At the most basic molecular level, enzymes are biochemical catalysts, which are almost always proteins. Although most enzymes are proteins, not all proteins are enzymes. For enzymes to complete the task of speeding up chemical reactions, most require additional co-factors to remain active or functional. All chemical processes in biological reactions and chemistry are sped up (catalyzed) by specific enzymes. Enzymes speed reactions by using a different pathway toward reaction completion, where the energy required to complete the reaction is significantly decreased through intermediate steps requiring less energy.
All chemical reactions that spontaneously occur happen along a reaction pathway, where one molecule is turned into another, which is turned into another, and another until the process is complete. The conversion of one chemical into an end product can be thousands of events long. But by choosing a different pathway, enzymes choose intermediate product conversions that require less energy and hence, take less time to perform. Normally slow chemical reactions happen more quickly
A chemical reaction catalyzed (sped up) by such biological catalysts happens 1000 to 10 ^ 17 times faster than their same corresponding, un-catalyzed reactions.
Concurrent knowledge on enzymes is especially useful to understanding the role of raw foods in human health. When communicating the health benefits of living foods, supplements or extractions, 90% of the explanation brings enzymes into question. All raw and so called living foods contain enzymes, the biological tools that help us digest and convert energy. In the food industry enzymes pose problems, because they speed the process by which most foods naturally oxidize and expire. That is why naturally squeezed juices and other raw foods are subjected to homogenization where heating kills the enzymes that make a naturally derived product age.
However, aging in food expiration terms bears little relation to aging in humans. In most cases, enzymes contained in natural foods help prevent the aging process in humans as a whole. And while enzymes are readily abundant in raw foods, absence of enzymes in cooked foods poses many problems as the digestive system drains significant energy replacing them. The reason why one becomes tired after consuming a cooked meal is because significant energy is drained producing the necessary enzymes for digestion. In addition, the mitigation of daily reactions in the body, where aging is minimized remains untold.
Enzymes (biochemical catalysts) can speed chemical reactions by thousands of times. Most reactions are sped up from 1000 times to 10 ^ 17 faster than their normal pathway. This serves a functional purpose in living organisms where chemical processes otherwise happen too slowly in order to sustain life.
How is enzyme activity measured?
Enzyme assay is the most recognized method for analyzing the biochemical activity of an enzyme sample. This method measures enzymatic activity under conditions where the speed at which which an enzyme converts products is in direct proportion to the enzyme's concentration.
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