Enzymes That Break Down Proteins


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What Enzymes Break Down Carbohydrates Proteins And Lipids

GCSE Biology – Digestive Enzymes #17

Different types of enzymes can break down different nutrients: amylase and other carbohydrase enzymes break down starch into sugar. protease enzymes break down proteins into amino acids. lipase enzymes break down lipids into fatty acids and glycerol.

What digestive enzyme breaks down lipids?

The digestive process has to break those large droplets of fat into smaller droplets and then enzymatically digest lipid molecules using enzymes called lipases.

What Are The Enzymes That Break Down Protein

Protein digestion begins when you first start chewing. There are two enzymes in your saliva called amylase and lipase. They mostly break down carbohydrates and fats. Once a protein source reaches your stomach, hydrochloric acid and enzymes called proteases break it down into smaller chains of amino acids.

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Pyruvate dehydrogenase complex deficiency and phenylketonuria are genetic disorders. Pyruvate dehydrogenase is the enzyme that converts pyruvate into acetyl CoA, the molecule necessary to begin the Krebs cycle to produce ATP. With low levels of the pyruvate dehydrogenase complex , the rate of cycling through the Krebs cycle is dramatically reduced. This results in a decrease in the total amount of energy that is produced by the cells of the body. PDC deficiency results in a neurodegenerative disease that ranges in severity, depending on the levels of the PDC enzyme. It may cause developmental defects, muscle spasms, and death. Treatments can include diet modification, vitamin supplementation, and gene therapy however, damage to the central nervous system usually cannot be reversed.

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What Does Pepsin Protease Help The Body Do

Of these five components, pepsin is the principal enzyme involved in protein digestion. It breaks down proteins into smaller peptides and amino acids that can be easily absorbed in the small intestine. By doing so, the stomach prevents the auto-digestion of protective proteins in the lining of the digestive tract.

The Six Main Digestive Enzymes

Protease Enzyme

Digestive enzymes come in many forms to help your body digest various foods. The six primary digestive enzymes are amylase, lactase, lipase, maltase, sucrase, and protease. Each enzyme has its unique function, yet all are essential for optimal digestion. They include:

  • Amylase: Found in saliva, pancreatic, and stomach juices, it breaks down carbs and starches into simple sugars
  • Lactase: Breaks down lactose, a natural sugar in milk, into the simple sugars glucose and galactose
  • Lipase: A digestive enzyme in the stomach and pancreas that breaks down lipids into fatty acids and glycerol
  • Protease: Found in the stomach, pancreas, and intestine, it breaks down protein into amino acids
  • Maltase: Breaks down malt sugar into glucose
  • Sucrase: Breaks down sugar into glucose and fructose

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Module : Metabolism And Nutrition

  • Describe how the body digests proteins
  • Explain how the urea cycle prevents toxic concentrations of nitrogen
  • Differentiate between glucogenic and ketogenic amino acids
  • Explain how protein can be used for energy

Much of the body is made of protein, and these proteins take on a myriad of forms. They represent cell signaling receptors, signaling molecules, structural members, enzymes, intracellular trafficking components, extracellular matrix scaffolds, ion pumps, ion channels, oxygen and CO2 transporters . That is not even the complete list! There is protein in bones , muscles, and tendons the hemoglobin that transports oxygen and enzymes that catalyze all biochemical reactions. Protein is also used for growth and repair. Amid all these necessary functions, proteins also hold the potential to serve as a metabolic fuel source. Proteins are not stored for later use, so excess proteins must be converted into glucose or triglycerides, and used to supply energy or build energy reserves. Although the body can synthesize proteins from amino acids, food is an important source of those amino acids, especially because humans cannot synthesize all of the 20 amino acids used to build proteins.

Figure 1. Enzymes in the stomach and small intestine break down proteins into amino acids. HCl in the stomach aids in proteolysis, and hormones secreted by intestinal cells direct the digestive processes.

Types Of Pancreatic Enzymes And Their Effects


Effects:Lipase works with bile from the liver to break down fat molecules so they can be absorbed and used by the body.

Shortage may cause:


Effects:Proteases break down proteins. They help keep the intestine free of parasites such as bacteria, yeast and protozoa.

Shortage may cause:

  • Allergies or the formation of toxic substances due to incomplete digestion of proteins.
  • Increased risk for intestinal infections.


Effects:Amylase breaks down carbohydrates into sugars which are more easily absorbed by the body. This enzyme is also found in saliva.

Shortage may cause:

  • Diarrhea due to the effects of undigested starch in the colon.

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Can I Get Digestive Enzymes From The Food I Eat

Theres no real evidence to suggest that enzyme-rich foods such as pineapples and avocados help your digestion. Youre better off building a well-balanced diet that contains fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains. These foods will naturally help support the work your digestive enzymes are already doing.

Denhard suggests cutting highly processed, fatty foods from your diet, especially fried foods. Its much more likely that someone will have GI irritation or other problems because of unhealthy foods, not an enzyme insufficiency, she says.

What Enzyme Helps With Protein Digestion

Digestive Enzymes For Absorption of Proteins, Carbs & Fats |Dr. J9Live

As I mentioned, digestive enzymes have one job breaking down food into their building block components. Digestive enzymes get produced by the salivary glands, stomach, pancreas, liver, and small intestine. There are four main types Saliva enzymes, gastric enzymes, pancreatic enzymes, and gut enzymes.

The enzyme protease is essential in protein digestion, primarily the milk proteins whey and casein. Many people have intolerances to dairy products because they do not produce the protease enzyme to break down whey and casein or the lactase enzyme to break down lactose, a sugar found in milkmore on that in a minute.

Protease and hydrochloric acid aid in protein digestion, yet six primary enzymes are involved in the digestion process. Lets take a look at them.

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Proteolytic Enzymes: How They Work Benefits And Sources

Enzymes facilitate countless daily reactions in your body to keep you alive and thriving.

They perform many functions, including helping break down food for energy.

In particular, proteolytic enzymes help break down and digest protein. Theyre found in the body, as well as in certain foods and dietary supplements.

Proteolytic enzyme supplements have recently grown in popularity due to their many purported health benefits.

This article explores the potential health benefits of proteolytic enzymes, where to find them and how to use them.

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  • Eat Enough Protein at Every Meal.
  • Engage in Regular Exercise.
  • Avoid Sugar and Refined Carbs.
  • Learn to Manage Stress.
  • Eat Fatty Fish Often.
  • What are enzymes that break down lipids and proteins?

    Name the enzymes that would digest proteins, lipids, and carbohydrates. Name the enzymes that would digest proteins, lipids, and carbohydrates. The set of enzymes which break down polymer chains of macromolecules into their monomeric units to facilitate their easy absorption are called digestive enzymes.

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    What Conditions Can Cause Digestive Enzyme Insufficiency

    Some enzyme insufficiencies are genetic, which means theyre the result of an abnormal gene. Such a gene might be inherited from a parent, or a mutation can occur without a known cause. Enzyme insufficiencies can be congenital or develop over time.

    Some disorders or medical treatments can lead to pancreatic enzyme insufficiency:

    • Chronic pancreatitis
    • Any condition that disrupts your pancreas

    Protease: The Enzyme That Makes Protein & Amino Acids Tick

    Are Digestive Enzymes Important? Can I Become Addicted To Them? â Paul ...

    By Christine Ruggeri, CHHC

    Maybe we dont give enzymes enough credit. They are required for literally every single chemical action that takes place in our bodies from digestion to immune function and blood flow. We are able to see, think and breathe because of protease. What are proteases? Theyre enzymes that allow for the breakdown of proteins in the body.

    Because of this, proteolytic enzymes are at the cutting edge of biological research, and they have become a major focus for the pharmaceutical industry. According to a scientific review published in the Biochemical Journal, although the predominant use of proteases has been in treating cardiovascular disease, they are also emerging as useful agents in the treatment of sepsis, digestive disorders, inflammation, cystic fibrosis, retinal disorders, psoriasis and other diseases.

    But what exactly does protease do, and why are proteases so essential for our overall health? These are complex enzymes and researchers are still learning about their role in the human body, but hopefully I can help you to understand their importance.

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    What Happens To Absorbed Amino Acids

    Once the amino acids are in the blood, they are transported to the liver. As with other macronutrients, the liver is the checkpoint for amino acid distribution and any further breakdown of amino acids, which is very minimal. Dietary amino acids then become part of the bodys amino acid pool.

    Assuming the body has enough glucose and other sources of energy, those amino acids will be used in one of the following ways:

    • Protein synthesis in cells around the body
    • Making nonessential amino acids needed for protein synthesis
    • Making other nitrogen-containing compounds
    • Rearranged and stored as fat

    If there is not enough glucose or energy available, amino acids can also be used in one of these ways:

    • Rearranged into glucose for fuel for the brain and red blood cells
    • Metabolized as fuel, for an immediate source of ATP

    In order to use amino acids to make ATP, glucose, or fat, the nitrogen first has to be removed in a process called deamination, which occurs in the liver and kidneys. The nitrogen is initially released as ammonia, and because ammonia is toxic, the liver transforms it into urea. Urea is then transported to the kidneys and excreted in the urine. Urea is a molecule that contains two nitrogens and is highly soluble in water. This makes it ideal for transporting excess nitrogen out of the body.

    Does Acid Break Down Protein

    Stomach acid, or gastric juice, is mostly made up of hydrochloric acid , with a good amount of sodium chloride and potassium chloride as well. This acid helps break down food by dissolving some of the bonds in protein molecules, then activates enzymes that further separate these compounds, allowing them to be used by the body.

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    Side Effects Of Pancreatic Enzymes

    The most common side effect of pancreatic enzymes is constipation. Enzymes may also cause nausea, abdominal cramps or diarrhea, though these symptoms are less common.

    Discontinue the use of pancreatic enzymes if any signs of hypersensitivity or allergic reaction appear. As pig/porcine is used in the preparation of prescription enzymes, people with allergies or religious guidelines related to pig products should work with their pharmacist, dietitian or doctor to find an appropriate enzyme preparation. Pancreatic enzymes may decrease the absorption of some iron salts. Tell the doctor and registered dietitian about all current medications and medical conditions while discussing the use of pancreatic enzymes.

    If taken properly, pancreatic enzymes can help prevent weight loss and control symptoms associated with pancreatic enzyme insufficiency. Ask the doctor to prescribe the proper pancreatic enzymes for you.

    What Is The Enzyme That Burns Fat

    Protein Digestion and Absorption

    Effects of lipase Lipase is a digestive enzyme that boosts the absorption of fat in your body by breaking it down into glycerol and free fatty acids .

    Should I take digestive enzymes with every meal?

    Yes, but just make sure that you take digestive enzymes together with meals and therapeutic enzymes together on an empty stomach . Can probiotics be taken with enzyme supplements?

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    What Enzymes Aid With The Digestion Of Protein

    Science Based Amy Myers, MD

    Amy Myers, M.D. is a functional medicine physician, trained and certified by The Institute of Functional Medicine. Dr. Myers earned her Doctor of Medicine at the LSU Health Science Center, and completed her Emergency Medicine residency at the University of Maryland Medical Center.

    Dr. Myers retired from her functional medicine clinic, Austin UltraHealth, where she served thousands of patients, to empower those who were failed by conventional medicine. Shes a 2x New York Times bestselling author, and the founder and CEO of the health & lifestyle e-commerce brand, Amy Myers MD®.

    The phrase you are what you eat has one caveat. You could eat nutrient-rich whole foods daily, yet you might not absorb all the nutrients. I believe the phrase should be, you are what you digest and absorb.Digestive enzymes help break down our food into their building blocks, including protein. Yet, do you know what enzymes aid in protein digestion?

    Your body produces hundreds of enzymes that break down food into building block components, such as amino acids, fatty acids, maltose, and glucose. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein, so its essential to have the enzyme that aids in the digestion of protein. The issue is that our body can stop producing certain digestive enzymes as we age due to our diet, lifestyles, and autoimmunity. The lack of enzymes makes it difficult to absorb the nutrients from food.

    How Do Temperature And Ph Affect Enzymes

    Enzymes need the right conditions to work. If conditions arent right, enzymes can change shape. Then, they no longer fit with substrates, so they dont work correctly.

    Each enzyme has an ideal temperature and pH:

    • pH: Enzymes are sensitive to acidity and alkalinity. They dont work properly if an environment is too acidic or basic. For example, an enzyme in the stomach called pepsin breaks down proteins. If your stomach doesnt have enough acid, pepsin cant function optimally.
    • Temperature: Enzymes work best when your body temperature is normal, about 98.6°F . As temperature increases, enzyme reactions increase. But if the temperature gets too high, the enzyme stops working. Thats why a high fever can disrupt bodily functions.

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    Digestive Enzymes: Types And Function

    A Necessary Part of Digestion

    Digestive enzymes are substances that help you digest your food. They are secreted by the salivary glands and cells lining the stomach, pancreas, and small intestine.

    Digestive enzymes do this by splitting the large, complex molecules that make up proteins, carbohydrates, and fats into smaller ones. This allows the nutrients from these foods to be easily absorbed into your blood and carried through your body.

    There are several digestive enzymes, including amylase, maltase, lactase, lipase, sucrase, and proteases.

    Some conditions can result in digestive enzyme deficiencies, such as lactose intolerance or exocrine pancreatic insufficiency. In that case, supplementation with foods, over-the-counter supplements, or prescription digestive enzyme supplements may be necessary.

    Keep reading to learn about different types of digestive enzymes and how they work.

    Rost-9D / Getty Images

    Digestive enzymes are released when we:

    • Anticipate eating
    • Go through the digestive process

    Some foods require certain digestive enzymes to break down the specific nutrients they contain.

    A variety of health conditions, especially those that affect the pancreas, can lead to deficiencies in digestive enzymes. This is because the pancreas secretes several key enzymes.

    Certain Proteolytic Enzymes May Have Cancer

    Protein: The Building Block of Life

    Test-tube and animal studies have shown that some proteolytic enzymes may help fight cancer cells.

    One test-tube study demonstrated that bromelain inhibited the growth and induced the death of human stomach cancer and colon cancer cells .

    A similar study found that bromelain extracted from pineapple stems exerted cancer-fighting effects on colon cancer cells. It suggested that both bromelain and bromelain-containing foods like pineapple may help prevent colon cancer .

    Another recent test-tube study showed that both bromelain and papain stopped growth and caused cell death in human bile duct cancer cells .

    Though these results are promising, human studies are needed to examine the efficacy and safety of proteolytic enzymes in the treatment of certain cancers.

    SummaryProteolytic enzymes may aid the digestions of protein, reduce symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, decrease inflammation, ease muscle soreness and speed recovery after surgery. Early-stage research suggests they may even help fight cancer cells.

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    Support Healthy Digestion Naturally

    Help break down foods and get the most out of what you eat.

    What Are Enzymes?

    Firstly, you should know that the story of digesting food is a story of chemically breaking things apart into tiny pieces and then absorbing them. This happens at a micro scale.2

    Enzymes help break down food, join proteins together, activate compounds or deactivate harmful chemicals. There are tens of thousands of types enzymes all throughout your body, all having very different roles.1

    In essence, enzymes are catalysts. They make chemical reactions happen much faster. Sometimes, without enzymes, reactions wouldnt happen at all. They are essential to life and digestion.3

    What are the units next to the enzymes on the label?

    Since enzymes dont provide energy and arent nutrients per se, theyre not measured by calories or weight. Instead, theyre measured by their activity. And since most enzymes are very different in how they act, they often have unique measurements. You can see these on the Digestive Enzymes label.

    The activity measurement units are defined in the US by the Food Chemical Codex. Each measurement is relevant to a particular component of food like starch , lipid or protein .

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