little nutrition from eating greenstuff. We, therefore, must make sure that we do not run out of cellulose.
Humans do not produce cellulase.
When we eat greenstuff, we are unable to digest cellulose because we do not have cellulase, and our digestive system is not large enough to have the capacity to absorb it. We squeeze what goodness there is from inside the cellulose walls of the plants. Animals, like cows that can digest cellulose have a different digestive system that involves larger stomachs.
Our body makes several other enzymes but does not produce cellulase. Consequently, we need to find a source of cellulase elsewhere. If we do not, we cannot process cellulose. One source of cellulase is in the gut flora that lives inside us. These micro-organisms contain some cellulases and can assist a little in digesting cellulose. Different gut flora produces different types of cellulases. [iii]
Gut flora is also called:
· Gut bacteria
· Intestinal flora
You may think that having bacteria living inside you might be a bad thing., You would be very wrong as this gut flora plays an essential role in keeping us healthy.[iv]
The other way of obtaining cellulase is by eating lots of raw fruit and vegetables, which naturally contain cellulase enzymes. However, even if we do acquire cellulase, we will never be able to digest all the cellulose fully. Much of it that is left over after our digestive system ha stripped what nutrients it can be eliminated as waste.
How cellulase works
Cellulase is made up of a set of different enzymes. These enzymes work together to allow an animal to break up the cellulose into beta-glucose or polysaccharides. The body may then use either of these substances or expel them. Any fiber left is used as a solid in the stool and helps to keep the system moving.
The health benefits of cellulases
The cellulase enzymes play a part in improving our health in a variety of ways.
Cellulase enzymes assist with the breakup of cellulose into glucose that can be used by the body to provide energy. They also breakdown microbial biofilms. Biofilms have been around for at least 3.25 billion years and are communities of bacteria. These communities working together are hard to shift, but cellulases are pretty good at breaking up these communities.
Cellulase helps fruit and vegetables release antioxidant compounds by working with pectinase enzymes. They also improve the quality of nutrition in foods that have undergone fermentation. There is also a suspicion that they may help with the nutritional value of whole grains.
It is possible to buy supplements that give you an additional supply of cellulases. In one study at a nursing home, residents were given a multi-enzyme supplement to improve digestion. It proved to be beneficial, but when the supplement was withdrawn, the benefits ended.
The most popular product on the market is a 100% vegan form of cellulase, which has been produced by fermentation of Bacillus licheniformis and Trichoderma reesei. The formula is designed to improve the individual's digestion of a range of foods. The product is also GMO-free and Kosher. You may want to check out VeganZyme at your health food supplier.
Industrial use of cellulases
Cellulase is also used in some industrial food production to increase the make more of the nutrients in a food product accessible. For example, it is used in some fruit juices to improve the retention of nutrients in whole grain.
I hope that we have fully answered the question, "What is cellulase & Health benefits?" It is a complicated question, and we have done our best to keep it simple. However, it is an essential question as people tend to overlook the importance of enzymes to our general health.
[iii] Global Healing
[iv] Veryell Healh