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The information contained on this page is provided as general health information and is not intended to substitute as medical advice and direction from your physician or health care provider. Please direct any questions related to your health care provider. In an emergency, call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest emergency center.


Enzyme

Definition

Enzymes are complex proteins that cause a specific chemical change in all parts of the body. For example, they can help break down the foods we eat so the body can use them. Blood clotting is another example of enzymes at work.

Enzymes are needed for all body functions. They are found in every organ and cell in the body, including in the:

  • Blood
  • Intestinal fluids
  • Mouth (saliva)
  • Stomach (gastric juice)

References

Hall JE. Genetic control of protein synthesis, cell function, and cell reproduction. In: Hall JE, ed. Guyton and Hall Textbook of Medical Physiology. 13th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 3.