The digestive enzymes take part in digesting foods.
Role of the digestive enzymes
The digestive enzymes are synthesised by the digestive system and turn complex molecules into simple molecules which can be easily assimilated by the body. To do this they cleave specific chemical bonds. Each enzyme has its own specific substrate. There are three main types of these:
Salivary digestive enzymes
Alpha-amylase digests starch and cleaves it into maltose and dextrin.
Lingual lipase is also found in infants in whom it helps to digest lipids from breast milk. They are found in adults but only play a minor role.
The stomach's digestive enzymes
Intestinal digestive enzymes
Pancreatic amylase cleaves plant starch into maltose.
Maltase, secreted by the mucosal cells, hydrolyses maltose into glucose in the brush border on the surface of epithelial cells lining the intestine.
Trypsin, chymotrypsin, and carboxypeptidase cleave peptide bonds.
Pancreatic lipase breaks triglycerides down into glycerol and fatty acids.
The digestive tract produces digestive enzymes that break down complex molecules into nutrients. © DR