Digestion is the mechanism of breaking down complicated compounds into basic forms that can be absorbed. The gastrointestinal tract, also known as the alimentary canal, and related glands such as the liver and pancreas make up the human digestive system. Both mechanical and chemical mechanisms are involved in digestion. Food is combined with enzymes in various areas of the digestive system, causing the sugars, proteins, and fats in the food to be broken down.
Digestive Enzymes to Action!
The process of food digestion begins in the mouth. The first enzyme to mix with the food in the mouth is salivary amylase, which is secreted by salivary glands. It’s the saliva’s key enzyme. Salivary amylase is produced in the buccal cavity by salivary glands (primarily parotid glands). It converts starch to maltose and isomaltose thereby limiting dextrin. Salivary amylase breaks down about 30% of the starch in the body. Owing to the nature of alkaline conditions, salivary amylase acts up to the esophagus. Because of the strongly acidic environment of the intestine, salivary amylase activity becomes inactive.
Pancreatic amylase, which converts polysaccharides to disaccharides, acts on the carbohydrate in the chyme further down in the digestive tract. In human beings, both salivary and pancreatic amylases are -amylases. In the absence of calcium, the -amylases (1,4-d-glucan glucanohydrolase and glycogen as) are shown to be non-functional. By acting at random positions in the starch chain, -amylase breaks long-chain carbohydrates into maltotriose (three glucose) and maltose (two glucose) from amylose and maltose, glucose, and dextrin (mixtures of polymers of d-glucose units joined by -(1 4) or -(1 6) bonds) from amylopectin.