BlogNCERTRole of Digestive Enzymes

Role of Digestive Enzymes


Digestive enzymes help to break down complex foods into simpler molecules that our body can absorb. During digestion, different sections of the alimentary canal produce different digestive enzymes that aid in the digestion of various food components. Saliva, for example, contains salivary amylase, which aids in the digestion of starch. Pepsin is produced by the stomach’s gastric glands and aids in protein digestion. Other enzymes that aid in protein digestion include trypsin and chymotrypsin.

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    A brief outline of the topic:

    Digestive enzymes are substances that aid in the digestion of food. The salivary glands and cells lining the stomach, pancreas, and small intestine secrete (release) them.

    People can suffer from a lack of digestive enzymes. These deficiencies are linked to a variety of health issues. Many of these health issues are linked to the pancreas. A digestive enzyme deficiency can be treated by changing your diet and/or taking a prescription or over-the-counter enzyme supplement. Seek the advice of your healthcare provider before taking an enzyme supplement. They can advise you on whether it is safe for you.

    Digestive enzymes are released when we do the following:

    • Prepare to eat
    • Food should be smelled and tasted.
    • Follow the digestive process.

    Some foods necessitate the use of specific digestive enzymes in order to break down the nutrients they contain.

    Deficits in digestive enzymes can occur as a result of a number of medical conditions, particularly those affecting the pancreas. This is due to the pancreas’s secretion of several important enzymes.

    Changing your diet can often correct these deficiencies. You can either avoid certain foods or consume foods that contain naturally occurring digestive enzymes. You can also take enzyme supplements that are either prescription or over-the-counter (OTC).

    A brief note:

    The Digestive System’s Role in Enzymes

    • Chemical digestion is totally impossible without the assistance of digestive enzymes. An enzyme is a protein that aids the body in the acceleration of chemical reactions. Digestive enzymes accelerate chemical reactions that break down large food molecules into small molecules.
    • Have you ever had to tighten a bolt with a wrench? With your fingers, you could tighten a bolt, but it would be tough and slow. You can tighten a bolt much more easily and fast with a wrench. Enzymes can be compared to wrenches. Chemical reactions are made considerably easier and faster as a result of them. Enzymes, like a wrench, can be reused multiple times. However, to effectively tighten the bolt, you’ll need the right size and shape wrench, just as each enzyme is tailored to the reaction it aids.
    • Digestive enzymes are secreted or released by the digestive system’s organs. Proteases and nucleases are two types of enzymes that degrade proteins and nucleic acids, respectively.

    Digestive enzymes include the following:


    • Amylase is a digestive enzyme that is produced in the mouth.
    • It aids in the decomposition of big starch molecules into smaller sugar molecules.


    • Pepsin is one of the digestive enzymes that is produced in the stomach.
    • Pepsin is a digestive enzyme that aids in the breakdown of proteins into amino acids.


    • The pancreas produces trypsin.
    • Proteins are also broken down by trypsin.


    • The pancreas produces pancreatic lipase.
    • It’s used to separate fats.


    • The pancreas produces deoxyribonuclease and ribonuclease.
    • Enzymes that break bonds in nucleic acids such as DNA and RNA are known as nucleases.


    • Bile salts are bile acids that aid in fat digestion.
    • The liver produces bile acids.
    • Bile is produced into the intestine when you finish a meal, where it breaks down the lipids
    • Bile is created in the liver and stored in the gallbladder, and it aids in the breakdown of lipids in the small intestine

    The liver produces bile, which is subsequently stored in the gallbladder before being released into the gut. It aids in the breakdown of fats.

    Hormones and the Digestive System

    • If you’re a typical adolescent, you enjoy eating.
    • Your digestive system and the endocrine system must function together to break down, absorb, and spread the nutrients from your meal throughout your body.
    • Hormones are sent throughout your body by the endocrine system to communicate between cells.
    • Hormones are essentially chemical messenger molecules.
    • The cells that line the stomach and small intestine produce digestive hormones.
    • These hormones enter the bloodstream and can have an impact on other sections of the digestive system.

    The following is a brief introduction of some of the hormones.

    • Gastrin is a hormone that regulates stomach acid secretion.
    • Cholecystokinin is a hormone that regulates the output of pancreatic enzymes.
    • Secretin is a protein that tells the pancreas to release water and bicarbonate.
    • Ghrelin is a hormone that signals when you are hungry.
    • A peptide that inhibits or reduces gastric output is known as a stomach inhibitory polypeptide.
    • It also causes the release of insulin hormone in response to high blood glucose levels.

    Also read: Diffusion

    Frequently Asked Question (FAQs) :

    Question: Explain different types of digestive enzymes and their role?



    • Amylase is required for carbohydrate digestion. It converts carbohydrates to sugars.
    • The salivary glands and the pancreas both produce amylase. The measurement of amylase levels in the blood is occasionally used to help diagnose pancreatitis and other digestive system illnesses.
    • A high amount of amylase in your blood could indicate that you have:
    • A pancreatic duct that is obstructed or damaged.
    • Pancreatic carcinoma is a type of cancer that affects the pan
    • Acute pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas that occurs suddenly2.
    • Low levels of amylase could indicate chronic pancreatitis (pancreatic inflammation) or liver damage.
    • Maltase is a digestive enzyme that breaks down maltose (malt sugar) into glucose in the small intestine (simple sugar). The body gets its energy from glucose.
    • Amylases partially convert starch into maltose during digestion. Maltose is then converted to glucose by the maltase enzyme. The body either uses this sugar right away or stores it as glycogen in the liver for later use.


    • Lactase (also known as lactase-phlorizin hydrolase) is an enzyme that breaks down lactose, a sugar present in milk. Lactose is converted to glucose and galactose, which are simple carbohydrates.
    • Lactase is made by enterocytes, which lining the intestine and create lactase. Lactose that is not absorbed is fermented in the gut by microorganisms. You may experience gas and an upset stomach as a result of this.


    • Lipase is responsible for converting fats into fatty acids and glycerol (simple sugar alcohol). Your mouth and stomach produce small amounts, whereas your pancreas produces large amounts.


    • These digestive enzymes, which are also known as peptidases, proteolytic enzymes, or proteinases, break down proteins into amino acids. They also play a part in a variety of bodily functions, including:
    • Cell division is the process by which cells divide forming new cells.
    • Immune function in Blood clotting


    Question: Explain briefly the role of the mouth and stomach in the process of digestion in human beings.

    Answer: The alimentary canal is where food is broken down. It begins in the oral cavity or mouth and progresses to the anus. Digestive enzymes are produced in every area of the GI system, and they aid in the breakdown of food into simpler compounds that our bodies can use.

    Food is injected into our bodies through our mouths, and waste is expelled through our mouths. The food chain is as follows.

    1. Mouth- We ingest our meals through our mouths. Salivary amylase, a digestive enzyme found in our mouth, aids in the breakdown of starch in our diet.
    2. Stomach– The stomach is an important portion of the gastrointestinal tract. HCL and pepsin are produced in the stomach and aid in protein digestion. Other enzymes present include trypsin and chymotrypsin, which are produced by the pancreas into the stomach and aid in protein digestion. Gastric lipase is the enzyme that emulsifies fat.


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