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What are Metabolic Enzymes?

By Erin J. Hill
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Metabolic enzymes refer to various substances within the body that carry out a variety of functions. In short, they are a major component in the reproduction and replenishment of cells. These cells are not limited to any specific region of the body, but can include one of many bodily systems and functions.

The pancreas is the primary organ which produces and releases metabolic enzymes into the body. These enzymes are responsible for flushing toxins from the body, for helping to produce energy, and for ensuring the correct function of every organ. One of the most important functions of metabolic enzymes happens within the blood. It is the job of enzymes to process nutrients provided by food and distribute them to every area of the body in order to replenish cells.

One factor in the aging process involves a lack of metabolic enzymes in the body. This is what causes the wrinkles, bone loss, and other issues and illnesses that generally come with aging. The bodies of elderly individuals show that fewer enzymes are produced in the pancreas and there are fewer found in the various cells of the body. Many people turn to enzyme supplements to help reverse this process.

There are two ways to get metabolic enzymes other than through the body’s natural production. Enzyme supplements and pills are available, which are claimed to replenish the cells of the body with new enzymes. While many consumers swear by these products, there is currently not evidence available to support their effectiveness at reversing the aging process. The second way to get metabolic enzymes is by eating enzyme-rich foods. Naturally occurring food enzymes are found in bananas, papaya, kiwi, bee pollen, raw honey, avocado, grapes, pineapple, extra virgin olive oil, dates, and certain raw oils and sprouts.

In terms of enzyme supplementation, no manufactured product can duplicate the positive effects of eating a healthy diet. While there is no cure-all for enzyme replacement, consuming a wide variety of nutrient-rich foods in sufficient quantities is the best way to ensure longer life and a healthy body. If pill or liquid supplements must be used, it is best to use a food-based variety rather than one which is synthetically produced.

Supplements should be regarded with the same care as taking an over the counter medication. For this reason, a doctor or pharmacist should be consulted before taking supplements for the purpose of enzyme replacement. This is to ensure there are no potential reactions with existing medication or supplements.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By anon278516 — On Jul 07, 2012

I have eczema and I gave up on doctors a long time ago (I'm only 21 now). It didn't really bother me for a long time until I actually realized it was spreading to my face. That prompted me to start researching and trying new things.

Naturally, being a student, my diet wasn't great. That changed and I ate less, and I found that eating less helped, so I had some feeling I might be diabetic for some reason (I'm fit as a fiddle, only weigh 69kg). I researched more and came across digestive enzymes and they have helped more than anything I've tried in the past, including potions from doctors who only seem to want to treat what's on the outside.

After reading this post, I'm wondering are there any specific metabolic enzymes I could be deficient in? I read a lot about metabolic enzymes but never know if the ones people are touting are natural ones found in your body or synthetic ones?

By Tomislav — On Sep 09, 2011

@speechie - What I have started to find out in learning about enzymes is actually that because enzymes are connected to aging that once you start reading about enzymes it is difficult to find what is good information and what is information designed to sell you something that has to do with enzymes because they can pin it to helping you with your aging process.

In particular I have heard digestive enzymes as being touted as helpful with the aging process. But I have no idea how much research is behind that, but I can tell you after reading many other sites to learn about enzymes, I can appreciate this straightforward article that isn't trying to sell me anything!

By Speechie — On Sep 08, 2011

A healthy diet can help your aging process? I had not heard of this positive fact.

My husband and I joke because he says you never know how vain you are until you start losing your looks. He says this to pole fun of me because he thinks it is funny how I have started to fret about a few wrinkles even though I have never been much of an appearance worrier.

I laugh when he says the part of you never know how vain you are until... because its so true! I never would have thought that I would have had a second thought about wrinkles...until I started seeing them on my own face!

But really in the end, if I eat healthy and feel healthy, I am truly a-okay about the wrinkles, but it is great to hear that in eating healthy I might also be helping my new found face indentions!

This article has piqued my curiosity though - what are some of the other enzymes in the human body?

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