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Difference Between 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 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:

Difference Between Enzymes and Hormones

The Difference Between Enzymes and Hormones
Enzymes Hormones
Catalyst: Accelerates the rate of a reactionMessenger: Triggers functions in the body
Predominantly composed of proteinsComposed of proteins, amino acids, steroids, etc
Retains chemical make-up after use, hence can be reusedChemical composition changes after use, hence may or may not be reused
External factors acutely affect the regulation of enzymes such as temperature, pH levels, etcExternal factors do not affect hormones as acutely as enzymes.
Enzymes cannot diffuse through a cell membraneHormones 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 ageHormones are affected by age (puberty)
Enzymes form and act at the site of productionHormones 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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