What Is An Enzyme?

What is an enzyme has been answered by the scientific community over the years and has pretty much stayed the same. It seems to be repeated in all the dictionaries. Here's one definition in simple terms that I found but I'd like to share other views with you as well:


Enzyme - any of several complex proteins that are produced by cells and act as catalysts in specific biochemical reactions.

Catalysts - (chemistry) a substance that initiates or accelerates a chemical reaction without itself being affected.

Reference: http://www.onelook.com

Now here's an excerpt from a book I've had for many years which will provide a little more insight into this definition:
"As catalysts, enzymes are involved in reactions that lead to certain chemical products, but are not changed or altered in any way by the reaction; thus the enzymes emerge from the process ready to participate immediately in subsequent similar reactions."

Reference: "The Plant World" - authors; Harry J. Fuller, Zane B. Carothers, Willare W. Payne and Margaret K Balbach.

Here's my logic on... "What is an Enzyme?"

I see it with a little broader application to life and the entire food chain.

When you compare an enzyme's activity to a factory worker's, you can see how they resemble each other. A factory worker on an assembly line will perform one action after the next without becoming a portion of the assembled part. But I see enzymes a little different as well.

  • Enzymes spring to life within microorganisms when brought together with water and minerals.
  • Microorganisms feed on minerals, plants feed on microorganisms, animals and man feed on plants.
  • Enzymes are the workers that perform life processes within all life forms.
  • Enzymes do specific jobs in the body. Common examples are these: Lipase enzymes act on fats, Protease enzymes act on proteins, Cellulase acts on cellulose, Amylase acts on starch.
  • Enzymes also perform processes within every aspect of bodily functions. They work in the lungs, the kidneys, liver, nerves, brain, muscle - where something is being done, enzymes are doing the work (but always one enzyme to one specific function).
  • Enzymes are temperature sensitive. As vegetables are cooked, they lose their form, go limp, and they die.
  • As we show our age, and slow down, enzymes have already been on the decline.

Can we slow the aging clock by eating more foods rich in enzymes or by taking enzyme supplements? I've found those that say "yes" but I think there is more to it than that. I'm doing my own research on both supplements and foods and I'll be writing more as time goes on so stay tuned if you are interested in this subject.

The question, "What is an Enzyme?" has many answers. You may have your own observations and opinions about them. I'd be interested in hearing yours. If you do, send me an email. You can reach me through my Contact page.


  • Food Enzymes by Humbart Santillo, MH, ND
  • Enzyme Nutrition by Dr Edward Howell
  • The Plant World by Fuller, Carothers, Payne, and Balbach.
  • Quick definitions - http://www.onelook.com

Please feel free to email me if you have questions or comments. I am always happy to respond.

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