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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.

Taber's Medical Dictionary Online website. www.tabers.com/tabersonline. Accessed March 7, 2019.


Review Date: 2/7/2019
Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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