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A protease (also known as a proteolytic enzyme, peptidase or proteinase) is an enzyme that helps digest different kinds of proteins in a process called proteolysis. Proteases are a category of enzymes; some are produced by the body, some are found in foods, and some are produced by bacteria and other microbes. Proteases assist with many different body processes including digestion, immune system function, and blood circulation. (more…)

Amylase is one of the primary starch-digesting enzymes secreted in the body. This enzyme is somewhat unusual in that it is produced not only by the pancreas but also in the mouth as a component of saliva. In the oral cavity, as food is chewed and mixes with saliva, amylase begins the enzymatic digestion of dietary starch and glycogen (carbohydrates) into smaller molecules and ultimately glucose and maltose. (more…)

You want to lose weight, so you start trying to cut calories. The most obvious starting place seems to be switching from high-calorie foods with sugar to foods with zero calorie sweeteners, like aspartame. Better known by brand names, such as Equal, NutraSweet, and Spoonful, aspartame seems like a no-brainer. Fewer calories equals weight loss, right? (more…)

Aspartame is a nasty chemical that's sold as a zero-calorie healthy sweetener. But did you know that it's technically not calorie-free? Not a lot, only about 4 calories per gram. [1] That isn't a lot, and it's not a big deal. But it's one weird fact you probably didn't know about aspartame. Let's take a look at a few other points about aspartame that rarely get discussed. (more…)

Yoga is that eastern practice involving odd positions and stretches that may seem slightly strange, though many people swear by once they've tried it. It's well known to be relaxing and a healthy way to exercise. However, there are also lots of wild claims about it. What's true and what isn't? Fortunately, there has been scientific research on the topic of yoga, and with excellent results. So, we don't need to rely on claims. Rather, let's take a look at six proven benefits of yoga. (more…)