Many biochemical reactions in the body are driven by enzymes. In this way, substances become other substances or divide into molecules. This is also the reason why they are often referred to as biocatalysts. Finally, they develop the basic building blocks of food that are necessary for the body.
They are also involved in metabolism. In addition, they influence digestion, respiration, and also growth. They make sure that stimuli are transmitted and are also connected to many other processes that take place in the body.
They are regulators and control points, so chemical reactions can run smoothly.
What are enzymes?
An enzyme is generally a protein that acts as a catalyst in the body. Its functions are diverse. Whether it’s digestion or metabolic processes, even genetic material is translated into protein.
An enzyme is divided between an enzyme with a protein chain and an enzyme with multiple protein chains. The protein chain characteristically folds, leading to the conclusion that the enzyme is multifunctional. The enzyme takes on several tasks.
They can also unite to form a large complex and regulate each other through interaction. There are many enzymes in the body, and digestive enzymes take over the most basic task. Ultimately, they are responsible for dividing food – breaking it down into small building blocks for the body to function.
The building blocks are absorbed through the mucous membrane and pass directly into the blood. Metabolism can directly use or save the basic components.
The digestive enzymes are divided into five groups:
- Amylase, which is produced in the mouth. This helps break down large starch molecules into smaller sugar molecules.
- Pepsin, which is produced in the stomach. Helps break down proteins into amino acids.
- Trypsin, which is produced in the pancreas. It also breaks down protein.
- Pancreatic lipase is produced in the pancreas. This is used to break down fats.
- Ribonuclease and deoxyribonuclease are produced in the pancreas. These are chain-breaking enzymes in nucleic acids like DNA and RNA.
The different tasks of enzymes
- Peptidases break down peptides and proteins and subsequently convert them into amino acids.
- Glucosidases break down sugar chains like glycogen and starch and secure simple sugar molecules.
- Lipases, which form in the pancreas, divide fats into fatty acids and also glycerin.
- Nucleases, or phosphodiesterases, break down nucleic acids.
- Lactase breaks down the sugar in milk, creating glucose and galactose.
The lactate dehydrogenase enzyme plays the most important role in the human body. The enzyme is found in the liver, muscles, and also in red blood cells. If there is an increase in lactate dehydrogenase concentration, it can be assumed that anemia is present.
The troponin T is particularly suitable when damage to the heart is shown. Troponin T is released by the heart muscle if a heart attack has occurred. Therefore, doctors pay attention to the amount of troponin T, so, on the one hand, they are certain that it was a heart attack and, on the other hand, they know how serious the damage really is.
The alkaline phosphatase is in the liver, bile ducts and bones.
The Gamma Glutamyl Transferase or gamma-GT, occurs in kidney, liver and brain.
If high values are found, the physician must assume that the organs in which the enzyme in question is found are diseased. Subsequently, doctors can begin treatment.
Food as a supplier of enzymes
But enzymes are not only found in the human body, they are also found in food. There are some enzymes that are important to the body but are not produced independently. Therefore, people should be sure to ingest them through food.
It is important that the food is raw and fresh. This is the only way to prevent enzymes from breaking down and being absorbed by the body. Enzymes, which can be found in vegetables or fruits, help people with digestion.
The problem is that humans don’t ingest enough digestive enzymes, so food is not completely digested. Food residues that cannot be digested are subsequently stored in the body; we are talking about fat.
Bananas, kiwis, papayas, figs, pineapples, and pears are extremely high in enzyme content. Enzyme-rich vegetables include tomatoes, cucumbers, and broccoli. For this reason, it is important for people to pay attention to consuming enough of these foods.
This is the only way to keep people healthy, as they can prevent or combat various diseases before they develop. In addition, enzyme-rich foods can also be used as “medications.” If you are sick, you should eat foods rich in enzymes to fight the disease.
Of course, biocatalysts are also important in food and beverage production. Enzymes are converted to sugar and acid in numerous fermentation processes.
This is how alcohol, yogurt, baked goods, or cheese can be produced. The enzymes of lactic acid bacteria are used, for example, in the production of yogurt. Proteases are used in the production of cheese. Protease and amylase are used in breweries and distilleries.
Pineapple is an especially recommended fruit
Pineapple not only tastes particularly good, but it is also extremely healthy. In addition, people affected by very severe acne or who have Alzheimer’s also benefit.
The enzymes of pineapple also help break down the proteins that are in the diet. Proteins can be broken down into their constituents, that is, into amino acids. This is again important when the body’s own cells accumulate.