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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)

Review Date 1/31/2015

Updated by: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director and Director of Didactic Curriculum, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington. Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.