Infertility, Diabetes, Cancer—Understanding Metabolic Enzymes and Micronutrients


Sex hormones not only give you life, they affect every organ in your body. Sex hormones are critical to preventing chronic disease and living with energy and vitality.

Most people are absolutely clueless how they work.

When you understand the miraculous natural process of reproduction, and the intricate hormonal communication involved—it’s easy to understand the frustration of so many who find it difficult to have a baby. At the same time, if young women were taught to appreciate their body instead of comparing it to unrealistic models, perhaps they would understand the true gift of who they are.

Hormones are chemical messengers that tell your body what to do. Hormones perfectly and exactly orchestrate every chemical function of your body. Reproductive hormones are common knowledge, but the vitamins, micronutrients, and enzymes needed to make them work are not. There are approximately 75,000 different enzymes in the human body that make the hormones work.

“Enzymes are protein molecules that are manufactured by all plant and animal cells. All cells require enzymes to survive and function. Enzymes are catalysts, which means that they make chemical reactions go faster, but are not changed by the reaction.” (link below)

If every cell in your body requires enzymes to “survive and function” wouldn’t it be a great idea to understand the little darlings?

All your steroid hormones are made from cholesterol. Yes . . . cholesterol. They are all intricately related to each other, each one being made from, or turned back into, another– depending upon the immediate needs of your body. Enzymes make these transitions happen. The hormonal coordination of manufacture and delivery of hormones is like an orchestra. One note out of time and the cymbal crash creates chaos instead of climax. And so it is with the hormonal symphony. Just one missing enzyme, one extra carbon atom, one magnesium atom short, not enough cholesterol—becomes the difference between pregnancy and infertility, insulin resistance, fatigue and vital energy, and even cancer. For example you must have Vitamin C, and the amino acids (proteins) lysine and proline to manufacture connective tissue in your body. Vitamin C and lysine are not produced inside your body. So two thirds of the micronutrients to make collagen must come from your diet in order to manufacture and maintain all of your connective tissue.

For hormones to communicate, they must have the enzymes necessary to reach receptors inside the cells. If the pancreatic hormone insulin can’t be reached, you have insulin resistance, which leads to diabetes. The insulin is there, but without the enzymes and co-factors to deliver the message—it never gets to the cell.

Your body is a fine tuned work of art.

Your emotional state plays a most critical role in the hormonal symphony. Stress shuts down every other function so you can focus your energy on survival (fight or flight). You can’t do that if you are growing a baby, so your body, in its infinite wisdom, secretes only stress hormones to enable you to fight or flee. The problem is that chronic stress, like longing for a baby or dealing with a narcissistic boss, or even extreme exercise, means your adrenal glands are pumping out the stress hormone cortisol. Chronic stress creates chronic demand, which exhausts your adrenal glands and leads to chronic fatigue.

Hormones can’t function without specific combinations of enzymes and their co-factors, vitamins, and minerals. In women (and men), luteinizing hormone (LH) is released by the brain, which in turn signals the release of the egg from the ovary and stimulates the production of testosterone in men. This is a very precisely timed, tightly controlled process because in order to release the egg when the uterus is ready for implantation, you must also have the enzymes necessary to digest the connective tissue that surrounds the egg in the ovary. If the message is delayed, the uterine lining is already being shed in menstruation and the opportunity is lost. For this  process you need collagen digesting enzymes (collectively referred to as “collagenases”). These enzymes digest tissue to release the egg when told, and afterward repair the tissue to seal it back up and restore it. It’s easy to understand how a lack of these enzymes could result in a tubal pregnancy or along with other factors, infertility.

These same connective tissue digesting enzymes are necessary to the developing fetus to digest the connective tissue between the fingers and toes to separate them into ten individual digits. Any time cells need to travel in the body; they must have connective tissue destroying and repairing enzymes to carry out their function.

These are the very same enzymes, that are used by cancer cells to break off and migrate throughout the body and then connect and metastasize in other organs. “It’s probably like an expeditionary corp in the jungle with a machete.” (Dr. Matthias Rath, The Truth About Cancer, link in resources below).

For decades we (women especially) have been tested for hormone imbalance and led to believe that there was something wrong with us—that the answer was outside of us, and synthetic hormones and invasive treatments were the answer. The truth is that, in many cases–infertility, adrenal fatigue, diabetes, cancer, and most chronic conditions, are a result of failure at the cellular level inside your body to effectively communicate with each other. Even if it is a genetic glitch— the good news is that modern research and the study of epigenetics has proven that given the proper nutrition and healthy lifestyle, these challenges can be overcome.

Hippocrates said it best—“Let food be thy medicine!”



Enzyme Definition

Clinical Paper citing studies of Enzymes & Ovaries

Excellent Info on specific systemic enzymes that help all female issues

Excellent Information on Systemic/Therapeutic/Metabolic Enzymes

Dr. Matthias Rath



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Thomasina Copenhaver
Thomasina Copenhaver is a naturopathic doctor and registered nurse with over 30 years experience in the healthcare profession. Her passion is writing, researching, and empowering all humans with knowledge of healing at the cellular level; to enable them to make educated and informed choices regarding their health. For more information visit her website: or to buy her book, "Notes from a Naturopath" visit Amazon or Barnes and Noble.