The human body is an intricate piece of machinery that requires an obscene amount of biological functions to survive. Aiding our anatomical and physiological makeup, 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 differences 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.
Enzymes vs Hormones
The crucial difference between Hormones and Enzymes is 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 differences between enzymes and hormones are summarized below:
|The Difference Between Enzymes and 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 the 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
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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