Wednesday, January 19, 2011
What is Enzymes
Also Can Read : My Inner Journey 33
Enzyme From Wikipedia,
Enzymes ( /ˈɛnzaɪmz/) are proteins that catalyze (i.e., increase or decrease the rates of) chemical reactions. In enzymatic reactions, the molecules at the beginning of the process are called substrates, and they are converted into different molecules, called the products. Almost all processes in a biological cell need enzymes to occur at significant rates. Since enzymes are selective for their substrates and speed up only a few reactions from among many possibilities, the set of enzymes made in a cell determines which metabolic pathways occur in that cell.
Like all catalysts, enzymes work by lowering the activation energy (Ea‡) for a reaction, thus dramatically increasing the rate of the reaction. As a result, products are formed faster and reactions reach their equilibrium state more rapidly. Most enzyme reaction rates are millions of times faster than those of comparable un-catalyzed reactions. As with all catalysts, enzymes are not consumed by the reactions they catalyze, nor do they alter the equilibrium of these reactions. However, enzymes do differ from most other catalysts by being much more specific. Enzymes are known to catalyze about 4,000 biochemical reactions. A few RNA molecules called ribozymes also catalyze reactions, with an important example being some parts of the ribosome. Synthetic molecules called artificial enzymes also display enzyme-like catalysis.
Enzyme activity can be affected by other molecules. Inhibitors are molecules that decrease enzyme activity; activators are molecules that increase activity. Many drugs and poisons are enzyme inhibitors. Activity is also affected by temperature, chemical environment (e.g., pH), and the concentration of substrate. Some enzymes are used commercially, for example, in the synthesis of antibiotics. In addition, some household products use enzymes to speed up biochemical reactions (e.g., enzymes in biological washing powders break down protein or fat stains on clothes; enzymes in meat tenderizers break down proteins into smaller molecules, making the meat easier to chew).
Our Digestive System
First of all, let us understand how our digestive system works.
I will try to explain this in as layman a language as possible.
Our human body produces about 22 different digestive enzymes. A majority of the source of these enzymes are found in fruits, vegetables, meats, grains and other foods.
These enzymes are essential for healthy digestion, yet it is a nutritional compound that is most neglected. Unfortunately, most people lack these enzymes due to the poor choices of food we take, and the way food is prepared.
Enzymes are found in abundance in raw fruits and vegetables. When God created fruits and vegetables, He had packaged the necessary enzymes to digest the particular nutrients in that fruit. For example, in a juicy sweet fruit, there is sucrase, the enzyme required to digest sucrose. In fibrous foods there is, packaged together, cellulase to digest them. In grains there is maltase, to digest malt, and so on.
So you see, when we cook or process these whole foods, the enzymes are destroyed, causing the food we consume to be enzyme-deficient and cannot be properly digested.
When we consume these enzyme-deficient foods, our deprived body will have to generate its own enzymes required to digest the food.
The more we depend on our internally-produced enzymes, the more stress we put on our body systems and organs. When our body enzymes are busy digesting our heavy meal that has no enzyme, their function of rebuilding and replenishing our worn-out and damaged cells are neglected.
For example, when we eat cooked meat (which of course must be cooked), the enzymes would have been destroyed, making the meat to be of no nutrient value. And meat, by the way, takes up to an average of about 8-12 hours to be digested (and even more for some people).
When you consume meat, your digestive system works extra hard to digest the meat. When the system lacks the required enzymes to do its work, it engages enzymes from other parts of the body to help out, depleting the body's natural enzymes
That's why, after a heavy meaty meal, you will feel lazy and sleepy. This is because more enzymes than necessary are consumed and are working overtime to digest the meat.
Don't get too smart and eat plenty of fruits after you consume a huge meal, expecting the fruits to do its job in providing enzymes for digestion. It doesn't work that way.
Fruits take up to an hour to digest. And, because meat takes much longer to digest, the fruit you consumed after a meal will just sit on top of the undigested food in your intestine. This causes the fruits to ferment in your stomach and it starts to putrefy, producing gas, and causing a host of problems to your health.
When you do eat a huge meal, drink with it a glass of fresh pineapple juice afterwards (not canned). Pineapple is rich in bromelain which aids digestion by breaking down protein.