The digestive system produces different types of enzymes. Some break down carbohydrates, fatty acids, and proteins, while others help to facilitate chemical reactions in the body. These enzymes are essential for the health of the gut and aid in the absorption of nutrients. Listed below are the main types of digestive enzymes and their functions.
Essential to Gut Health
Three main enzymes are essential to gut health: amylases, lipases, and proteases. All three help in the breakdown of food. Insufficient levels of one or more enzymes can lead to gas, bloating, and other symptoms.
Digestive enzymes are produced in the stomach and pancreas and are released during food digestion. The production of digestive enzymes is regulated by various factors, including the environment and energy in the digestive tract, the structure of the intestinal and gastric mucosa, and the composition of the gut microbiota.
Besides digestion, enzymes are necessary for the proper absorption of nutrients. The increasing incidence of illnesses linked to nutrient malabsorption has highlighted the importance of digestive enzymes in keeping our bodies healthy. Besides their role in digestion, they also play a crucial role in preventing and curing illnesses. These enzymes help the body perform biological functions efficiently by acting as catalysts.
Break Down Carbohydrates
Digestive enzymes help the body break down the food we eat. They are responsible for the breakdown of fats, carbohydrates, and proteins. They are produced by the pancreas, the digestive process’s “powerhouse.” Some people have low levels of these enzymes or should release them more frequently. This can lead to deficiencies in the absorption of essential nutrients.
The enzymes help the body break down food and digest them into the nutrients it needs. The first is amylase, which breaks down starch and converts it to maltose, a simple sugar. The second enzyme, diastase, breaks down sugar. This helps the body digest food more quickly. Digestive enzymes break down carbohydrates and fats into energy. They also break down protein and amino acids.
Digestive enzymes break down carbohydrates into simple sugars and transport them through the circulatory system. This process begins in the mouth, where salivary amylase breaks down starches and other carbohydrates into simpler chains called monosaccharides. These molecules are then transported to the liver, where they are used by the body. The liver also stores excess glucose in the form of glycogen and fat.
Facilitate Chemical Reactions in The Body
Digestive enzymes are globular proteins that control and speed up biological reactions. They break down food molecules and bring them together into smaller components. Hydrolysis is the primary chemical reaction in digestion; enzymes help the body digest these molecules and convert them into energy. Which breaks down sugars into glucose and fructose.
Digestive enzymes are produced by the pancreas, a gland connected to the small intestine. The pancreas is considered an accessory organ and sits just behind the stomach. The pancreas produces a variety of enzymes, including amylases, lipases, and trypsinogen. Trypsinogen is converted into trypsin by the enzyme enterokinase.
Digestive enzymes break food into tiny particles that are then absorbed by the enterocytes covering the interior surface of the GI tract. Enzymes are essential for both mechanical and chemical digestion, as mechanical digestion breaks down food particles into smaller units that can be absorbed. Enzymes accelerate chemical reactions in the body and help the food pass through the GI tract more efficiently.
They Aid in Nutrient Absorption
Digestive enzymes aid in the breakdown of food by speeding up chemical reactions and transforming it into a form the body can absorb. They are produced by the pancreas, liver, and gallbladder and stored in cells on the intestine’s surface. Digestive enzymes can be found in various foods, including raw honey, bananas, papaya, and mango. Digestive enzymes can also be found in fermented foods like sauerkraut.
Digestive enzymes are essential to good digestion and help the body absorb nutrients. Many people take digestive enzyme supplements daily; some only take them when certain foods are difficult to digest. Either way, they are beneficial in increasing the absorption of nutrients and eliminating digestive issues.
Digestive enzymes are also beneficial in inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. There are different products for each of the other enzymes, and you can choose between those that contain a mix or individual ones.