Enzymes are produced in insufficient quantities by the body, can lead to serious metabolic diseases and disorders. Read about the most important effects of enzyme deficiency!

Our body produces enzymes continuously to maintain the metabolic processes in our body upright. But by genetic factors (primary) or acquired later in life factors (secondary) can occur due to a decreased enzyme production in an enzyme deficiency. If clinical symptoms or complaints, this is called a enzymopathy.


In the saliva α-amylase plays mainly a large role that carbohydrates into monosaccharides splits. We suffer from a lack of amylase, carbohydrates in the mouth can not be split enough. The chyme moves into the stomach and the carbohydrates are broken down in the small intestine. Therefore, it can cause upper abdominal pain.



By the hydrochloric acid in the stomach, the proteolytic enzyme pepsin is activated. However, if the hydrochloric acid production or decreased, the enzyme produces too little, the pepsin does not do its job. Protein-rich foods such as dairy products, meat, fish or eggs are pre-digested in the stomach therefore inadequate. By the enzyme deficiency is also not sufficiently dissolved iron from the food and it could result in anemia.

Pancreas (pancreatic)

The pancreatic juice contains many digestive enzymes and is led into the small intestine. There the enzymes help in digestion of food components. The lipase splits fats, which have not yet digested carbohydrates, amylase and trypsin and chymotrypsin split proteins (protein) into its components. Is there a shortage of one of the enzymes, it comes to digestive problems. The undecomposed substances pass into the large intestine where they are degraded by the intestinal bacteria putrefaction and fermentation. Abdominal pain and gas formation are the consequences. At low lipase production occurred on fatty stools because the undissected fat is excreted in the feces. On suspicion of acute pancreatitis, pancreatic enzymes can be determined analytically laboratory.

Enzymes and aging

At the age often show up first enzyme deficiencies such as age spots, warts, poorly healing wounds, ugly scars and bruises slowly disappearing.

Bruises and wounds:

The enzyme responsible for the fibrin clotting, the enzyme plasmin dissolves the fibrin formed again, and therefore both are important in wound healing. And fibrin formation are in balance can not Fibrinauflösung, thrombosis (clot formation) or bleeding ( hemophilia – hemophilia ) may result. In wound healing so-called enzyme cascades are involved, which can be interrupted only in the absence of an enzyme.

Virus infections:

At the age also increases susceptibility to viral infections. An organism with a lack of proteolytic enzymes is no longer able to destroy the protein shells of the viruses sufficient.


People with a deficiency of fat-splitting enzymes can not break down fatty deposits in blood vessels is sufficient and it may over time develop atherosclerosis.

Metabolic diseases

Lactose intolerance (food intolerance): The enzyme lactase is produced in the small intestine and breaks down the milk sugar (lactose) into its component glucose and galactose. However, more and more people suffer from lactose intolerance. The reduced production of lactase lactose can not be split and it comes after intake of dairy products cause abdominal discomfort, diarrhea and flatulence.

Congenital metabolic diseases

There are several inherited metabolic diseases caused by either an error or a lack of enzymes.

Phenylketonuria: the amino acid phenylalanine can not be reduced, leading to brain damage. Therapy is a low phenylalanine diet.

Galactosemia: Possible consequences include cataracts , liver damage and jaundice. Therapy is a galaktosefreie diet (no dairy products!).

Homocystinuria: An amino acid metabolism disorder

Biotinidase deficiency: Vitamin H deficiency

Maple syrup urine disease: Certain amino acids can not be removed. The name of the disease comes from the sweet smell of the urine of patients. Hereditary fructose intolerance: Not to be confused with the common fructose malabsorption. Therapy is a fructose-free diet.