What are Enzymes?

Although enzymes have always existed and decades of research on enzymes is available, it is only recently that the term "enzyme" has been introduced to the general public. Unfortunately, most people don't really understand what enzymes are or what they do. This first article about enzymes will help you to better understand what enzymes are and their importance to health.

Enzymes are made of protein and function as 'catalysts' in the body. In chemistry, a catalyst is a molecule or substance that helps speed up reactions, but doesn't get used up in the reaction. Enzymes are great catalysts. They speed up biochemical reactions in the body and make cell function possible. For example, DNA and RNA cannot be created without the aid of enzymes. It would take years to make a single strand of DNA or RNA without the help of enzymes. Because they are involved in every process of the body, enzymes have been called the "life force". All biochemical reactions within the human body, including energy production, metabolism, reproduction, the immune system, and the digestive system utilize enzymes. There are thousands of different enzymes that regulate bodily functions and these body functions would not be possible were it not for enzymes. Simply put, without enzymes, life could not exist.

Enzymes can be grouped into three categories: metabolic enzymes, digestive enzymes and food enzymes. - Metabolic enzymes work within the cells to regulate activities such as detoxification, nerve function, muscle contraction and energy production. These enzymes are made within the body based on the unique DNA found in each cell type. Without these enzymes cell functions could not continue. - Digestive enzymes are produced by the pancreas and intestinal system and are required in order to break foods down into the individual nutrients needed by the body. Without these enzymes, the nutrients in food are unavailable for use in the cells of the body. - Food enzymes are those that are naturally present in raw foods and aid in the breakdown of that particular food. Food enzymes can be introduced to the body through the ingestion of raw foods or in the form of enzyme supplements.





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