Why are enzymes important to humans?

Enzymes are biocatalyst produced only by living organisms, proteins in nature. They are used to speed up the biochemical reactions. The importance of enzymes can be seen in the fact that none of the biochemical reaction is not proceeding in the human body. Enzymes are also important in vitro like in biochemical engineering. In these fields, the enzyme is attached to enzymes carriers by immobilization techniques. One example of an enzyme carrier is a magnetic enzyme carrier.

Importance:

Human body metabolism is not possible without the presence of the enzyme. Catalyzation is the speeding up the reaction by providing essential activation energy of that reaction. The activation energy of a reaction is a specific amount of energy necessary to start a chemical reaction.

The substance on which the enzyme reacts is known as the substrate. Enzyme attaches to their substance specifically means there is a unique enzyme for one type of reaction and it cannot catalyze other reaction. For initializing any reaction, there I need of huge amount of energy which without an enzyme can take thousands of years to start a reaction.

But enzymes actually lowers that activation energy, hence reaction with an enzyme will take several seconds of time.

Body metabolism is the set of reactions including the generation of energy by digesting the food materials and respiration and then utilizing this energy to do cell growth and other body tasks.

Digestion:

Whenever you eat something, it is broken down into its components by the action of enzymes like proteases for the breakdown of proteins, lipases for lipid break down and amylases for sugar break down.

These polymers (sugar etc.) are broken down into monomers. These monomers will be used to make energy in Respiration.

Respiration:

Respiration is the process of making energy in form of ATP from the breakdown of glucose. These reactions need a set of enzymes like Pyruvate dehydrogenase and oxidative phosphorylase.

Energy utilization:

The energy produced by respiration in form of ATP is used in functions like movement, reproduction, breathing, thinking etc.

The importance of enzymes in human can be determined by certain disease and anomalies caused by some enzymes deficiency in the body.

Tay Sachs disease:

It is a brain-related disorder which is caused by the deficiency of an enzyme known as hexosaminidase-A (Hex-A). This enzyme is responsible for the breakdown of GM2 ganglioside.

In the absence of this enzyme, GM2 ganglioside accumulates in the brain cell, causing nerve cells to damage leading to brain damage.

Gaucher disease:

This disorder is caused by the deficiency of the enzyme known as glucocerebrosidase ( glucosylceramidase).A gene on chromosome no. 1 code for this enzyme. Due to recessive mutation of the gene, this enzyme becomes deficient.

Phenylketonuria (PKU):

This disorder is caused by the deficiency of enzyme phenylalanine hydroxylase (PAH). This enzyme is responsible for the conversion of amino acid phenylalanine (“Phe”) to other essential compounds in the body (tyrosine).