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:
- Intestinal fluids
- Mouth (saliva)
- Stomach (gastric juice)
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.
Review Date 1/26/2017
Updated 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.