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What Are Some Types Of Enzymes? — an article on the Smart Living Network
April 6, 2010 at 8:46 AMComments: 0 Faves: 0

What Are Some Types Of Enzymes?


Enzymes are proteins that speed up bodily processes by reducing the amount of energy needed to produce a certain chemical reaction. Essential in over 4000 different biochemical functions, there are different types of enzymes for different types of functions. A few functions enzymes perform:

  • Cell regulation
  • Cell communication
  • Digestion
  • Muscle contraction

There are three types of enzymes: Metabolic, Digestive and Food. Metabolic and Digestive are produced inside the body, but Food enzymes you must get from, yes, food. Metabolic Enzymes catalyze reactions inside individual cells for energy and cleaning. These enzymes are behind sight, hearing, touch, movement and even thought. Digestive Enzymes break down food into either nutrients or waste. Nutrients are absorbed and waste is removed from the body. Food enzymes are attained from raw foods only and not produced by the body. Cellulose is an example of a food enzyme, even though cellulose is technically a digestive enzyme on account of its job to break down fiber, because the body cannot make cellulose.

The digestive system is one of the largest, most important functions enzymes take on. There are various types of digestive enzymes that have different functions, as they all help to break down different things. By breaking down food substances, enzymes allow the small intestine to absorb essential nutrients as well as eliminate unnecessary waste.

The digestive process, as far as enzymes are concerned, begins in the mouth. Salivary glands release an enzyme called ptyalin. This enzyme digests starch, breaking it down in to sugars. The stomach contains a series of enzymes called gastric enzymes that also break down different things. Pepsin, for instance, is the predominant enzyme in the stomach, and works on breaking down proteins into peptides. Other enzymes in the stomach work on different substances. For example, gelatinase breaks down meat products. Pancreatic enzymes are found, obviously, in the pancreas. The pancreas is the predominant digestive gland in the human body and secretes several enzymes. If we're still following protein, the next enzymes it hits is Trypsin. Trypsin breaks down peptides once they get to the small intestine. Other enzymes secreted by the pancreas break down fats or carbohydrates. Small intestine acids continue breaking down materials into monosaccharides.

Because enzymes are very important, it is vital to a humans health that he/she have enough of them in his/her body. Enzymes are, as aforementioned, both consumed and produced internally. As a person ages, their personal enzyme production naturally decreases, meaning they should probably eat more enzymes. Enzymes are found in raw food. Cooking and processing foods decreases the enzyme potential as enzymes can be inhibited by chemicals or extreme temperatures. (Poisons and drugs, for example, are often also enzyme inhibitors.) Enzymes can also be attained by taking enzyme supplements.


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