Dr Edward Howell was born in Chicago, Illinois on October 30, 1898. He held a limited medical license in the state of Illinois. One must pass the same board examination as a medical doctor for this license, but materia medica (a Latin medical term referring to the body of collected knowledge about the therapeutic properties of any substance used in healing), obstetrics and surgery are excluded. He obtained his license in 1924 and then joined the staff at Lindlahr Sanitarium in Elmhurst, Illinois. He remained there until 1930.
In 1930, he established a private practice for the treatment of advanced illness, which utilized nutritional and physical therapies. For forty years, until he retired in 1970, he spent three days a week treating his patients and the rest of his time he spent in various kinds of research.
In 1932, he started the National Enzyme Company so that he might expand his research on food enzyme nutrition and provide his enzyme supplements, Genuine N Zimes, to the public. As knowledge of the effectiveness of Genuine N Zimes spread, the demand by consumers and doctors alike increased. In the early 1980’s, the advancements in enzyme technology caused the development of a professional-strength enzyme supplement called NESS, short for Nutritional Enzyme Support System (NEC). The product line was launched in 1985 and the company Enzyme, Inc. was formed to be the exclusive distributor of NESS and other brands of enzyme supplements manufactured by NEC. In the year 2000, Enzymes, Inc was purchased by Lynn Greaves and her husband, Jim. She had joined Enzymes, Inc in 1985 and worked with Dr. Howell along with the owner of NEC. Enzymes, Inc now offers 125 different enzyme products and 6 different product lines.
Dr Howell was a pioneer in his field. He was the first researcher to recognize and to outline the importance of enzymes in food to the nutrition of human beings. He wrote The Status of Food Enzymes In Digestion and Metabolism in 1946. It took him more then 20 years to complete Enzyme Nutrition, which is a condensed version. The original work has about 700 pages and is approximately 160,000 words long and contains 695 references to the world’s scientific literature as well as 47 tables. It contains the reference and source materials for Dr Howell’s enzyme theories, which he called the Food Enzyme Concept. The book reviews the scientific literature through 1973.
Dr. Howell stated the following maxim: The length of life is inversely proportional to the rate of exhaustion of the enzyme potential of an organism. The increased use of food enzymes promotes a decreased rate of exhaustion of the enzyme potential. Another rule can be expressed as follows: Whole foods give good health; enzyme-rich foods provide limitless energy.
Dr Edward Howell believed that cooking our food results in a shortened life span, illness and a lowered resistance to various types of stress. He pointed out that Homo sapiens and animals in general consuming a diet largely of cooked foods have enlarged pancreases, while the others glands and organs, the brain to a high degree, shrink in size.
At the age of 88, while living in Southwest Florida, he served as Research Director for the Food Enzyme Research Foundation while continuing his writing and research. His last residence was Fort Myers, Lee County, Florida where he died on March 30, 1988. His wife Evangeline was born March 27, 1904 and died in August of 1991.