Find out the types of digestive enzymes and their functions here

Find out the types of digestive enzymes and their functions here

All the food you eat, will be digested by various digestive enzymes. These digestive enzymes have an important role in the processing of food and the absorption of nutrients in your body.

Digestive enzymes are produced naturally by the digestive system in the body. They are in charge of breaking down food components such as fats, carbohydrates, and proteins. The goal is that nutrients derived from food can be absorbed into the bloodstream to support the function of body cells.

Types of Digestive Enzymes and Their Functions

The body produces a variety of digestive enzymes to break down the nutrients in the food you eat so they can be absorbed. Different types of nutrients, different digestive enzymes too. Here are some kinds of digestive enzymes in the body:


Amylase enzymes are produced in the salivary glands, pancreas, and small intestine. This enzyme is in charge of breaking down starch or carbohydrates into sugar (glucose). When foods containing carbohydrates are chewed, the salivary glands in the mouth produce amylase.
Once swallowed, the food will be further digested in the small intestine by the enzyme amylase produced by the pancreas. In the intestine, amylase continues to break down starch molecules into glucose, which will then be absorbed into the blood circulation through the walls of the small intestine.


Protease enzymes are digestive enzymes whose job is to break down protein in food into amino acids. This enzyme is produced in the stomach, pancreas, and small intestine. There are several types of protease enzymes, namely pepsin (the main digestive enzyme in the stomach), trypsin, and chymotrypsin.


Lipase is an enzyme that has the task of breaking down fat into fatty acids and glycerol (sugar containing alcohol). The organs of the body that play a role in producing this enzyme are the pancreas and stomach. The lipase enzyme is also found in breast milk, its function is to help babies digest fat molecules while feeding.


This enzyme is produced by the small intestine and has a function to break down maltose. Maltose sugar is found in many plants, such as grains, wheat and sweet potatoes.


Lactase is a type of digestive enzyme that breaks down the sugar lactose. This sugar is found in milk and foods or drinks made from milk. People with lactose intolerance are often advised to take additional lactase enzymes when consuming milk.


Sucrase is an enzyme produced by the small intestine. The function of this enzyme is to break down sucrose into simple sugars, such as fructose and glucose. The sugar sucrose is found in many plants, such as sugar cane, sorghum, and sugar beet. Sucrose is also found in honey, but in small amounts.
The role of digestive enzymes is very important for the digestive process in your body. However, digestive enzymes can work if you have a fever, take certain medications, or are on a special diet. In addition, inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis), Gaucher's disease, and phenylketonuria can also interfere with the function of digestive enzymes.

If you have the disease, you may need digestive enzyme supplements. In addition to helping the digestive process, this supplement can also help relieve complaints related to digestive enzyme disorders that you are experiencing. However, make sure you consult your doctor before consuming it.