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How Digestive Enzymes Work – A Quick Guide

Jun 12, 2023Metabolism0 comments

Digestive enzymes make up a huge part of our digestive system. They break down the foods and allow us to absorb their nutrients. Therefore, there’s one huge step you can take to lose weight. You should understand how digestive enzymes work.

I briefly covered this topic in my article on the most important enzymes. In it, I provided a brief explanation. I also listed some of the most significant. Like weight loss hormones, they’re a crucial ally.

So, let’s explain them.

Amylase: How the digestive enzyme of starch works

Amylase is responsible for starch hydrolisys. It splits starch into smaller carbs, like maltose. Amylase splits into three categories: alpha, beta, and gamma. Each one tackles starch differently.

Alpha-amylase is the most widespread in living organisms. Both the pancreas and salivary glands produce forms of alpha-amylase. This enzyme breaks down food in our mouths and small intestines.

Beta-amylase is available in bacteria, plants, yeast, and molds. As such, it’s one of the least common forms. On the other hand, gamma amylase performs better in acidic environments.

Lipase: The digestive enzyme responsible for fats

Our bodies use lipase to break down fats. From there, our intestines can absorb their nutrients. The pancreas, mouth, and stomach produce lipase. But, some people might not produce enough lipase.

That’s why you must understand how digestive enzymes work. With low lipase, several conditions may become a problem. That includes Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, and cystic fibrosis.

Protease: Protein’s digestive enzyme

Then, we have protease. It’s responsible for breaking down proteins. It divides them into peptides and amino acids. Animals produce protease more than other life forms.

Like amylase, protease also comes in different types. The two main groups are exopeptidases and endopeptidases. Respectively, they target terminal ends and sites within proteins.

Protease attacks protein in the stomach before sending it to the small intestine. There, proteins turn into free amino acids. Then, our bodies can absorb the nutrients.

Lactase: How the digestive enzyme of lactose works

Lactase handles lactose, a type of sugar found in dairy. During digestion, it splits lactose into glucose and galactose. That way, we can absorb them. Naturally, lactose intolerance comes from a lack of lactose.

Lactase deficiency is one of the most famous enzyme-related conditions. That’s because of how common lactose intolerance is. Lactase deficiency may result in bloating, gas, diarrhea, and stomach issues.

Lactase supplements are fairly famous because of that. They’re also generally safe and easy to tolerate. As such, side effects are uncommon.

Sucrase: Our digestive enzyme for sugar

Lastly, we have sucrase—also known as Invertase. Sucrase is among the enzymes available in yeast. However, it’s also available in animals’ intestinal mucosa. It catalyzes sucrose, the most common form of sugar.

Sucrase breaks down sugar into glucose and fructose, simple sugars. We can find sucrase granules in the chemical barrier around the villi. Sucrase deficiency results in sucrose intolerance. That also includes other sugars, like maltose or lactose. Thus, it may be necessary to replace these nutrients.

The holistic takeaway

how digestive enzymes work - illustration of a stomach with red emphasis

Understanding how digestive enzymes work is crucial to optimize weight loss. It’ll help you absorb the nutrients you need more effectively. Plus, you can tackle possible health conditions with time.

Luckily, learning their function is as easy as relating it to their name. That’s because the names are self-explanatory—except for amylase.

If you want to nurture these enzymes and lose weight faster, I have a tip. MassZymes Enzymes is my favorite digestive supplement. Its natural blend of digestive enzymes can help you optimize your metabolism.

So, make sure you check them out.

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