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Enzymes

In Western medicine, enzymes are complex proteins indispensable for myriad physiological functions, catalyzing specific biochemical reactions throughout the body. Enzymes are central to metabolic pathways, ranging from food digestion to blood coagulation (Kohlmeier, Nutrient Metabolism, 2015). They can be classified into four main plant-based groups: Proteases break down proteins into amino acids; Amylases convert polysaccharides to disaccharides; Lipases catalyze the conversion of triglycerides to fatty acids; and Cellulases hydrolyze specific carbohydrate bonds in fiber. Further, proteolytic enzymes, derived from various biological sources like animals and plants, specialize in protein degradation. Three primary examples are Pepsin, which is involved in food digestion; Trypsin, which cleaves long-chain amino acids; and Chymotrypsin, a component of pancreatic juice that acts on peptide bonds (Berg et al., Biochemistry, 7th edition, 2012). These enzymes are elemental to human physiology and ubiquitous across all living organisms, underlining their fundamental role in biological systems.