In the earlier 1990s, scientists found that a chemical called ph increased the production of enzymes in the human body. These enzymes, which serve as catalysts for hundreds of chemical reactions and are responsible for forming new molecules, are vital to human health. All living things rely heavily on their enzymes.
But can ph denature enzymes?
It turns out that ph, a natural environmental substance, can become toxic if exposed to high doses. As it turns out, ph is everywhere: It occurs naturally in air, water, and soil; it is present in food, and it can even be found in our bodies through our pores. We don’t know how much we expose ourselves to ph every day — and because there is no standardized testing method for this substance — we don’t know how much damage ph can do to our bodies. And that makes us very vulnerable to its effects.
Because we aren’t exactly sure what level of exposure is safe for us each time we ingest something containing ph or any other substance with this chemical structure — and because the amount of damage done isn’t known either — Ph.D. student Paul Klimczak decided to do something about this problem: He wanted to meet people who were exposed daily to high levels of ph or other environmental chemicals. He also wanted them to tell him what they did with these chemicals when they were no longer around anymore so he could better understand their long-term health effects on their bodies.
One month later, he published his findings: He discovered that having an exceptionally high amount of exposure did not mean a person would become ill; however, those who were exposed regularly had a higher risk for developing several diseases like cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. Those who had lower amounts of exposure were more likely to live longer.
What surprised Klimczak was how often people shared their stories about these chemicals. One gave an example: When asked why she was experiencing headaches at work every day (and she didn’t like her job), she said she worked with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) — a group of chlorinated chemicals found in paint removers and plasticizers used in products like polystyrene foam used at construction sites. She said her company told her it was ok if she worked there because they use polyvinyl chloride (PVC), which is considered non-.
2. What are enzymes?
Enzymes are proteins that perform a specific function in the body. Enzymes can be natural or synthetic and are found in foods, drinks, and drugs. They may be called “enzymes” for short because most people consider them such.
An enzyme is a functional unit of a biological sequence (Figure 1). Its sole function is to catalyze specific chemical reactions, breaking down molecules into smaller pieces that the body can easily absorb.
A simple example of an enzyme is ginseng, which has a unique ability to break down sugar into its component molecules, glucose and fructose. Guaranine (G) is a compound attached to Ribonucleic acid (RNA), the genetic material of all living organisms, which produces energy in various cells of the human body. G-ribonucleic acid can help maintain healthy blood sugar levels during times when blood sugar levels are low. However, if high blood sugar levels develop, G-ribonucleic acid gets destroyed, and energy production in the body is reduced accordingly.
3. What is denaturing?
Denaturing is a term used to describe a phenomenon where an enzyme is damaged and may change its activity. Enzymes that can denature are enzymes whose dosage of specific substrates will result in degradation or destruction.
The general theory behind denaturing is that if you add enough substrate, the enzyme will be destroyed, no matter the substrate concentration.
As an example, consider the enzyme catalase. Catalase alters hydrogen peroxide into water and oxygen. It does so by allowing hydrogen peroxide to attack oxygen molecules and breaking them down into oxygen and water (see figure 1).
Phosphate buffers provide a far higher concentration of substrate than catalase requires. Under these conditions, catalase will not be destroyed but instead will remain stable and active; it is the products of catalase’s reaction with phosphate -water-oxygen that leads to the degradation of the enzyme (see figure 2). However, catalase becomes denatured when phosphate buffers are not present, which means that it loses its ability to convert phosphate into water-oxygen or hydrogen peroxide -water-oxygen. Denaturating can also occur in other enzymes such as acetylcholinesterase (a cholinesterase) or acyltransferases such as myeloperoxidase (an antibody).
4. How can pH affect enzymes?
To understand how pH affects enzymes, it is essential to know how pH affects them.
Enzymes are proteins that play a vital role in metabolism and cell reproduction. The most important enzymes are the proteases, which break down proteins, and the lipases, which degrade lipids and fats. A list of essential enzymes includes aminopeptidase A (APA), amylase, β-amylase, β-glucosidase, apolipoprotein B (apo B), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), alkaline phosphatase (ALP), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) and uric acid oxidase.
Although these enzymes are essential for life, they can also be used by pathogenic organisms to infect or destroy cells. Non-essential enzymes include:
Peptidases and amidoacetylases.
Hydrolases like cellulases.
Protein glycosidases such as β-glucosidases.
Lysine peroxidases such as lysozyme.
Prolyl endoproteases, including lysozyme.
Xylan esterases like xylan ester reductase, xylulose 4′-phosphate isomerase, xylulose 1,6-biphosphate isomerase, and cellulose acetylhydrolase. Enzymes have a variety of functions throughout the body. They help digest food by breaking it down into its parts and absorbing vitamins from food the body cannot absorb.
Enzymes can also help in chemical reactions that occur in living systems — for example, and they help in nucleic acid synthesis or the assembly of large molecules from smaller components such as proteins or lipids. Enzymes can also be utilized to crack down microbes or parasites’ toxins or neutralize chemicals used in weapons or poisons.
5. Can high or low pH levels denature enzymes?
The answer is yes. In an article titled “Can Ph Denature Enzymes?” University of Georgia researchers point out that high or low pH levels can denature enzymes, which means they are less effective at performing many tasks.
The solution is simple. If your pH levels are too high, you can add baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) to neutralize the pH levels. If your pH levels are also quiet, you can add water (sodium chloride) to buffer the pH level.
6. How does denature affect enzymes?
This report will discuss the results of low pH and alkaline enzymes.
It is important to stress that this is not about enzyme denaturation. I’ll continue to rely on the definition by Professor Andreas Dittrich in his book “Enzymatic Control and Process Optimization” (p.203):
“…the term denaturation refers to the process whereby specific chemical groups are lost from a protein molecule.
The loss of these groups depends on the solution’s pH in which the protein is present and is referred to as denaturation. The denatured protein loses its ability to cause an enzymatic reaction but may retain some enzymatic activity. This can be important for specific proteins, such as enzymes that make carbohydrates, lipids, and nucleic acids; these proteins have a pH-dependent catalytic activity, sometimes at a much higher concentration than the enzymatic activity itself might suggest.
The term alkalinity refers to a change in favor of hydration or water retention when expressed as an acid or base concentration (or both). When defined as an acid concentration, alkalinity increases when pH decreases with increasing ionization pressure, for example, through increasing H+ concentrations in solutions with less HCO3− ions than those of H2O (e.g., NH4+ vs. OH−).
When expressed as a base concentration, alkalinity increases when H+ concentrations decrease with increasing ionization pressure, for example, through growing Na+ concentrations in solutions containing less NaOH than those of H2O (e.g., NaCl vs. NH4OH). For neutral solutions, there is no obvious way of expressing alkalinity either in terms of an acid or base quantity since there are no ions that would be affected by an increase or decrease in the total number of hydrogen ions (H+) and, therefore, no change in their number and thus no change in their type under a change in ionization pressure.”
The following chart summarizes how different types of reactions depend on pH:
Measuring the pKa values for different bases: Acid-base Reduction Reduction 0 -1 0 1 2 Non-reduction Reaction 2 4 10 12 Neutral/neutral reaction 2 6 8 16 Alkaline reaction 2 10 18 32 Salts reaction 3 16 36 64 Base reduction Reaction 5 30 60 100 Neutral/neutral reaction 5 30 60 100 Alkaline reaction 5 30 60 100 Base reduction Reaction 5 45 75 100 Salts reaction 7 75
A discovery concerning enzyme structure suggests that these enzymes may be able to denature or change their shape by a process called “dissociation.”The conclusions, publicized in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, may offer a new potential target for antibiotics and cancer therapy.