Basic Biology

Biological Compounds

What are some of the most common enzyme deficiencies?

Lactose intolerance, a condition that results from the inability to digest lactose—the sugar present in milk—is one of the most common enzyme deficiencies. Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency is a more serious enzyme deficiency that is linked to the bursting of red blood cells (hemolysis). This deficiency is found in more than 200 million people, mainly Mediterranean, West African, Middle Eastern, and Southeast Asian populations.


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