Why are enzymes organic molecules?

1 Answer

Enzymes are organic molecules because that is the definition of an enzyme.

A catalyst is a substance that speeds up a chemical reaction but is not consumed or altered in the process.

Catalysts are of immense importance in chemistry and biology, because they speed up the biochemical reactions necessary for life.

The catalysts in saliva, for example, speed up the conversion of starch to glucose and do in minutes what would otherwise take weeks.

An enzyme is defined as an organic catalyst for biochemical processes.

The word enzyme comes from Medieval Greek enzymos = "leavened" (en = in; zyme = yeast or leaven; os is an adjective ending).

Some enzymes are simple proteins .

Others consist of a protein linked to one or more non-protein groups.

Without enzymes, life as we know it would not exist.

Here is a video of an enzyme demonstration I like to share with my students. The video shows how an enzyme present in our saliva (spit) can aid in the process of digestion by acting on starches present in the foods we eat.

Video from: Noel Pauller