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The diagram to the left is of the alimentary canal also known as the digestive tract and also shows other organs of the digestive system like the liver. After being swallowed, the food travels down the Oesophagus or esophagus, this is continually being damaged by the friction of food, so the epithelium is a few cells thick and secretes mucas to lubricate the food's passage. The next place it enters is the stomach this is a temporary store, mixes the contents up and also is the site for a bit of digestion. Enzymes are sensitive to temperature and pH, these must be at an optimum level so they work best.
Below is a digram of the human gut wall, on the right are labelled the different layers that exist. The first actual layer is the mucosa, it has a layer of epithelium, made of epithelial cells, which have projections called villi.
Below this is a muscle layer, known scientifically as the muscularis externa, it is reponsible for peristalsis which moves food through the digestive tract. In the diagram you should also notice the capillaries, part of the blood network which takes absorbed food away. By the time everything reaches here, the food has been digested into small enough particles that it can pass through the alimentary tract lining and be absorbed into the blood. The food products pass into the blood stream through villi: these are small foldings of the small intestine that cover on its internal surface. The villi on their own increase the surface area, but the cells which make up the surface of the villus have their own small projections called microvilli (see diagram) these further increase the surface area which means that the digestion products can be absorbed more quickly. The villus has a supply of blood vessels this means substances absorbed can be transported to where they are needed more directly. Triglycerides are a type of lipid; here you will learn how the body breaks down this molecule. Digestion begins in the duodenum where bile enters from the liver, bile salts make the big blobs of fat into small micelle droplets which massively increases the surface area and makes digestion much easier. Also in the duodenum, pancreatic lipase this breaks the triglyceride into fatty acid and glycerol. These resynthesised lipids make proteins called chylomicrons, these enter the lacteals and travel through the lymphatic system, making it milky.
The function of enzymes: They are organic, biological catalysts that start, promote and speed up biochemical reactions. When a substrate makes contact with the active site of an enzyme, it is transformed into an end product. Chew your food well to insure better carbohydrate digestion from the amylase enzymes in your saliva.
Enteroendocrine cells include G-cells, which produce gastrin, enterochromaffin-like cells (ECLs), which produce histamine, and others that produce somatostatin and serotonin. Mucous neck cells produce a thin, watery, acidic mucus, the purpose of which is an ongoing area of investigation. The plicae circulares are circular folds of mucosa and submucosa that impart a spiral movement to chyme, allowing more mixing with intestinal secretions and greater absorption. Microvilli (the brush border) are projections from the apical surface of each epithelial cell which further increase the surface area for absorption and also contain enzymes (brush border enzymes) that complete digestion of nutrients.
The submucosa contains Peyer's patches, aggregated lymph nodules (MALT), which increase in number along the length of the small intestine (there are more in the large intestine).
The submucosa also contains duodenal glands (Brunner's glands), which secrete alkaline mucus to raise the pH and protect the wall of the duodenum. There are no modifications for absorption like in the small intestine and no cells that produce digestive enzymes. Haustral contractions are slow contractions that occur about every 30 minutes and last approximately 1 minute.
Mass movements are long, slow moving, powerful contractions that move over the colon 3 or 4 times per day, typically after meals.
In addition to these movements some segmentation occurs in the descending and sigmoid colon to increase water absorption before mass movements propel the feces into the rectum. Scientists created a working guitar the size of a red blood cell to illustrate the possible uses of nanotechnology.
Fat digestion is somewhat complicated for humans and animals both, but the process can generally be reduced to three steps. Much of the human body is made of water, which means that food usually has to be digested in an aqueous solution.
There are two organs in the body that secrete substances essential to the digestion of fats: the liver and the pancreas.
The small intestine, however, is also an aqueous area, and the lipase is only able to attack and break down the outer layer of most fatty particles. Fatty acids, cholesterol, and other products of fat digestion are typically absorbed into the bloodstream through the walls of the small intestine. Once fat hits the bloodstream, it can go almost anywhere in the body, and has a profound impact on blood sugar as a whole.
A number of things can go wrong in the fat digestive process, though problems are more likely when the system is overloaded with fats all at once, or when something is wrong with either the bile or lipase production centers.
This is why you can have your gallbladder removed if you have to, and it won't kill you, but it will make it more difficult to eat certain things.
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We have said that animals obtain chemical energy from the fooda€”carbohydrates, fats, and proteinsa€”they eat through reactions defined collectively as catabolism. In stage II, these monomer units (or building blocks) are further broken down through different reaction pathways, one of which produces ATP, to form a common end product that can then be used in stage III to produce even more ATP.
Carbohydrate digestion begins in the mouth (Figure 20.5 "The Principal Events and Sites of Carbohydrate Digestion"), where salivary I±-amylase attacks the I±-glycosidic linkages in starch, the main carbohydrate ingested by humans. Protein digestion begins in the stomach (Figure 20.6 "The Principal Events and Sites of Protein Digestion"), where the action of gastric juice hydrolyzes about 10% of the peptide bonds.
The pain of a gastric ulcer is at least partially due to irritation of the ulcerated tissue by acidic gastric juice. Aminopeptidases in the intestinal juice remove amino acids from the N-terminal end of peptides and proteins possessing a free amino group. This diagram illustrates where in a peptide the different peptidases we have discussed would catalyze hydrolysis the peptide bonds. Lipid digestion begins in the upper portion of the small intestine (Figure 20.9 "The Principal Events and Sites of Lipid (Primarily Triglyceride) Digestion"). The monoglycerides and fatty acids cross the intestinal lining into the bloodstream, where they are resynthesized into triglycerides and transported as lipoprotein complexes known as chylomicrons. The further metabolism of monosaccharides, fatty acids, and amino acids released in stage I of catabolism occurs in stages II and III of catabolism. In what section of the digestive tract does most of the carbohydrate, lipid, and protein digestion take place? Aminopeptidase catalyzes the hydrolysis of amino acids from the N-terminal end of a protein, while carboxypeptidase catalyzes the hydrolysis of amino acids from the C-terminal end of a protein.
During digestion, carbohydrates are broken down into monosaccharides, proteins are broken down into amino acids, and triglycerides are broken down into glycerol and fatty acids. Using chemical equations, describe the chemical changes that triglycerides undergo during digestion. What are the expected products from the enzymatic action of chymotrypsin on each amino acid segment?


What are the expected products from the enzymatic action of trypsin on each amino acid segment? Chymotrypsin is found in the small intestine and catalyzes the hydrolysis of peptide bonds following aromatic amino acids. Pepsin is found in the stomach and catalyzes the hydrolysis of peptide bonds, primarily those that occur after aromatic amino acids. Bile salts aid in digestion by dispersing lipids throughout the aqueous solution in the small intestine. Emulsification is important because lipids are not soluble in water; it breaks lipids up into smaller particles that can be more readily hydrolyzed by lipases. In contrast, mutations in the stop codon produce a-chains with many extra amino acids in thalassaemia. The glutamine synthetase enzyme is encoded by the glutamate-ammonia ligase gene (symbol: GLUL) which is located on chromosome 1q31 and is composed of 9 exons that generate several alternatively spliced mRNAs, each of which encode the same 373 amino acid protein. ALT is a cytosolic enzyme encoded by the GPT (glutamate-pyruvate transaminase) gene which is located on chromosome 8q24.3 and is composed of 12 exons that encode a 496 amino acid protein. During periods of basal metabolism glucose serves as the major metabolic fuel of the brain. Metabolism of the branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), isoleucine, leucine, and valine, is important not solely for the ability to generate ATP via the oxidation of their carbon skeletons. When branched-chain amino acids enter the vasculature of the brain they are taken up by astroglial cells (astrocytes) which are in direct contact with the blood via cerebral capillaries.
However, elevation in intracellular ammonia does lead to increased mitochondrial uptake of glutamine.
Within the mitochondria the glutamine is degraded to glutamate and ammonia by a glutaminase encoded gy the GLS2 gene. The villi have capillaries and lacteals in the lamina propria for nutrient absorption (most dietary fat is absorbed by the lacteals, specialized lymphatic capillaries). Paneth cells deep in the crypts secrete lysozyme, an enzyme that degrades bacterial cell walls.
Distension or irritation of the mucosa by hypotonic or acidic chyme stimulates the release of intestinal juice, around 1 - 2 liters per day. Bacteria also produce biotin and vitamin K, which are absorbed through the intestinal wall. This gastrocolic reflex accompanies the gastroileal reflex stimulated by gastrin release when the stomach recieves food.
First the fats are emulsified, which means that they are suspended in a liquid, typically the acids of the small intestine. This can present something of a problem for fats that aren’t water-soluble, though, and many aren’t. These tend to be unaffected by the enzymes in saliva which means they reach the stomach largely unchanged, and the stomach acids aren’t always strong enough to alter their basic composition.
On a basic level, all that this means is that fatty substances have been suspended in a watery solution in order to end up with a relatively smooth or seamless liquid. Lipase is a digestive enzyme that works in many of the same ways as enzymes elsewhere along the digestive tract, particularly in the saliva and the stomach.
This organ determines how much of the substances to distribute to the body and how much to send out as waste. People usually feel full based on the chemistry of their blood sugar rather than the actual contents of their stomach or how much they’ve eaten by volume. People with chronic problems with their livers or gallbladders often have to be really careful to control the fats they eat, since fat digestion tends to be slower and more cumbersome in these cases. When I was a kid my father was trying to lose weight for some reason and he had got it into his head that since you need water in order to digest food, if you don't drink much water you will block food absorption and you won't gain as much weight. See the license for more details, but that basically means you can share this book as long as you credit the author (but see below), don't make money from it, and do make it available to everyone else under the same terms. However, the publisher has asked for the customary Creative Commons attribution to the original publisher, authors, title, and book URI to be removed. We can think of catabolism as occurring in three stages (Figure 20.4 "Energy Conversions"). The secretion of I±-amylase in the small intestine converts any remaining starch molecules, as well as the dextrins, to maltose. Gastric juiceA mixture of water, inorganic ions, hydrochloric acid, and various enzymes and proteins found in the stomach. Pancreatic juice, carried from the pancreas via the pancreatic duct, contains inactive enzymes such as trypsinogen and chymotrypsinogen.
Figure 20.8 "Hydrolysis of a Peptide by Several Peptidases" illustrates the specificity of these protein-digesting enzymes.
A hormone secreted in this region stimulates the gallbladder to discharge bile into the duodenum.
Phospholipids and cholesteryl esters undergo similar hydrolysis in the small intestine, and their component molecules are also absorbed through the intestinal lining. Chymotrypsin catalyzes the hydrolysis of peptide bonds following aromatic amino acids, while trypsin catalyzes the hydrolysis of peptide bonds following lysine and arginine. The GLUD1 gene encoded enzyme is the primary glutamate dehydrogenase (GDH1) activity in most tissues.
In the brain the role of glutaminase is in the synthesis of the neurotransmitter glutamate.
The GLS2 encoded glutaminase is dependent on inorganic phosphate (Pi) for activity and is, therefore, also referred to as phosphate-activated glutaminase, PAG. The ASNS gene is located on chromosome 7q21.3 and is composed of 15 exons that generate several alternatively spliced mRNAs.
Argininosuccinate synthetase is encoded by the ASS1 gene located on chromosome 9q34.1 which is composed of 18 exons that generate two alternatively spliced mRNAs that generate the same 412 amino acid protein. The NAGS gene is located on chromosome 17q21.31 and is composed of 8 exons that encode a mitochondrial protein of 534 amino acids. In addition to hyperammonemia, UCDs all present with encephalopathy and respiratory alkalosis. The glutamate is packaged in secretory vesicles for release following activation of an action potential. Release of glutamine from astrocytes allows neurons to derive glutamate from this parent compound.
Within many peripheral tissues the BCAAs are known to be major sources of the amino groups in glutamate. Metabolism of the BCAAs is an important regulator of overall energy consumption in skeletal muscle, functions to modulate feeding behaviors via altered energy homeostasis in the hypothalamus, serves to regulate excitatory neurotransmitter homeostasis, and also serves to regulate overall nitrogen homeostasis within the brain. The anal epithelium hangs in long folds (anal columns) in the superior portion of the anus. From here they are broken down with a series of enzymes and proteins, and finally they are absorbed and distributed. Digestion starts for many types of food right in the mouth, where the saliva starts processing food and preparing it for the stomach. Many people find the concept easier to understand by thinking about common household emulsifications like mayonnaise.
Fat that has been emulsified is usually a lot easier for lipase to break down and in most cases the decomposition is complete, meaning that all parts of the fat molecules are exposed and deconstructed into particles that can be easily absorbed by the bloodstream. A lot of this depends on a person’s overall health and general level of activity, since the body will make adjustments when it comes to how much fat it needs to perform certain tasks.
In most cases the quality and type of food are more important to satiety than the actual amount consumed. Undigested or improperly digested fats typically lead to abdominal cramping and loose, watery stools. So, even if your father had managed to delay digestion, it wouldn't have made him less hungry and being thirsty actually makes you more likely to overeat.


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In stage I, carbohydrates, fats, and proteins are broken down into their individual monomer units: carbohydrates into simple sugars, fats into fatty acids and glycerol, and proteins into amino acids. HCl helps to denature food proteins; that is, it unfolds the protein molecules to expose their chains to more efficient enzyme action.
The amino acids that are released by protein digestion are absorbed across the intestinal wall into the circulatory system, where they can be used for protein synthesis.
The principal constituents of bile are the bile salts, which emulsify large, water-insoluble lipid droplets, disrupting some of the hydrophobic interactions holding the lipid molecules together and suspending the resulting smaller globules (micelles) in the aqueous digestive medium. This enzyme is localized to the mitochondrial matrix and functions as a homohexameric complex. The GLS gene is located on chromosome 2q32–q34 and is composed of 24 exons that undergo alternative splicing to yield several mRNAs generating two isoforms of the enzyme. The GLS2 gene is located on chromosome 12q13.3 and is composed of 19 exons that undergoe alternative splicing to yield several mRNAs that encode four different isoforms of the enzyme. The CPS1 gene is located on chromosome 2q35 and is composed of 43 exons that generate three alternatively spliced mRNAs. The human genome contains at least 14 copies of the ASS1 gene all of which are pseudogenes except the one on chromosome 9 which encodes the functional enzyme.
The argininosuccinate lyase protein is encoded by the ASL gene located on chromosome 7q11.21 and is composed of 17 exons that generate several alternatively spliced mRNAs.
The activity of NAGS is allosterically activated by the amino acid and urea cycle intermediate, arginine. The key enzyme in BCAA metabolism that is the major contributor to all the aforementioned functions is BCAA aminotransferase (BCAT).
The anal sinuses are the recesses between the anal columns; they secrete mucus when compressed by feces, which aids passage of feces out of the anus.
A number of internal organs, particularly the liver, gallbladder, and pancreas, play essential roles in this process. The stomach’s gastric juices then turn many foods into something called chyme, which is basically a semi-digested solid with more readily available nutrients. In general, though, about half of the cholesterol that enters the small intestine never makes it into the bloodstream, and the ratio is only slightly higher for most fatty acids. One part of stage I of catabolism is the breakdown of food molecules by hydrolysis reactions into the individual monomer unitsa€”which occurs in the mouth, stomach, and small intestinea€”and is referred to as digestionThe breakdown of food molecules by hydrolysis reactions into the individual monomer units in the mouth, stomach, and small intestine.. Disaccharides such as sucrose and lactose are not digested until they reach the small intestine, where they are acted on by sucrase and lactase, respectively. The principal digestive component of gastric juice is pepsinogen, an inactive enzyme produced in cells located in the stomach wall. The GLUD1 gene is located on chromosome 10q23.3 and is composed of 17 exons that encode a protein of 558 amino acids. These three mRNAs generate three isoforms of CPS-I: isoform a is a protein of 1506 amino acids, isoform b is a protein of 1500 amino acids, and isoform c is a protein of 1049 amino acids.
The ARG1 encoded isoform of arginase is a cytosolic enzyme primarily expressed in the liver and functions as the urea cycle enzyme. Oxidation of BCKAs is very inefficient in astroglial cells and so they are transported out of the cell where they are taken up by the neurons.
People who have problems digesting fat, whether chronically or just temporarily, often have a number issues, most of which are characterized by abdominal pain and trouble passing “normal” or predominantly solid stools. By whipping the egg yolks — an emulsifier — and the oil together and then adding vinegar slowly, the oil and water or, in this case, vinegar, are held together in a mostly permanent way.
Not because it sits in the stomach for longer, but because it takes so long to digest, that it keeps your energy levels even for longer.
The major products of the complete hydrolysis of disaccharides and polysaccharides are three monosaccharide units: glucose, fructose, and galactose.
When food enters the stomach after a period of fasting, pepsinogen is converted to its active forma€”pepsina€”in a series of steps initiated by the drop in pH. Chymotrypsin preferentially attacks peptide bonds involving the carboxyl groups of the aromatic amino acids (phenylalanine, tryptophan, and tyrosine).
The GLUD2 gene is thought to have arisen as a result of a retrotranspostitional event to the X chromosome. GLS isoform 1 is a protein of 669 amino acids and GLS isoform 2 is a protein of 598 amnio acids.
The mitochondrial AST enzyme is synthesized from the GOT2 gene that is located on chromosome 16q21 and is composed of 10 exons that generate two alternatively spliced mRNAs that encode two different isoforms: isoform 1 (430 amino acids) and isoform 2 (387 amino acids). The ARG1 gene is located on chromosome 6q23 and is composed of 8 exons that generate two alternatively spliced mRNAs encoding arginase-1 isoform 1 (330 amino acids) and arginase-1 isoform 2 (322 amino acids).
Within the brain, different cell types predominantly express either the BCAT1 gene or the BCAT2 gene.
Within the neuron, the BCKAs can be transaminated back to the corresponding BCAAs with concomitant production of 2-oxoglutarate from the amino donor, glutamate.
Trypsin attacks peptide bonds involving the carboxyl groups of the basic amino acids (lysine and arginine). The GLUD2 gene is located at Xq24–q25 and is an intronless gene encoding a protein of 558 amino acids. The ARG2 encoded arginase (arginase-2) is a mitochondrially localized enzyme expressed in non-hepatic tissues, primarily the kidney. The primary protein encoded by the BCAT1 gene is a cytosolic version of the enzyme and the protein is identified as BCATc.
This differential localization of the two forms of BCAT allows for modulation of nitrogen and neurotransmitter homeostasis. The fatty substances become suspended in the watery environment and stay that way for the rest of their time in the body. It has a fairly broad specificity but acts preferentially on linkages involving the aromatic amino acids tryptophan, tyrosine, and phenylalanine, as well as methionine and leucine. Pancreatic juice also contains procarboxypeptidase, which is cleaved by trypsin to carboxypeptidase.
The GLUD2 encoded protein (GDH2) also forms a homohexameric complex in the mitochondrial matrix.
The arginase-2 isoform is thought to be involved in nitric oxide and polyamine metabolism, however, the precise role of this enzyme is not clearly defined. Astroglial cells express the mitochondrial enzyme (BCATm) encoded by the BCAT2 gene, whereas, neurons express the cytosolic enzyme (BCATc) encoded by the BCAT1 gene. The latter is an enzyme that catalyzes the hydrolysis of peptide linkages at the free carboxyl end of the peptide chain, resulting in the stepwise liberation of free amino acids from the carboxyl end of the polypeptide.
Expression of the GLUD2 gene is highest in neutral tissues and the regulatory controls over this form of the enzyme are distinct from the GLUD1 encoded enzyme. The ARG2 gene is located on chromosome 14q24.1 and is composed of 8 exons that generate variant mRNAs from alternative polyadenylation sites. Dependent upon the energy charge in the neuron, the level of glutamate, and on the overall level of neuronal ammonium ion (NH4+), the resulting 2-oxoglutarate can be reductively aminated by glutamate dehydrogenase to yield glutamate, or it can enter the TCA cycle for oxidation to contribute to ATP production. The GDH2 complex is not inhibited by GTP which allows astrocyte GDH2 to continue to function under conditions of intense excitatory neurotransmission allowing these cells to handle the increased loads of the neurotransmitter glutamate. This series of astrocyte BCATm and neuronal BCATc reactions provides a mechanism for efficient nitrogen transfer between astrocytes and neurons and synthesis of glutamate from astrocyte 2-oxoglutarate.
This pathway can be pharmacologically disrupted by the use of the drug gabapentin (marketed primarily under the name Neurontin) which inhibits neuronal BCATc resulting in reduced production of the excitatory neurotransmitter, glutamate.



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