What is the effect of lack of enzymes on the body?  

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trophyhunter1's profile pic

trophyhunter1 | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Enzymes are organic catalysts allowing chemical reactions to proceed at body temperature at a fast pace. Enzymes are responsible for many important biochemical pathways. For example, lactose intolerant people lack the enzyme lactase. It is difficult to break down milk sugar which leads to intestinal upset. People with Phenylketonuria or P.K.U. have no ability to break down phenylalanine, an amino acid. They lack a functional version of phenylalanine hydroxlase enzyme to do so, due to a gene mutation. It is needed for pheylalanine to be converted along a metabolic pathway to tyrosine. When enzymatic activity is reduced or absent, phenylalanine accumulates and converts to phenylpyrute. This can be excreted in the urine, but it also builds up in the brain. It leads to seizures, brain damage and mental retardation. Enzymes are specific and serve many important functions in the body. Lack of functional enzymes due to gene mutations can cause disease or even death.

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vrmanoj's profile pic

vrmanoj | College Teacher | (Level 1) eNoter

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It would be a really rare situation if the body has a lack of enzymes. It is tantamount to meaning that the body is dead and all the proteins are denatured (all enzymes are proteins).

Anyway to answer the question rhetorically, the lack of enzymes in the body would result in the complete shutdown or disruption in most biochemical reactions taking place in the cells of the body. This again, would lead to the demise of the organism.

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