How many different types of enzymes are needed in the body?

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justaguide eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Enzymes are a class of catalysts that are present in living organisms. Their function is to change the rate of reaction between different reactants. Enzymes are able to speed up reactions due to their shape; they are designed in a manner that makes it possible for substrates to fit into the enzyme and a complex molecule is formed that has a low activation energy. The reduction of activation energy required to initiate a reaction is essential as the amount of energy available in a biological system is not sufficient to allow a majority of reactions to take place on their own.

Enzymes are required for almost every biological reaction, some of these are: transmission of signals across cells, regulation of cellular activity, movement within cells that allows muscles to contract and relax, utilization of food for cells to gain energy, metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins and fats that allows them to be used for the formation of the cellular structure of the organism and as a source of energy.

In short it would be accurate to say that enzymes are essential for almost every biological activity. This requires thousands of enzymes as most are suited for only a single type of reaction.

lalithareddy | Student

Generally, when someone mentions enzymes, the first thing that comes to mind for the average person is digestive enzymes. But there are actually three major types of enzymes at work in the human body; the other two are metabolic enzymes and food enzymes. Within these three types of enzymes, there are nearly 3,000 different kinds of enzymes, each carrying out specific tasks for good health and function.