Defining Food Enzyme Nutrition: An Interview with Howard Loomis, DC

:dropcap_open:H:dropcap_close:oward F. Loomis, Jr., DC has been the leader in the clinical application of plant enzymes and is the person responsible for bringing food enzyme nutrition to the forefront of the health care field.  After graduating from Logan Chiropractic College in 1967, he entered practice in Missouri and practiced there for 26 years. 
loomisenzymeIn 1980, he was introduced to the work of Dr. Edward Howell, M.D. and his Food Enzyme Concept in his books, Enzymes for Health and Longevity and Enzyme Nutrition. It changed the entire focus of Dr. Loomis’ practice. 
In 1985, after years of work on the clinical application of plant enzymes, Dr. Loomis founded 21st Century Nutrition (now known as the Loomis Institute™ of Enzyme Nutrition) for the sole purpose of educating other health professionals on the use of plant enzymes. 
He has lectured extensively at various chiropractic colleges as well as chiropractic state associations. He currently writes columns in several recognized chiropractic journals and other publications. 
Dr. Loomis practiced continuously until the end of 1993, when he sold his practice, retired, and moved to Madison, Wisconsin to develop his own enzyme supplement company, Enzyme Formulations, Inc. 
In 2002, the Loomis Institute™ was approved by the State of Wisconsin as an educational institution, a relationship that continues today. 
In 2007 he joined with his alma mater to create the 72-hour Internal Health Specialist Certification Program for the Logan College Postgraduate Department. This program is open to chiropractors as well as chiropractic students who have reached their 7th trimester. Thousands of health care practitioners around the world rely on the education and products developed by Dr. Loomis for their clinical success and fulfillment.
TAC:  What kind of products and services do you offer chiropractors?
Dr. Loomis: The Loomis Institute teaches chiropractors an objective and scientifically valid system of physical examination for determining nutritional need, as well as the best information available about food enzymes and how to use them in practice. 

Enzyme Formulations, Inc. offers food enzyme and herbal supplements based on specific individual patient need, not on a one-size-fits-all concept.  

TAC: Tell us more in depth about the services and products you offer chiropractors and how or why you offer them.
Dr. Loomis: Because of the success we enjoy as a company, we are able to provide unprecedented clinical support to the practitioners who attend our seminars, free of charge. This has always been something I would have found helpful when I was in practice, and I am happy to be able to offer it now. For example, if a chiropractor has a question about how to use a product or what to recommend with a specific set of clinical results (24-hour urinalysis, case history, and/or physical exam findings), they have access to an experienced chiropractor on staff who will guide them through the process of recommending a specific plan for that individual patient. 
TAC: Are chiropractors the only professionals that use your methods for their patients?
Dr. Loomis: No. While the Logan Internal Health Specialist Certification Program is offered specifically for chiropractors to utilize their unique education, the Loomis Institute seminars train many different modalities of health professionals in the use of food enzymes.
TAC: How many practitioners have learned the  Loomis System?
Dr. Loomis: Over 1000 health care professionals have learned the Loomis System and are successfully incorporating it into their practices.
TAC: How did you get interested in enzyme therapy and the effect enzymes have on the body?
Dr. Loomis:My interest was in understanding why, when there is no history of injury, some people develop back problems and others do not. Was there a nutritional component? I could never find the clinical parameters that would allow me to say “this person needs calcium, this one needs magnesium, that one needs calcium  AND magnesium, or that one needs better protein digestion.” At the time, I was convinced there was no objective means of using nutritional supplements. It seemed would be a nutritional component because the body’s ability to digest and assimilate protein (and consequently improve its ability to carry calcium and other nutrients to the tissues) is very important. It has been my experience that most people who have symptoms of musculoskeletal dysfunction, such as osteoporosis, herniated discs, bursitis, leg cramps, and many more problems, do not readily digest protein. However, by 1979 I had given up trying to apply the objective measurements of physical examination, blood and urine testing to the practice of nutritional supplements, having failed to find consistent results.

loomisenzyme2In 1980, I was fortunate to be introduced to the work of Edward Howell, M.D. and his “Food Enzyme Concept.” After reading his two books, Enzymes for Health and Longevity and Enzyme Nutrition, I was convinced that he had found the missing link for providing consistent results in clinical nutrition.
Dr. Howell had graduated from the University of Illinois medical school in 1919, the year before the first vitamin was discovered. After graduation he practiced at the Lindlahr Institute in Chicago, which was the Mayo Clinic of his day. They specialized in the treatment of chronic degenerative disease using a system of fasting and raw food diets. This was in a time period prior to the discovery of insulin, and diabetes was the major degenerative disease. Cancer was not as readily diagnosed as it is today, and diabetes was the number one killer.
Dr. Howell was impressed with the results obtained with raw foods and fasting and he struggled to find an explanation. He became convinced that there had to be something else in food besides protein, carbohydrates, fat, vitamins and minerals. This led to his eventual fascination with the enzymes found normally in food and the role they played in pre-digestion before stomach acid can be produced.

In the early 1980s I made trips to Ft. Myers, Florida and spent time with Dr. Howell in his home. He allowed me access to his accumulated notes, including his extensive bibliography for Enzymes for Health and Longevity. He was very gracious in sharing his time and information with me and he completely changed my attitude about nutrition and the importance of enzymes. Gaining permission to copy many of his accumulated notes and bibliography was incredibly valuable since they were destroyed when he died in the late 1980s.
TAC: What type(s) of diagnostic testing procedures do you use and why?
Dr. Loomis: We utilize a Case History and review of systems physical examination with chiropractic postural and spinal evaluations, coupled with range of motion tests. When needed, we order blood tests and 24-hour urinalysis testing. We place emphasis on determining the causes of a patient’s symptoms and the stress responsible for them. Using this procedure is time-honored in the healing arts and stands up to legal as well as scientific scrutiny. It also makes it possible to develop a specific, science-based plan for each patient.
TAC: How has the evolving understanding of stress points affected current approaches to teaching this type of therapy?
Dr. Loomis: In our seminars, we ask the class, “Who in this class considers themselves to be average?” Of course we never get a positive response. My point is this: nutrition is often practiced as is pharmacology, using a bell curve to determine what and how much of a particular supplement the average person needs instead of treating each body individually. The Loomis System uses palpation of muscle contraction (stress points) to determine when visceral dysfunction is responsible for a patient’s symptoms and is causing and perpetuating structural misalignments and subluxations. In other words, once the cause is known, the treatment becomes obvious.
The beauty of the stress points is that they are objective. They are either positive or not. Paired with the 24-hour urinalysis and our case history form, a very clear, individualized plan of treatment is evident. Chiropractors do not need to guess anymore when it comes to nutrition.

TAC: What types of conditions/patients respond best to this approach to care?
Dr. Loomis: Those who respond best are those whom I call the “walking wounded.” People who have not been diagnosed with a disease, but still suffer with unresolved symptoms. These people are desperate for help, and they are so grateful when someone finds the cause of their symptoms. Their quality of life improves dramatically.
TAC: It’s been said by some experts that one can get all the nutritional products they need from eating a balanced diet. What do you say when someone tells you this?
Dr. Loomis: That is true only if you can digest that well-balanced diet. And who decides what the best diet for your specific needs is? Does one size truly fit all? I have noticed that no one in the healing arts specializes in restoring normal digestive function and, if it fails, what compensates for inadequate digestion? Only the immune system. That is why this work fits so perfectly within the chiropractic paradigm for health restoration and maintenance!
The reality is that naturally occurring food enzymes are removed from much of our food supply, and taking digestive enzymes replaces the enzymes that belong in the food to begin with. I do not advocate taking multiple supplements. In fact, in our seminars we focus on improving the diet first, then making sure that diet is properly digested. If these two factors are working well, then multiple supplements are not necessary. 
loomisenzyme3TAC:  What type of chiropractor/chiropractic practice fits best with this paradigm?
Dr. Loomis: Because of their educational perspective and unique training in palpation and adjusting, all chiropractors are well-prepared for this type of analytical approach. We do not offer a specific chiropractic technique. This nutritional system is a perfect adjunct to any type of chiropractic office.
TAC: How do you see nutritional supplementation changing in the future? 
Dr. Loomis: The answer to that question lies with the pharmaceutical industry. They and the Food and Drug Administration will determine that. However, I have always believed that eventually food enzymes and improved digestion will surface as the key nutritional component.
One thing is certain, food enzymes will not go away and they cannot be patented. That is why I have endeavored to bring this work into the mainstream chiropractic education and place our profession at the forefront of health maintenance.
TAC: Where do you see the future of chiropractic headed?
Dr. Loomis: Hopefully the profession will find its way and fulfill its promise as it was envisioned by D. D. Palmer.
TAC: Any final words for our readers?
Dr. Loomis: Illegitimatis Non Carborundum.
You may contact Dr. Loomis at [email protected] or 1-800-662-2630.

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