The human body contains three different types of enzymes. Two of these enzymes, digestive enzymes and metabolic enzymes, are produced by the body. The third enzyme category, food enzymes, works within the body but is produced by the food that the body takes in.
Digestive enzymes help the body to digest food and then work to deliver the nutrients in the food to different areas of the body. Two of the most well known digestive enzymes are excreted into the stomach by the small intestine and the pancreas.
Important Digestive Enzymes
While all digestive enzymes are important for bodily function, the three most important are protease, amylase and lipase. Lipase works to help the body digest fats. Amylase is responsible for digesting carbohydrates, and protease works to digest proteins.
The enzymes in the body that have the responsibility of keeping the organs, tissues and blood levels running properly are called metabolic enzymes. These enzymes are needed to keep the body's tissues and organs maintained and for cell growth. Metabolic enzymes transform carbohydrates, proteins and fats into the proper balance of viable tissues and cells.
Food enzymes are not produced by the body, but come from vegetables, raw fruits and supplements. These enzymes break down the different nutrients in the food, such as vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, fats and proteins, and make them easier for the body to absorb. These enzymes are essential to the health of the human body.
Overcooking foods can destroy the enzymes that are found in them and needed by the body. These enzymes are very sensitive to the temperatures that most foods are cooked at, such as being heated to 118 degrees Fahrenheit and over. Raw foods can also lack enzymes if they have been grown in soil that does not have the right amount of nutrients.