How Long Would Digestion Take Without Enzymes (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 2.3 Billion Years

Most chemical reactions within organisms would be not possible under the conditions in cells. Enzymes originate from chemical reactions in the body. It fastens the rate of a chemical reaction to help nurture and support life. The enzymes help us to fulfill essential tasks such as building muscle, breaking down food particles during digestion, and removing toxins.

An enzyme’s structure is linked to its task. Heat, disease, or severe chemical ailments can harm enzymes and change their structure. When this occurs, an enzyme doesn’t function anymore. This affects the body processes the enzyme helped support.

Enzymes are needed for proper digestive system purposes. Digestive enzymes are primarily produced in the pancreas, stomach, and small intestine. But actually, your salivary glands create digestive enzymes. It starts breaking down food particles while you’re still eating. You can also consume enzymes in capsule form if you’re having distinct digestive issues.

How Long Would Digestion Take Without Enzymes


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How Long Would Digestion Take Without Enzymes?

ProcessTime Taken
Digestion without enzymes2.3 billion years
Digestion with enzymes 6-8 hours 

The naturally existing digestive enzymes are an important part of your digestive system. Without them, your body can’t break foods down so that nutrients can be wholly consumed. A lack of digestive enzymes can bring a variety of gastrointestinal (GI) signs. It can also leave you malnourished, just if you have healthy nourishment.

Certain health conditions can deter the creation of digestive enzymes. When in that case, you can take digestive enzymes before your meals to help your body process food effectively.

Digestive enzymes take the place of biological enzymes, enabling the breakdown of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Once the food is broken down, nutrients are absorbed into your body through the wall of the small intestine and distributed through the stream of blood.

As they’re signified to simulate your biological enzymes, they must be consumed just before you eat. In that manner, they can do their work as food hits your stomach and small intestine. If you don’t take them with your food, they won’t be much help.

Each biological reaction within human cells relies on enzymes. Their ability as catalysts helps biological reactions to happen in milliseconds. But how gradually would it continue spontaneously, in the lack of enzymes– seconds, minutes, hours, days? And why just ask the question?

Scientists studied these issues that without a particular enzyme, a biological transformation they considered “essential” in establishing the building blocks of DNA and RNA would take 78 million years.

Now they have found a response that, also in the lack of an enzyme, is barely 30 times slower than that. Its half-life the time it takes for half the element to be consumed is 2.3 billion years which is about half the age of the Earth. Enzymes can make that response appear in milliseconds too.

Why Would Digestion Take So Long Without Enzymes?

As we already discussed, Enzymes are vital for healthy digestion and a healthy body. It would take 2.3 billion years for the biological reaction without the presence of enzymes. It’s because, without them, your body can’t break down foods so that nutrients can be fully absorbed.

Every organ, every tissue, and every 100 trillion cells in our body rely upon the reaction of metabolic enzymes and their energy component. Without these metabolic enzymes, cellular life would not exist.

Digestive enzymes are secreted along the digestive region to break down food into nutrients and waste. They function with other chemicals in the body, like stomach acid and bile, to help break down food into molecules for a broad range of bodily purposes.

Carbohydrates, for example, are required for energy, while protein is essential to build and boost muscle, among other functions. But they must be transformed into forms that can be consumed and used to manage your body.

Studies say without catalysts, there would be no life possible, from microbes to humans. It provokes you to wonder how biological selection is regulated in such a manner as to develop a protein that got off the surface as a basic catalyst for such an extremely slow reaction. Experimental processes for observing extremely slow reactions can also produce important evidence for rational drug design based on cellular molecular surveys.

Enzymes that do a prodigious job of catalysis are, hands-down, the most susceptible targets for drug development. The enzymes we research are exciting because they surpass all other known enzymes in their ability as catalysts.


Enzymes are vital for good health. Your body generates them. You can also get them in vegetables, fruits, and other foods. They’re also present as well as available in supplements. But if you’re in good health, follow a healthful plant-based nutrient. And if your doctor says your enzyme levels are strong and healthy then don’t start taking enzyme supplements just hoping to get even healthier. They can affect your metabolism in adverse ways too.

If you have a chronic disease such as cancer or if your doctor has told you that your body lacks particular nutrients, then be sure to ask when you should consume supplements and what kind of supplements you should take.

Changes in the pigment and consistency of your stool may also indicate nutritional weaknesses and deficiencies. Taking dietary enzymes can create a positive result for your health, but only when you want them.



Last Updated : 23 February, 2024

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