Difference Between Enzymes and Hormones

Difference Between Enzymes and Hormones

What are 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 which are necessary for life. These “chemicals” can be categorized into Enzymes and Hormones. One of the major difference between Enzymes and Hormones are 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 other 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:

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 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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