How Enzymes Affect Our Body

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Enzymes are biologically active proteins that serve as catalysts; they have the ability to speed up chemical reactions. Without a catalyst many biochemical reactions will be carried out too slowly for the body to benefit. All sorts of enzymes occur naturally in our bodies, some help digest food. An enzyme such as amylase is present in saliva which breaks down starch into smaller maltose molecules. Without an enzyme holding the large molecule in position, this reaction will be extremely slow. Every reaction requires certain amount of energy to form. Enzymes lower the activation energy (amount energy required to be put into the reaction to begin). It does this by applying pressure to bonds that require s the molecule to break, or bring the molecules closer to bond. The molecules or chemicals the enzymes work on are called substrates, substrates then bind to the enzyme active site, once they bond to the active site, the enzyme will change shape to fit the substrate, and this is known as the induced fit model. All enzymes are specific to particular molecules or chemicals and are usually named after their substrate ‘ase’. For example lactase is an enzyme that breaks down lactose.

Allosteric enzymes differ from non-allosteric enzymes. Allosteric enzymes at least have more than one binding site, where as regular enzymes have one or more site that they can bind to. Unlike allosteric enzymes, if a non-allosteric enzyme binds to an enzymes active site this does not increase or
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