Q. 70 B4.1( 22 Votes )

How do carbohydrates, fats and proteins get digested in human beings?

Answer :

(i) Carbohydrates - The digestion of carbohydrates occurs in the mouth, stomach and small intestine. In the mouth, saliva mixes with the food. Saliva contains an enzyme called salivary amylase which partially digests the carbohydrate and converts it into maltose sugar. When the slightly digested food reaches into the small intestine, pancreatic amylase present in the pancreatic juice breaks down the starch. The walls of the small intestine secrete the intestinal juice which finally converts it into glucose and completes the digestion of carbohydrates.

(ii) Fats - The digestion of fats begins in the stomach. In the stomach, gastric glands secrete a small amount of gastric lipase that breaks down the fats present in the food. In the small intestine, the pancreatic lipase breaks down the emulsified fats. The intestinal juice, secreted by the walls of small intestine, finally converts the fats into fatty acids and glycerol.


(iii) Proteins - The digestion of proteins begins in the stomach. In the stomach, gastric glands secrete gastric juice which contains an enzyme called pepsin which converts the proteins into peptones. Pancreatic juice contains trypsin which digests the proteins into peptides and the intestinal juice completes the process of digestion of proteins thus converting it into amino acids.


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