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Enzyme fundamentals

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked

Story at-a-glance -

  • Your body secretes enzymes to catalyze biological reactions, making them vital to good health and longevity. Each organ has its own set of enzymes, and each enzyme has a different function
  • Enzymes can be broadly divided into digestive enzymes, metabolic enzymes and food-based enzymes
  • Enzymes for supplemental use can be sourced from animal, plant and microbial or fungal sources
  • There are two primary ways of using an enzyme supplement: digestively or systemically. Taken with food, it will help digest the food. Taken on an empty stomach, the enzymes will pass through your digestive system and enter your blood circulation, providing systemic benefits

Enzymes are proteins composed of individual amino acids. They are necessary to speed up many cellular functions and biological processes. Your body secretes enzymes to catalyze biological reactions, making them vital to good health and longevity.

Each enzyme has a different function, for example, superoxide dismutase, glutathione peroxidase and catalase have antioxidant functions. Digestive enzymes such as protease, lipase and amylase are needed for digestion and nutrient absorption and elimination, while molecular motor enzymes such as myosin and actin are needed for the activation of muscle contractions.


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