What is an enzyme?
An enzyme is a protein that in small amounts can speed up the rate of a biological reaction without itself being used up in the reaction. They are produced within living cells and may act either within the cell or outside it. Enzymes are essential for the normal functioning and development of the body. Of the many things that enzymes do, they are involved in making neurotransmitters, as well as breaking them down after they have been released. One such enzyme is “monoamine oxidase”. This breaks down the neurotransmitters 5-HT (serotonin), noradrenaline and dopamine. Monoamine oxidase inhibitors are a group of antidepressants that block monoamine oxidase, thereby increasing levels of these neurotransmitters.View glossary