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Enzymes are protein catalysts, which, through the lowering of activation energy, hasten the reactions turning substrates into products. Enzymes are found throughout the body, and aid in many processes. For example, the enzyme lactase aids in breaking down lactose into sugar which the body can use through a process called hydrolysis. People who have a deficiency of lactase are lactose intolerant, and cannot process lactose quick enough, which results in various negative side effects from the consumption of dairy (Mattar, Rejane, et al., Lactose Intolerance: Diagnosis, Genetic, and Clinical Factors). As enzymes are powerful catalysts, humans have begun to utilize them outside of our bodies for various things. An example of this is enzymes being used in commercial products, such as the enzyme protease, which breaks down proteins(López-Otín, Carlos, and Judith S. Bond., Proteases: Multifunctional Enzymes in Life and Disease), being used in meat tenderizer to aid in softening meat. Another example of an enzyme being used outside of the human body to the benefit of humans is Cholinesterase.Cholinesterase is an enzyme found in the bodies of humans, other vertebrates, and insects, and it aids in the functioning of the nervous system. The nervous system contains “synapses,” which, when fired, stimulate proteins and neurons in the nervous system. These signals are carried by acetylcholine, which can be broken down using a certain type of cholinesterase (“Cholinesterase Inhibition.”). Because it can be found in insects and is integral to maintain their nervous system, many “Cholinesterase Inhibiting” pesticides have surfaced. These pesticides can get into the synapses of insects and humans and cause cholinesterase to be inhibited, resulting in an excess amount of acetylcholine, which can cause back-ups throughout the nervous system. The side effects of the backing up of the nervous system, or more specifically from cholinesterase inhibiting pesticides, can be severe, and can range anywhere from tiredness, nausea, sweating, vomiting, muscle tremors, and slow heartbeat to cancer (Nerilo, Samuel Botião, et al., Pesticide Use and Cholinesterase Inhibition) or death (“Cholinesterase Inhibition.”).One of the most dangerous and prominent examples of cholinesterase inhibiting pesticides are any pesticides containing organophosphates. Organophosphates can enter the body through skin absorption, inhalation, and ingestion, and inhibit cholinesterase in the blood cells. Organophosphates are the number one cause of poisoning in insecticides in developing countries (Nerilo, Samuel Botião, et al., Pesticide Use and Cholinesterase Inhibition), rendering them very dangerous. An example of a pesticide that uses organophosphates is Oftanol, which has the active ingredient “isofenfos” (“Cholinesterase Inhibition.”). Because of its use of cholinesterase inhibitors, it was pulled off the market in 1999, 16 years after its registration in 1983 (Potter, Daniel A., Another Insecticide Bites the Dust.). There are many other pesticides that involve the use of cholinesterase inhibitors in their active or inactive ingredients, such as Delnav, Zolone, Dylox, Amaze, and others (“Cholinesterase Inhibition.”).For many modern farmers, pesticide or insecticide is very important. Left unchecked, pests and insects can destroy entire crops, and ruin a farmer’s entire income, causing the industry to lose billions(Montalvo, David. When Insects Attack—and Inflict Billions in Damage). This is a very real issue, and farmers clearly don’t have time to look for tiny insects hidden amongst their sometimes acres of land. While yes, farmers do need ways to clear insects from their crops, insecticides or pesticides, especially cholinesterase inhibiting ones, aren’t the only answers. As an alternative, farmers are able to rotate their crops yearly or release natural predators of the insects that farmers know to inhabit their crop so as to minimize the number of insects. Cholinesterase inhibiting pesticides have many side effects in both humans and animals, as they cause a jam in the nervous system by not allowing cholinesterase to do its job. This makes the powerful effects of cholinesterase inhibiting pesticides and insecticides not worth it, and so, they should not be used.

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