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Blog Archive

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Digestive and metabolic enzymes

Digestive and metabolic enzymes are different from each other and perform different functions in the body. They are both enzymes in that they are biomolecules that catalyze reactions (speed up or increase the rate of the process). Without enzymes, our digestion or metabolism would be extremely slow and mostly incomplete. Incomplete digestion may be a contributing factor in the development of many ailments including flatulence, bloating, belching, food allergies, nausea, bad breath, bowel problems and stomach disorders*. However, the bad breath that may be produced by poor digestion, if any at all, is nowhere near as strong as an odor produced by a metabolic condition in which the metabolic enzymes count is low or non-existant.

Here is a brief explanation of enzymes, metabolism, and digestion.

Enzymes are biomolecules that catalyze (i.e. increase the rates of) chemical reactions. Almost all enzymes are proteins. In enzymatic reactions, the molecules at the beginning of the process are called substrates, and the enzyme converts them into different molecules, the products. Almost all processes in a biological cell need enzymes in order to occur at significant rates. Since enzymes are extremely 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.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enzymes

Metabolism is all the chemical reactions that are carried out by a cell; the sum of all the enzyme-catalized reactions occurring in a cell. Metabolism has 2 principal functions:
1. Catabolism: breaks down large molecules to provide energy required to maintain the internal composition of the cell and support its function
2. Anabolism: uses energy to construct components of cells, such as proteins and nucleic acids; provides the metabolites the cell requires to synthesize its constituents and products
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metabolism

metabolic pathways: the organization of the chemical reactions of metabolism, in which one chemical is transformed into another by a sequence of enzymes.

metabolites: A substance that takes part in the process of metabolism, which involves the breakdown of complex organic constituents of the bodywith the liberation of energy for use in bodily functioning. The various compounds that take part in or are formed by these reactions are called metabolites. http://www.everythingbio.com/glos/definition.php?word=metabolite
xenobiotic metabolism: literally, "stranger to organism". Compounds not degraded by organisms in the environment. http://www.everythingbio.com/glos/definition.php?word=xenobiotic

endobiotic metabolism: All of the chemical reactions that are carried out by a cell, within the cell or tissue of a host. http://medical.merriam-webster.com/medical/endobiotic http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metabolism

Three subdivisions of metabolisms:
1. Carbohydrate Metabolism — glycolysis, gluconeogenesis, the pentose phosphate pathway, the electron transport chain and the TCA cycle.
2. Lipid Metabolism — fatty acid activation and oxidation, fatty acid synthesis, cholesterol biosynthesis, phospholipid synthesis, glycolipid synthesis and triacylglycerol synthesis.
3. Nitrogen Metabolism — transamination, purine and pyrimidine synthesis and degradation, amino acid catabolism, non-essential amino acid synthesis and the urea cycle.
http://www.cellml.org/examples/repository/qualitative/metabolic_models_doc.html

Digestion: The digestive system is made up of the digestive tract—a series of hollow organs joined in a long, twisting tube from the mouth to the anus—and other organs that help the body break down and absorb food. Two “solid” digestive organs, the liver and the pancreas, produce digestive juices that reach the intestine through small tubes called ducts. Parts of the nervous and circulatory systems also play major roles in the digestive system. The digestive process is controlled by hormone regulators and nerve regulators.
http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/yrdd/

Digestive Enzymes: Digestive Enzymes assist the body in the breakdown of food. Different enzymes with different functions are produced in particular areas of the digestive tract. Incomplete digestion may be a contributing factor in the development of many ailments including flatulence, bloating, belching, food allergies, nausea, bad breath, bowel problems and stomach disorders. Digestive enzymes are primarily responsible for the chemical breakdown of food and constitute a large portion of digestive secretions. The human body makes approximately 22 different enzymes that are involved in digestion…

Plant Enzymes also act in the stomach. They occur naturally in food or are taken as a supplement. They are essential for predigesting food and work with the body's own enzymes. Common plant enzymes include;
- Bromelain - a protein-digesting enzyme found in pineapples, primarily the core. Bromelain is called a proteolytic enzyme. This means it can prevent and help tissue damage, inflammation and swelling.
- Papain- a protein-digesting enzyme extracted from pawpaw fruit (pawpaw). Papain can also decrease inflammation and tissue damage…

Supplemental enzymes may help an impaired or sluggish digestive system. It is also important to promote the body's own digestive function.Certain dietary factors can improve the digestive process by stimulating enzymes and hydrochloric acid secretion.
The following diet hints may assist in maintaining optimal digestion;
- B Complex Vitamins - the B group vitamins are important for the production of digestive enzymes.
- 1 tsp of apple cider vinegar in 1/4 glass of warm water before each meal may help stimulate digestive juices to break down food, particularly protein. Apple cider vinegar contains malic acid which stimulates digestive acid.
- 1/2 a lemon squeezed into half a glass of water may also stimulate digestive juices.
- Potassium chloride is involved in the production of hydrochloric acid.
- Bitter foods also activate the digestive process.

* http://au.lifestyle.yahoo.com/health/reference/20082008/digestive-enzymes/index.html?r=96743825

http://www.kidshealth.org/parent/general/body_basics/metabolism.html

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