Digestive Enzymes And How They Work, And Under Which Conditions They Function Best

Digestive Enzymes And How They Work, And Under Which Conditions They Function Best

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The digestion lab experiment was conducted for the purpose of understanding digestive enzymes and how they work, and under which conditions they function best. Digestive enzymes are present in the body’s gastrointestinal system and mainly function to break down food into nutrients to be absorbed by the body (Oxford Journal, “The Effect of Enzymes on Digestion). The organs that secrete and/or make use of these digestive enzymes are the mouth, esophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine, liver, pancreas, and gallbladder. These organs collectively make up the gastrointestinal system, along with the rectum and anus. The functions of these organs will be introduced as the digestive process is explained ahead. The digestive process begins in the mouth, which is the opening that allows food to enter the body. As food enters the mouth, the salivary glands produce saliva that mix with the chewed food to make it easier to move through the esophagus and into the stomach. Contained in this saliva, is a digestive enzyme called amylase. Amylase functions to break down carbohydrates (starch and sugar) that may be present in the food (NIH.gov, “Your Digestive System and How it Works”). Amylase is produced by the salivary gland in the mouth. Starch is a carbohydrate that is present in a number of foods and is an essential nutrient for energy production. When starch is hydrolyzed, a sugar called maltose is produced from this breakdown.
Next, the broken down food passes through the esophagus into the stomach. Peristaltic movements allow the food to move through the body. The stomach is the site of most protein digestion. The churning mechanism of the stomach further breaks down the food, and releases acids and enzymes for chemical break...


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...testine has a number of portions, but the beginning is called the cecum. The cecum mainly functions to absorb fluid and salts. In the large intestine, water is mainly absorbed from the indigestible matter and then sent to the rectum and then anus, which work to expel the waste from the body (Britannica, “Large Intestine”).
Based on the functions and descriptions of the enzymes mentioned above, the hypothesis if this experiment is that in the protein lab, only that tube containing the egg white, pepsin, and hydrochloric acid will cause digestion of the egg white because it most closely mimics environment of the stomach. In the fat/lipase lab, the 2 tubes containing cream and lipase and cream lipase, and bile salts will only demonstrate digestion of fats. In the starch lab, the only tube that will show digestion will be the tube containing starch and amylase at 37°C

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