Factors Affecting Lactase Enzyme

Although there are many factors that can affect the activity of an enzyme but basically three factors Temperature, Concentration of Enzyme and pH affects the enzymatic activity most of the Lactase:

1. Effect of Temperature:

This Enzyme functions best between roughly 70 and 120 degrees Fahrenheit, or somewhere near or just above room temperature, with its function optimized at around 115 degrees Fahrenheit. Cooler temperatures slow the rate of lactase’s function, while at extremely high temperatures - those above 135 degrees Fahrenheit, for example - lactase can become denatured, or lose its shape. A protein's shape is responsible for its function, so when it becomes denatured, lactase loses its ability to function. If the temperature is increased beyond a certain limit the kinetic energy of molecules also increases and therefore the frequency with which they collide. This higher frequency of molecules increases the collisions and therefore increasing reaction rate.

2. Effect of Enzyme concentration :

The rate of enzyme activity is directly proportional to Enzyme concentration. So, as the amount of enzyme in a reaction increases reaction rate increases. But after a certain level known as optimum level the reaction rate will not increase further and its level off.

The body can not digest Lactose effectively when Lactase Enzyme is in low amount. Lactose stays in its complete form and, instead of being absorbed it passes through the small intestine, continues into the large intestine and begins to ferment. This yields an abundance of carbon dioxide gas, making you feel bloated, gassy or nauseous.


3. Effect of pH :

Lactase can work in an acidic environment having pH range between 2-7 but it works optimally at around pH 6 which is the pH environment of small intestine. If the pH is increased i.e at higher basic level the activity of enzyme becomes denaurated. The optimum pH is affected by the type and ionic strength of the buffer present.