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Enzymes and your digestion

Published: June 05, 2015

A model of an enzyme
A model of an enzyme
What would we do without enzymes? These amazing proteins act as catalysts which speed up the rate of the metabolic reactions that occur in your body and which enable your body to function. Enzymes are specific to the job they have to do: that is, digestive enzymes only function in your digestive process and enzymes that enable bone formation are specific to that task.
Hundreds of metabolic reactions occur in your body on an ongoing basis, but can your body produce enough enzymes to meet your body’s needs?
It has been suggested that plant enzymes in the food that you eat, particularly raw vegetables and fruit, can enhance your digestive process and other internal body processes, This makes things easier for your body thus benefiting your health and aging process. 
Hoever, scientific research suggests that a healthy body can produce all the enzymes it needs, and that enzymes in food are unlikely to aid your digestion or any other body function. 
As you age your metabolism slows, but most people continue to produce enzymes sufficient to meet their body’s requirements. Of course, there are exceptions such as people who are lactose intolerant, but for the most part healthy people do not need to supplement their diet with digestive enzymes which may not have any dietary benefit.
In addition, some raw foods are not as easy to digest as when cooked and may even inhibit the action of your own digestive enzymes!
This article considers the following:
  • Enzyme function
  • Digestive enzymes and their specific functions
  • Plant enzymes and your digestion
Enzymes  function
Enzymes are a specific class of proteins which, as catalysts, speed up the rate of the metabolic reactions that occur in your body and which enable your body to function. There are 6 classes of enzymes and each class of enzyme has a specific function...link to the full article to learn more

Related Topics

Digestion  Metabolism  Protein  Your Body 


Gropper, S.S., Smith, J.L. & Groff (2005). Advanced nutrition and humam metabolism. Belmont. CA: Thomson Wadsworth
Horton et al. (2002). Principles of biochemistry (3rd Ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Klug, W.S. & Cummings, M.R. (2000). Concepts of genetics (6th Ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.