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prevention International magazine for oral health No. 1, 2017

science | the enzymatic system Dr Michel Angelo Sciotti ria. It was probably not the sense of evolution that we’ve had healthy teeth for a hundred years. However, it was the sense of nature to keep people away from diseases through a balanced microbiome,” says Michel. People now need to keep the natural oral microbiome intact if they want to keep their teeth as long as they live and, a huge part of doing that, involves a healthy diet with low sugar consumption. This understanding of the oral microbiome has brought to light an appreciation of its importance in regulating our systemic health. Only a balanced microbiome can reduce inflammation, help regulate the cardiovascular system, assist in metabolic functioning and provide many other benefits to overall health. An oral microbiome that is not in equilibrium—i.e. dysbiosis—allows disease-producing bacteria to proliferate and can lead to oral diseases. If these oral diseases are left untreated, they can in turn have ad- verse effects on systemic health. It becomes clear then that maintaining a balanced oral microbiome has a positive effect, not only on oral health, but also on the overall health of the entire body. We are enzymes No human would be alive without enzymes. Enzymes are biological catalysts—they naturally accelerate the speed at which chemical reactions occur in the body without being used up. “We are made of enzymes. We are made by enzymes. Enzymes translate the genetic code and produce more en- zymes and proteins that will perform all activities and functions that happen in and between the cells. It is likely that most biological problems may have an enzymatic-based solution,” argues Michel. Made up mostly of proteins, enzymes are es- sential to the human body’s proper functioning. Without them, almost all of the processes that occur in our bodies would happen at a rate that would be too slow for us to exist. From the absorption of oxygen and the production of energy to the reduction of systemic inflammation, the plethora of biological activities in our cells would be unable to continue effectively without enzymes. It makes sense then that enzymes are important for maintaining good oral health. When we eat, our food needs to be broken down so that the nutrients can be released and absorbed. Digestive enzymes facilitate this by reducing food september 2017 23

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