Amylase; is an enzyme that helps digest carbohydrates. It is made in the pancreas and the glands that make saliva. When the pancreas is diseased or inflamed, amylase releases into the blood. Increased blood amylase levels may occur due to:
Cancer of the pancreas, ovaries, or lungs
Gallbladder attack caused by disease
Infection of the salivary glands (such as mumps) or a blockage
Pancreatic or bile duct blockage
Tubal pregnancy (may have burst open)
Decreased amylase levels may occur due to:
Cancer of the pancreas
Damage to the pancreas
Toxemia of pregnancy
Bile Acids; have a detergent action on particles of dietary fat which causes fat globules to break down or be emulsified into minute, microscopic droplets. Emulsification is not digestion per se, but is of importance because it greatly increases the surface area of fat, making it available for digestion by lipases, which cannot access the inside of lipid droplets. Bile acids are lipid carriers and are able to solubilize many lipids by forming micelles – aggregates of lipids such as fatty acids, cholesterol and monoglycerides – that remain suspended in water. Bile acids are also critical for transport and absorption of the fat soluble vitamins.
Large amounts of bile acids are secreted into the intestine every day, but only relatively small quantities are lost from the body. This is because approximately 95% of the bile acids delivered to the duodenum are absorbed back into blood within the ileum. Each bile salt molecule is reused about 20 times, often two or three times during a single digestive phase. It should be noted that liver disease can dramatically alter this pattern of recirculation – for instance, sick hepatocytes have decreased ability to extract bile acids from portal blood and damage to the canalicular system can result in escape of bile acids into the systemic circulation. Assay of systemic levels of bile acids is used clinically as a sensitive indicator of liver disease.
Cellulase; humans do not produce cellulase, it must be ingested or created in the large intestine.
Chymotrypsin; Chymotrypsin is a digestive enzyme that breaks down proteins (i.e., it is a proteolytic enzyme; it can also be referred to as a protease). It is naturally produced by the pancreas in the human body. Chymotrypsin, as a hydrolase type of enzyme (which means it adds a water molecule during the breakdown process) acts by catalyzing the hydrolysis of peptide bonds of proteins in the small intestine. It is selective for peptide bonds with aromatic or large hydrophobic side chains on the carboxyl side of this bond. Chymotrypsin also catalyzes the hydrolysis of ester bonds. the primary uses of chymotrypsin are as a digestive aid and as an anti-inflammatory agent. The presence and amount of chymotrypsin in a person’s stool is sometimes measured for diagnostic purposes as a test of pancreatic function. Chymotrypsin, along with the other pancreatic enzymes, is most often used in the treatment of pancreatic insufficiency. Pancreatic insufficiency is characterized by impaired digestion, malabsorption and passing of undigested food into the stool, nutrient deficiencies, gas, and abdominal bloating and discomfort. Pancreatic deficiency also occurs in persons with cystic fibrosis, a rare inherited disorder. It may also occur in those with chronic pancreatitis, as well as in the elderly. Other conditions that could result in chymotrypsin deficiency include physical injuries, chemotherapy, and chronic stress.
Elastase; Pancreatic Elastase (PE) is a simple, noninvasive fecal marker for assessing exocrine pancreatic function, allowing the clinician to establish a prompt and reliable diagnosis with high degrees of sensitivity (90%-100%) and specificity (93%-98%) in suspected cases of pancreatic insufficiency. Sensitivity is lower in milder cases of pancreatic insufficiency, but is quite high (95%-100%) in moderate to severe cases. PE is a digestive enzyme secreted exclusively by the human pancreas. Its unique qualities provide the following clinical advantages:
• PE has a strong correlation with the gold standard test for pancreatic insufficiency.
• PE results are not affected by pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy; therefore, patients are not required to stop supplementation prior to stool collection.
• PE is not degraded during intestinal transit, nor is it affected greatly by increases or decreases in intestinal transit times.
• PE levels are 5-fold to 6-fold higher in feces than in duodenal juice, reflecting the extraordinary stability of PE in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract.
• PE is produced exclusively in the pancreas and as such has almost absolute pancreatic specificity, There is little or no interference by other enzymes in the GI tract.
PE can be used to diagnose enzyme need. PE is also useful in monitoring exocrine pancreatic function caused by: – Chronic pancreatitis – Autoimmunopathies and connective tissue diseases – Chronic Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
Hydrochloric Acid (HCl);
HCl’s important functions include: 1) Breaking down proteins into the essential amino acids and nutrients your body needs in order to stay healthy. 2) Stimulating your pancreas and small intestines to produce the digestive enzymes and bile necessary to further breakdown the carbohydrates, proteins and fats you eat. 3)Preventing disease by killing pathogenic bacteria and yeast normally present in food. As you age, your stomach acid tends to decrease anyway. Add a poor diet of processed foods and you may find that you have both digestive and immune problems.
There are two main consequences of low stomach acid:
You become protein malnourished. When your stomach acid is low, you are not able to digest protein.
1. Improper digestion of protein creates toxins in your intestines that can set the stage for illness and disease.
2. Improper digestion of protein also creates acidic blood, since protein is by nature acidic.
3. You become mineral deficient. As your blood becomes more acidic, it will look for minerals from anywhere in your body, in order to get your blood to its more ideal alkaline state. Acidic blood robs your body of minerals, even taking minerals from your bones (which is important to know if you want to prevent osteoporosis).
Low stomach acid eventually creates a vicious cycle: low stomach acid = low minerals = acidic blood. This cycle continues because acidic blood further creates low minerals and low stomach acid.
Once this vicious cycle has started, there is a cascade of consequences:
You could eat plenty of protein and still be protein malnourished. This raises cortisol levels (stress or death hormone), thereby raising your blood glucose (blood sugar levels). Elevated cortisol adversely affects your behavior and temperament.
Eventually, your adrenals become depleted (adrenal fatigue), and DHEA, the youth hormone, is suppressed, leading to premature aging.
Low DHEA and high cortisol affect your brain and behavior, but that’s not all. The vicious cycle of low stomach acid affects your inner ecosystem too. Low stomach acid can lead to more bad guys (pathogenic bacteria, candida and viruses) than good guys (healthy microflora), thus lowering your immunity.
Symptoms of Low Stomach Acid
Here are some of the common symptoms and disorders caused by low stomach acid:
Bloating, belching, and flatulence immediately after meals
Heartburn (often thought to be caused by too much stomach acid)
Indigestion, diarrhea, or constipation
Undigested food in stools
Hair loss in women
Multiple food allergies
Weak, peeling, or cracked fingernails
Various autoimmune diseases
Here are the 3 key ways to increase your stomach acid:
1) Reduce or eliminate sugar.
2) Add fermented foods and drinks to your diet.
3) Eliminate processed foods.
The following are some of the causes that are responsible for higher stomach acid production:
• Diet, increased consumption of spicy foods and oily foods increases the extent of acid production.
• If you consume foods that are very rich in fiber content, it takes a long time for the food to pass through the stomach. As a result, the acid production continues until the stomach is emptied, resulting in increased amount of acid in the stomach.
• Stomach ulcer or cancers that increase the production of gastrin automatically increase the acid production.
• Stress is the major cause for a great number of ailments in the body. It is found that individuals who are severely stressed produce increased amounts of acid in the stomach.
• Bacterial infection by the bacterium H. pylori is also found to increase the acid production.
•Irregular meals like not having meals regularly at a particular time. Existence of a long gap between meals results in accumulation of the secreted acid in the stomach.
• In some people, lack of sufficient sleep also increases the acid production.
In majority of the cases, increased acid production is mainly due to dietary habits. To know if foods are responsible for increased acidity, cultivate the habit of noting down the foods you have taken and the time you have developed acidity. Correlation of both the details shows the presence of any existing relation between foods consumed and the cause of increased stomach acid. If having certain foods is repeatedly associated with acidity, quit the food to obtain relief from the problem.
If the daily routine is keeping you busy and preventing you from having timely meals, try to nibble something in the middle. This helps to keep the acid levels in the stomach under control.
Maltase breaks down the disaccharide maltose in to two glucose molecules, which are easily oxidized by the body for energy. In simple words, maltase is an important part of the enzymatic process that our bodies use to effectively digest starches and sugars present in grains and other plant-based foods we eat daily.
This enzyme is synthesized in the lining of the intestinal wall and used with the cells inside our mucous membranes. Beginning in the oral cavity, maltase works with other carbohydrate-digesting enzymes to break down starches and complex sugars into simpler, more-digestible pieces. Maltase is one of the most important enzymes in our digestive process, as it is a key enzyme in the mouth and the saliva. The enzyme maltase helps to relieve the burden of digestion on the pancreas and the small intestine. Without this important enzyme, the small intestine has a much harder time breaking down sugars and starches. In this way, maltase helps the entire digestive system function smoothly. Similarly, having enough maltase present in the gut may lower irritation and support multiple health benefits beyond digestion.
enzyme produced in the mucosal lining of the stomach that acts to degrade protein. Pepsin is one of three principal protein-degrading, or proteolytic, enzymes in the digestive system, the other two being chymotrypsin and trypsin. During the process of digestion, these enzymes, each of which is particularly effective in severing links between particular types of amino acids, collaborate to break down dietary proteins to their components, i.e.,peptides and amino acids, which can be readily absorbed by the intestinal lining. In the laboratory studies pepsin is most efficient in cleaving bonds involving the aromatic amino acids, phenylalanine, tryptophan, and tyrosine. Pepsin is synthesized in an inactive form by the stomach lining; hydrochloric acid, also produced by the gastric mucosa, is necessary to convert the inactive enzyme and to maintain the optimum acidity ( p H 1-3) for pepsin function.
also known as a proteolytic enzyme, peptidase or proteinase, is a type of enzyme that functions mainly to help us digest different kinds of proteins. They break down the bonds by a process known as hydrolysis and convert proteins into smaller chains called peptides or even smaller units called amino acids.
Commonly found in plant sources like papaya and pineapple, proteases also play a key role in many physiological processes. Proteins have a complex folded structure requiring these types of enzymes to disassemble the molecule in very specific ways. Without proteases the intestinal lining would not be able to digest proteins, causing serious consequences to your health.
Proteolytic enzymes are extremely important for the digestion of many foods. But their intestinal duties are not solely limited to digesting food. They also digest the cell walls of unwanted harmful organisms in the body and break down unwanted wastes such as toxins, cellular debris, and undigested proteins. In this way, protease helps digest the small stuff, so that our immune system can work hard to avoid toxin overload.
Secretin is a hormone that controls parts of the digestive system and maintains water balance in the body. It’s released by the duodenum, the upper part of the small intestine. Secretin is responsible for controlling pH in the stomach. pH refers to the concentration of acid. If the pH is too low, there is too much acid, and the organs can become damaged. If the pH is too high, there is not enough acid and the digestive system may not be able to break down food. So, it’s important that there is the right amount of acid in the digestive system.
As food passes through your digestive system, secretin is released into the pancreas, stimulating this organ to release the acidic digestive fluids that break down your food. When too much acid is produced, secretin stimulates different cells in the pancreas that produce bicarbonate, a substance that neutralizes acid, thereby balancing the pH and ensuring that acid doesn’t damage the organs. Secretin can also stop the production of acidic chemicals in the stomach, and it can cause the pancreas and gall bladder to release other chemicals that help with digestion.
The secretin stimulation test is done to check the digestive function of the pancreas. The following diseases may prevent the pancreas from working properly:
In these conditions, there may be a lack of digestive enzymes or other chemicals in the fluid that comes from the pancreas. This can reduce the body’s ability to digest food and absorb nutrients.
is a digestive enzyme secreted in the small intestine. Sucrase enzymes are located on the brush border of the small intestine. The enzymes catalyse the hydrolysis of sucrose to fructose and glucose. Sucrosen intolerance (also known as congenital sucrase-isomaltase deficiency (CSID), genetic sucrase-isomaltase deficiency (GSID), or sucrase-isomaltase deficiency) occurs when sucrase is not secreted in the small intestine. With sucrose intolerance, the result of consuming sucrose is excess gas production and often diarrhea and malabsorption. Sucrase is secreted by the tips of the villi of the epithelium in the small intestine. Its levels are reduced in response to villi-blunting events such as celiac sprue and the inflammation associated with the disorder.
an enzyme of the hydrolase class, secreted as trypsinogen by the pancreas andconverted to the active form in the small intestine, that catalyzes the cleavage of peptide linkages involving the carboxylgroup of either lysine or arginine; a purified preparation derived from ox pancreas is used for its proteolytic effect indébridement and in the treatment of empyema.tryp´tic