Digestive Enzymes

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Digestive Enzymes


the enzymes that break down food in the course of digestion. Digestive enzymes are secreted by the organs of digestion and belong to the class of enzymes called hydrolases, each of which splits a specific type of bond. Proteases hydrolyze certain peptide bonds of proteins in a step-by-step fashion until eventually individual amino acids remain. They comprise endopeptidases, including pepsin, trypsin, and chymo-trypsin, and exopeptidases, including aminopeptidase, carboxy-peptidase, dipeptidase, and tripeptidase. Glycosidases catalyze various stages in the hydrolysis of carbohydrates. Amylases split starch and glycogen, while a- and β-glycosidases hydrolyze oligosaccharides and disaccharides to form monosaccharides. Esterases hydrolyze various esters, for example, lipase splits fats to form glycerin and fatty acids, alkaline phosphatase hydrolyzes phosphoric esters, and nucleases hydrolyze nucleic acids.

Digestive enzymes participate in the many digestive reactions by acting outside the cell, inside the cell, or within the cell membrane. It is assumed that in some nondigestive organs, they are able to participate in intermediate metabolism and perform nondigestive functions. Digestive enzymes may vary considerably from species to species, depending on the animal’s diet and mode of life, with the greatest variety occurring among omnivores. Carnivores possess digestive enzymes with high proteolytic and low glycosidase activities, whereas the opposite case holds for herbivores.

Shipworms, carpenter moths, and many microorganisms are examples of species with a high degree of food specialization; they have the enzyme cellulase, which permits them to feed on wood and plant fibers and to split cellulose. Some species use the digestive enzymes of symbionts to digest food or the digestive enzymes in the food itself. Many parasites have lost most of their vital digestive enzymes and usually feed on the digestive products of their host.


Prosser, L., and F. Brown. Sravnitel’naia fiziologiia zhivotnykh. Moscow, 1967. Chapter 5. (Translated from English.)


References in periodicals archive ?
Despite digestive enzymes' importance for healthy digestion, you may not have a particular enzyme, or you may have poor production of one or more digestive enzymes.
The knowledge of the feeding habits of different fish species associated with enzymes activities in the digestive tract is important to provide an appropriate diet for each species because digestive enzymes activity very reflects the changes in dietary (PERETTI & ANDRIAN, 2008; LAZZARI et al.
Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency: Long-term inflammation of the pancreas can lead to a reduction in the amount of digestive enzymes produced by the organ.
Maldigestion often is caused by the body's inability to produce digestive enzymes (Huether, 2016).
Feed and its constituents are the major factors which influence the activities of digestive enzymes in fish (Fernandez et al.
Each sample was assayed for 19 digestive enzymes (Table 1) using api ZYM test kits (bioMerieux, Inc.
8220;The emulsification of fats normally occurs in our bodies prior to the digestion of them and without this crucial process, fats would remain difficult to digest thus rendering digestive enzymes such as lipase useless,” says Luis Giraldy, AST Enzymes' director of sales.
To overcome these hurdles, Jain's team combined two approaches to shield insulin from the digestive enzymes and then get it into the blood.
Sanders (1993) reported that supplementation of probiotics could improve digestive enzymes activity in intestine, enhance antioxidation and maintain homeostasis, and secretions of probiotics play critical roles to improve the intestinal linings, and would continuously interact with microorganisms (Rajput and Li, 2012).
Digestive enzymes that escape from the intestines into adjacent tissues and the bloodstream maybe key players in triggering shock, the dangerous condition that sometimes occurs after major medical trauma.
Fortunately, studies show that by supplementing with the right mixture of digestive enzymes, older adults can take meaningful steps to maintain their digestive health.
Along the same lines as probiotics and prebiotics are digestive enzymes.