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Enzymes: the main concepts

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Enzymes are protein substances that play a very important role in various biochemical processes in the body. “Enzymes are present in all living cells and promote the conversion of some substances into others. The enzymes act as catalysts in virtually all biochemical reactions taking place in living organisms. On 5000 more different enzymes have been described by 2013. They play a crucial role in all life processes, directing and regulating the metabolism of substances. “(enzyme.expasy.org/17.01.18)

The most important function of enzymes is the acceleration and start-up of biochemical reactions in the body, many, if not most, of which go only in the presence of the corresponding enzymes. The function of each enzyme is unique, i.e. each enzyme activates only one biochemical process. In this regard, the body has a huge number of enzymes – more than 3000. Also as functions of enzymes: they participate in the process of digestion, help the body to digest food; accelerate the process of self-purification of the body; normalize metabolism, contribute to weight loss; excrete toxins from the body; strengthen immunity; promote the renewal of body cells; convert nutrients into energy; accelerate the healing of wounds; fight infection.

Depending on what kinds of reactions the body catalyzes enzymes, enzymes perform various functions. Most often they are divided into three main groups: food enzymes, digestive enzymes, and metabolic enzymes.

Digestive enzymes are released in the gastrointestinal tract, destroy nutrients, contributing to their absorption into the systemic circulation. There are three main categories of such enzymes: amylase, proteases, lipase. Amylase cleaves carbohydrates and is found in saliva, pancreatic secretions and in intestinal contents. Different types of amylase break down different sugars. Proteases, which are in gastric juice, pancreatic secretion and in the contents of the intestine, help digest proteins. Lipase, which is in gastric juice and pancreatic secret, cleaves fats.

Metabolic enzymes catalyze biochemical processes inside cells. Each organ or tissue of the body has its own network of enzymes. Food enzymes are found in food. Especially the need for the intake of enzymes from food a person experiences with age, because the natural formation of their body decreases over time.

The most intensive enzymes work at a temperature equivalent to body temperature (about 37C). Enzymes are destroyed at high temperatures. The same applies to the cold, at low temperatures, the enzymes “fall asleep”. It is this feature of enzymes that is devoted to our laboratory experiment.

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