Enzymes help speed up chemical reactions in the human body. They bind to molecules and alter them in specific ways. They are essential for respiration, digesting food, muscle and nerve function, among thousands of other roles.
Enzymes are built of proteins folded into complicated shapes; they are present throughout the body.
The chemical reactions that keep us alive – our metabolism – rely on the work that enzymes carry out.
Enzymes speed up (catalyze) chemical reactions; in some cases, enzymes can make a chemical reaction millions of times faster than it would have been without it.
A substrate binds to the active siteTrusted Source of an enzyme and is converted into products. Once the products leave the active site, the enzyme is ready to attach to a new substrate and repeat the process.