Difference Between Enzymes and Hormones

The human body is an intricate piece of machinery that requires an obscene amount of biological functions to survive. Aiding our anatomical and physiological make up, there are many chemicals that enable certain functions that are necessary for life. These “chemicals” can be categorized as enzymes and hormones.

One of the major difference between enzymes and hormones is that enzymes act as a catalyst for a reaction and hormones act as messengers that trigger various functions in the body.

The Difference Between Enzymes and Hormones

The crucial difference between Hormones and Enzymes and enzymes are their chemical composition. Almost all known enzymes are proteins. Hormones on the other hand, can either be made up of proteins, amino acids or even steroids. All the other major difference between enzymes and hormones are summarized below:

Difference Between Enzymes and Hormones

The Difference Between Enzymes and Hormones
Enzymes Hormones
Catalyst: Accelerates the rate of a reaction Messenger: Triggers functions in the body
Predominantly composed of proteins Composed of proteins, amino acids, steroids etc
Retains chemical make-up after use, hence can be reused Chemical composition changes after use, hence cannot be reused
External factors acutely affect regulation of enzymes such as temperature, pH levels etc External factors do not affect hormones as acutely as enzymes.
Enzymes cannot diffuse through a cell membrane Hormones can diffuse through a cell membrane
Exocrine glands produce Enzymes

(salivary glands, sweat glands)

Endocrine glands produce Hormones

(thyroid and pituitary glands)

Enzymes are not affected by age Hormones are affected by age (puberty)
Enzymes form and act at the site of production Hormones form and act at different sites
Examples: Protease, amylase, and lipase are important enzymes for digestion

Examples: Melatonin is the hormone that regulates your circadian rhythm (sleep cycle)

Insulin is another hormone that regulates blood sugar

Conclusion

Hormones and Enzymes play a vital role in our body by controlling and regulating many functions. Hormones are known as chemical messengers as they trigger many functions while enzymes are catalysts as they affect the rate of a reaction.

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