To make use of food, the food has to be broken down in our gut. Digestion is
the process of breaking down large molecules in to smaller molecules, this
process is usually aided by enzymes.
Digestive enzymes help to break down big molecules into smaller ones. The
main digestive enzymes are amylase, protease and lipase.
Amylase helps to convert starch, which is a long chain of glucose into simple
sugars. These simple sugars can then be easily absorbed.
Amylase is found in three places within the body. It is found in the saliva, the
pancreas and the small intestine Protease helps to convert proteins, which
are very large molecules into smaller molecules called amino acids. These
protease enzymes are found in the pancreas, small intestine and the stomach
Lipase helps to convert lipids into two molecules called glycerol and fatty
acids. Lipase is only found in two places the pancreas and the small intestine.
The body also has another way of dealing with the lipids that enter the body.
Bile is produced by the liver and stored in the gall bladder. Bile is a substance
which helps to break down fat into tiny droplets. This process is called
emulsification. This gives the fat droplets a larger surface area and therefore
easier for the lipase enzyme to break them down.