Digestive Enzymes


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical.
Related to Digestive Enzymes: Probiotics

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.

REFERENCE

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

A. M. UGOLEV and V. V. EGOROVA

References in periodicals archive ?
Statistical analyses of differences in digestive enzymes among species were performed using SYSTAT 11.
Because the modern diet consists primarily of cooked, processed foods, our bodies need to rely almost exclusively on our own natural digestive enzymes.
InflammaGen Shok-Pak was developed based on research from the University of California San Diego, which demonstrated that under conditions of shock, digestive enzymes permeate the wall of the intestine and enter the bloodstream, leading to multi-organ failure and death.
Digestive enzymes digest food in the gastrointestinal tract.
Digestive enzymes are essential for human and animal life.
In Ashcroft's case, an errant gallstone was blocking the flow of digestive enzymes from his pancreas to his small intestine.
Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disease that causes the body to produce abnormally thick, sticky mucus that clogs the lungs and obstructs the pancreas, causing life-threatening lung infections and preventing digestive enzymes from reaching the intestines to absorb food.
So, we compared gut length (in progress), pyloric caeca number and arrangement (in progress), and biochemical activity of four digestive enzymes (pepsin, trypsin, amylase and lipase) in juvenile (40-80 mm SL) and adult (242-414 mm SL) fish collected from the Rio Puerto Viejo, a tropical rain forest stream in northeastern Costa Rica.
Furthermore, the human pancreas manufactures a full range of digestive enzymes to handle a wide variety of foods, both animal and vegetable.
This will wake up your digestive enzymes naturally and get them into a rhythm.