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Do enzymes harm normal biofilms?

by Robert
(United Kingdom)

For example biofilms in the stomach protect cells from acid, and biofilms in the intestine help to lubricate the passage of food.

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Oct 29, 2021

by: Dan

Your intestine is covered by a a surface layer of epithelial cells over a deeper layer of connective tissue, made from a mucopolysaccharide secreted by mucus glands in the intestine. This mucus also contains a protein called mucin. In the intestine this mucus layer is adapted for the absorption of food and secretion. In the small intestine this mucus layer is one layer thick. In the large intestine it is two layers thick. Your good bacteria will live in and on this mucus layer.

This mucus layer is able to withstand abrasion and wear from the passage of food in the small intestine, and waste products in the large intestine.

Bad bacteria, and yeasts, typically have a planktonic form which is pathogenic and this form produces biofilms which protect these pathogens. These biofilms are composed of polysaccharide fibers, polynucleotides that are made from bonded sugars, polypeptide proteins, carbohydrate glucan polysaccharides, ligands, fibrinogen and fibronectin (fibrin).

These bad bacteria or yeasts will penetrate the mucous layer and use fibrin to attach to your intestinal wall disrupting the mucus layer. They then begin to build biofilms to protect themselves and spread along the intestinal wall displacing more of your mucus layer. Occasionally spores are released in a further attempt to spread.

The polypeptide proteins found in biofilms are a fibrous protein, the fibers of which have great tensile strength. It is similar to the connective tissue of teeth, bones, ligaments, tendons and cartilage. For instance, the plague that accumulates on your teeth is a bacterial biofilm.

Mucin protein has the ability to form gels, mucus. Mucopolysaccharides are long linear polysaccharides consisting of repeating disaccharide units. The repeating two-sugar unit consists of a uronic sugar and an amino sugar. Although it can withstand abrasion it is also permeable to allow the passage of nutrients into your bodies blood stream.

In theory, the enzymes could go after the proteins and polysaccharides present in the mucus layer. But this is not necessarily a bad thing because an over expression of mucin proteins is associated with many types of cancer. The body produces protease and other enzymes for the digestion of food but these enzymes could also be used by the body to prevent the over production of harmful cells, such as mucin proteins, to prevent cancer or other disease.

To answer your question, yes they could go after the mucus layer but I have not seen any studies that suggest this. If they do, it isn't necessarily a bad thing when you consider that the over production of mucus can lead to disease.

In a clinical setting, I know of many people that take these enzymes daily and have been doing so for years with no negative effects, myself included. Your bodies enzyme activity also declines with age so supplementing with enzymes is quite often not a bad idea.

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