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Are Fat Loss Failures A Result Of Metabolic Damage And Enzyme Deficiency

By Wade T. Lightheart CSNA

Natural National Bodybuilding Champion

In a recent discussion with an elite field of training experts many of the well-known authors, trainers and scientists had noticed a growing trend in the general population about the inability to lose body fat. Most of the experts first witnessed an increase in the number of guys and girls in high performance sport particularly bodybuilding that was not responding to traditional dieting and training protocols.

It seems no matter what these individuals did their bodies refused to drop the extra body fat. I had noticed a similar trend in some of clients who had been exposed to high levels of toxic substances, females who had given birth, and in individuals who consumed high levels of processed food.

To date it does seem that in large part the medical profession is blind to the seriousness and scope of Metabolic Damage, its causes and effects, there are always those few individuals who are able by experience, specialized knowledge, and integrated application of sound nutritional and training practices who can provide solutions.

I too came about the same observations of metabolic damage although from a slightly different route. I would also like to add that this topic is a vast and sometimes technical topic, and by no means can I illustrate everything you need to know about enzymes, metabolic damage, weakness, or deficiency.

For a detailed account of how enzymes work, why we need them, and why it’s so hard to obtain them in modern society I strongly advise reading Dr. Howell’s book called “Enzyme Nutrition”.

Dr. Howell was the leading pioneer in enzymes for almost 70 years before his death around the age of 100. His work lives on through the researchers that work for the company he founded. I will talk more about that in a future post. History often leaves clues I will first explain how I came about the discovery of enzyme therapy.

A Growing Trend

I have been in around the health and fitness community for about 20 years, but in the last few years I have noticed distinct trends in clients who were coming to see me. The first group I observed was high performance athletes who recently completed a major competition or long season of training.

These athletes for the most part had been training for most of their lives and then suddenly experienced a significant drop in performance, motivation, and experienced more injuries, body fat increases, and reduced speed, and endurance.

The second group I have encountered were women who had recently given birth. These women, many who were tremendous athletes prior to becoming pregnant suddenly began showing extreme fatigue, large gains in body fat, coupled with digestive disorders after giving birth.

The third group were individuals both men and women who had followed extreme “nutrient” and calorie deficient diets, particularly followers of the Dr. Bernstein diets, as well as people who had come off the Atkins diet, individuals with a history of eating disorders, and individuals who had experience challenges with brain chemistry.

All of these individuals had gained tremendous amounts of weight in short periods of time and had become to resistant to proven regimens of weight loss. Now most of these clients were not high performance athletes yet they all showed similar symptoms; constipation, low energy, depressed immune function, emotional discord, sluggish metabolisms and digestive disorders.

Many of these individuals had been following exercise and diet programs for years but suddenly there bodies just stopped responding.

The most startling group in my range of investigations was a group of extremely fit women, who after pregnancy experienced a host of metabolic disorders resulting in numerous complications.

Having experienced the rigors of extensive contest dieting myself, and the accompanying symptoms, I have continually sought out ways or solutions to improve my own performance.

Since my own experiences, although not as severe, were similar to what my clients were experiencing I sought to find a way to overcome these challenges and provide a solution to the conditions leading to “metabolic damage”.

The Mystery Cause of Fatigue And The Low Calorie Diet

I have never bought into the belief that just because someone is on a low calorie diet they should feel fatigued, tired, listless and all the side effects reported by individuals currently undergoing such regimens. Like many others in my field, I felt there was some other factor involved that was not being accounted for, but this factor remained a mystery to me for over 10 years.

I retired from competing to devote more time to pursue this avenue as it had become so widespread in the individuals that were coming to see me from all different age groups, sexes, and backgrounds. I started investigating digestive functioning, metabolism, as well as patterns of food production throughout history.

After pouring over research, speaking with experts in the nutrition field, and the reviewing the latest medical journals on diet: nutrition, and metabolism, I was lead to one key individual. His name was Dr. Michael O’Brien.

Medical Genius Rebuilds Dying Nutrition Expert In 8 Weeks

Now Dr. O’Brien is more than a remarkable individual. Accolades, testimonials, or descriptions, would not begin to quantify or qualify the man or the wisdom he possesses. First off he was the former director of two medical clinics in California, he is also a master nutrition formulator for over 50 years.

What’s more remarkable is that he successfully treated himself of cirrhosis of the liver, as well as “terminal” colon cancer using enzymes, probiotics, and a patented amino acid formulation he designed.

Dr. O’Brien also was the man behind literally thousands of recoveries from terminal diseases including: cancer, heart disease, lupus, AIDS and virtually every other terminal illness in existence. He was also the doctor who was responsible for orchestrating the complete and astounding recovery of legendary health expert Dr. Bernhard Jensen (See Chapter 13 “Come Alive” by Bernhard Jensen).

I had the good fortune of attending two professional lectures held by Dr. O’Brien. It’s hard to describe the sheer impact that seeing Dr. O’Brien in person has on a person. First off although he is close to 90 years old he has almost no wrinkles in his skin. His countenance radiates light, his eyes sparkle, his actions are quick and fluid and his mind is extremely sharp.

In fact I have never been in the presence of ANYONE who radiated so much life, wisdom and compassion. In other words he practices what he preaches, which in today’s world of false “gurus” is a rare occurrence.

Dr. O’Brien illustrates that his lifetime work, like aforementioned Dr. Howell, has concluded that all diseases are actually “Symptoms of Deficiency”. In the course of his lectures, he provides a wealth of support to back up his claim. He also has proven that when and individual treats the deficiency the “symptoms” stop and the “disease” is cured. It is also Dr. O’Brien’s belief that there are “No Incurable diseases, just incurable people.” Now I know you might be asking, “What does this have to do with Metabolic Damage?”

Metabolic Damage, Obesity, And Enzyme Deficiency

In fact I asked Dr. O’Brien this very question myself. He quickly stated and presented a wealth of information both research and anecdotal that the primary cause of deficiency is a lack of Enzymes present in our food supply. While this is not the only factor it is most definitely the prime factor and perhaps the easiest to correct.

Dr. O’Brien stated that he had first come to this discovery after reading a book by Dr. Howell on Enzymes when he himself was on his deathbed. He then applied a series of aggressive enzyme treatments to himself over the period of 16 months and cured himself of terminal liver disease. Dr. Howell explains the reasons and causes of Enzyme deficiency in his book Enzyme Nutrition but I will try to summarize.

Enzyme deficiency over time puts tremendous strain in the human digestive system as the body must use “Metabolic Enzymes” to digest Enzyme Deficient food. This drain on metabolic and systemic enzymes over time, leads to most of the symptoms of disease as well as the primary cause of the effects of what we call “Aging”.

How Food Supple Became Enzyme Deficient

Since World War II there has been an extensive use of chemicals, pesticides and fertilizers used in the growing of our food supply, coupled by a leaching out of minerals in the soil. In all of these cases, the plants grown give up their enzymes in order to accommodate the compromised growing conditions. The result is that the enzyme content of our food is extremely diminished from that of food production a hundred years ago (For example: In 1900 wheat was 90 percent protein, today its just 9 percent, similar reports are available in nutrient depletion in the Medicine Today Journal, April, 2002).

The use of pharmaceuticals on livestock also contributes to enzyme damage in the animals human consume. Other factors that contribute to enzyme destruction include food cooked at temperatures above 118 degrees Fahrenheit. Heat destroys any enzymes present in the food you consume.

Irradiation of vegetables and fruits, modern food processing, depleted soil, and the widespread use of chemicals, drugs, and preservatives all contribute to an absence of food enzymes in our diets. These combined factors contribute to considerably higher demands on the metabolic systems of humans. In other words there is a host of factors that are contributing to the problem not “a singular cause” as most of us are conditioned to believe.

Your Body Produces Enzymes… But Is It Enough?

Now every doctor will tell you that the body produces its own enzymes in sufficient amounts to digest your food. What the doctor will not tell you, as he most likely is not aware, is the fact that no species on earth was designed to exist on enzyme deficient diets.

Dr. Howell’s research demonstrates clearly that in every single species he tested that was fed an enzyme deficient diet, developed metabolic disorders such as extreme weight gain, Type II diabetes and a host of other conditions including pre-mature death (see studies in Dr. Howell’s Food Enzymes and Longevity).

Numerous other researchers in the field duplicated these studies and are cited in Howell’s books. What’s worse is that these enzyme deficiencies were passed on to subsequent generations.

In all cases, species fed enzyme deficient diets for a period of three generations developed extensive genetic disorders, such as inability to reproduce, extensive and unusual behavioral disorders, development and acceleration of various diseases, as well as severe metabolic dysfunction (see the classical study done by F.M. Pottenger’s over 10 years on 900 cats).

Again I am summarizing a considerable amount of information and I strongly advise reading Howell’s books to get the Full Picture.

Enzyme Deficiency And The Diabetes Connection

Research has also shown that the Pancreas of humans has shown to be three times the “normal” size in bodyweight comparisons between species. Interestingly this exact pathology was demonstrated in Dr. Howell’s experiments on animals fed enzyme deficient diets.

In all cases, Type II diabetes, excessive weight gain, as well as other metabolic and genetic disorders became prominent in the “Enzyme deficient” populations compared to the control group, even when the animals were fed exactly the same amount of calories. What’s interesting is the result coincides with observations I, and my colleagues have made in relation to our clients.

It became apparent to me that the Enzyme deficiency in the food supply had become so common and widespread for so long it isn’t even considered a factor by the medical community. Keep in mind that FDA testing and grading of food does not include testing for the presence of enzymes. So there is no pressure for farmers to produce high nutrient content food.

The classification of food is primarily determined by the “look” of the food, and the weight of food. Another factor contributing to the Enzyme oversight is the fact most doctors have only a few credit hours of basic nutrition and are not really qualified to make nutritional assessments of their patients. The medical field is primarily concerned with the treatment of disease not disease prevention. “Big Difference” so pointing fingers does little good.

Don’t Blame The Doctors!

Doctors have a tough enough job as it is and discovering the cause of Metabolic Damage in general is not high on their priority list considering the current challenges facing most medical practitioners today.

While there seems to be a correlation in food enzyme deficiency and metabolic damage or the conditions leading to the onset of disease, I needed more information to support the case. This is where Dr. O’Brien’s experience and expertise completely obliterated any rational objections one might have against the Food Enzyme Concept as presented by Dr. Howell.

Dr. O’Brien developed a regimen, which included enzyme therapy to control, reverse and eliminate virtually every major disease known to mankind. The regimen was relatively static and only varied in the dosage the individual could take based on the current state of his patient, the economics of the individual, and the speed at which the person desired their conditions to cease.

Deeper Down The Enzyme Rabbit Hole

I personally subjected myself, and a group of 12 individuals of different ages, backgrounds, sexes and conditions to Dr. O’Brien’s regimen. All 12 of the subjects experienced radical improvements in metabolism, body fat reduction, improved muscle building, recovery, digestive, and eliminative functioning. We all experienced positive changes in dietary selection, emotional well being as well as improved cognitive function.

O’Brien states that in most cases 4-6 months of aggressive enzyme therapy was enough to eliminate the “symptoms of deficiency” and “cure” almost any symptoms of metabolic dysfunction. In some patients he stated 1 year to 18 months was required to completely eradicate serious states of metabolic dysfunction, such as those conditions present in advanced conditions of AIDS, Lupus etc.

Now Dr. O’Brien’s interest was primarily in the treatment and prevention of disease as well as the field of longevity but I knew that his discoveries could be applied to the area of athletic performance including more mainstream goals such as weight loss.

I speculated that if athletes and ordinary people began supplementing their diets with digestive enzymes it would improve performance by reducing the drain of metabolic enzymes to digest food thereby correcting “metabolic damage” in the population at large.

Treatment dosages were the primary limiting factor in how fast one recovered from any condition or how fast their performance improved in a given athletic endeavor. Unlike traditional therapy with drugs, enzyme dosages were not limited as side effects such as the breaking of the GI barrier did not occur in patients on dosages as high as 1000 capsules a day (this is Extreme to say the least).

Finding The Right Formula

Since Dr. O’Brien’s company was not able to provide me with his Enzyme formulation as he could not provide enough enzymes to meet his current demand I immediately set about formulating an Enzyme Product geared particularly for athletes. In other words, people who followed dietary and training practices such as bodybuilders, fitness competitors, and every one else involved in “cosmetic training”.

What I learned will come as no surprise to anyone else on the inside of the supplement industry is that most products sold commercially on the market were of little to no value. The extreme costs of developing and stabilizing enzymes that would work in the broad PH range experienced throughout the gastro-intestinal tract is considerable.

The sheer economics of the situation had reduced most supplement companies to produce cheap enzymes that do not work in order to make viable profit margins. These enzymes are often animal based, or come enterically coated, and can be bought for a fraction of the cost of effective enzymes. This is one reason why enzyme therapy has traditionally been reserved for pharmaceutical companies or for individuals with extensive resources to afford private treatment.

Undaunted by the costs of development I engaged the expert formulators at Dr. Howell’s company to produce an enzyme product designed for the dietary and training demands of myself, my personal clients, and athletes in general.

After several months we came up with a new product that included a proprietary blend of Enzymes, precursors and stabilizers specifically designed and formulated for athletes interested in increasing muscle mass and decreasing body fat.

Tried, Tested And True

We then spent 6 months testing it out on a small group of bodybuilders’ age ranges of 15 to 72. The results have been encouraging to say the least.

Recently, I met with other industry professionals and discussed my findings and positive experiences with Enzyme Therapy as well as the potential solution to individuals suffering from metabolic damage. To say the least many of my peers are overjoyed and excited about what could be the greatest nutritional breakthrough of the last century.

I will also be making a small amount of my product available to individuals on my website who wish to undergo a regimen of Enzyme Therapy. This protocol is rather intense and expensive but its results are quite impressive. Our team is confident that the protocol we have developed can improve and alleviate the symptoms of “metabolic damage” and/or to improve individual athletic performance and health.

I look forward to sharing my experiences and information with you as well as answering your questions on this fascinating and exciting field.

Wade T. Lightheart CSNA


Wade T. Lightheart serves as the Director of Human Performance at Yaletown Holistics. Wade is a 3-Time Canadian Natural National Bodybuilding Champion and author of “Vital Power” A Dynamic Philosophy for Producing Optimum Health & Vitality Without Diets, Drugs, or Doctors. He also spends his time formulating high performance training routines, mental technologies and cutting edge supplements to improve the performance of natural athletes around the world."

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