What is the function of digestive enzyme

What is the function of the digestive enzyme?

Food present in the external environment consists of a variety of components like complex carbohydrates, fats and proteins. Digestive enzymes break them into simple forms. Our intestine readily absorbs simple substances like glucose, amino acids, a small chain of fatty acids.

To break food into simple forms we have the following enzymes:

Salivary amylase: It is present in the saliva. It degrades the complex starch into simpler glucose.

Pepsin: Stomach releases gastric juices. Pepsin enzymes are a part of it. It degrades the protein into amino acid in the presence of hydrochloric acid in the stomach.

Pancreatic lipase: Pancreas secret lipase enzyme. It works on fat and breaks them into smaller fatty acid and glycerol.

Trypsin: Pancrease also secretes the trypsin enzyme. It works on a different type of protein which pepsin does not do. And unlike pepsin, it does not require acidic PH.


Apart from enzymes, there are several components which aid to digestion.

Mastication: Mastication is the scientific name for chewing. Proper chewing of food causes breaks down of food into a smaller size. It also mixes the food with the saliva.

Acids in the stomach: Acids in stomach convert the inactive form of pepsin called pepsinogen to pepsin and also denature the protein.

Bile juice: Bile juice from liver emulsify the fat. Emulsification is the process of suspending the particle in the solution. Fats are insoluble in water. Bile juice has an affinity for both water as well as fat. It helps pancreatic lipase to work on fats.

Next: How is small intestine designed to absorb digested food?

See also: Role of the acid in our stomach.

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