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We showed earlier that High Fructose Corn Syrup was invented in the early 1970s, and began to replace regular sugar in prepared foods around 1975.
The food industry has responded with an advertising campaign that tells us that HFCS is fine; it is equivalent to our old friend, regular sugar. Therefore, to produce corn syrup, manufacturers break down the starch into glucose — essentially the same digestion reaction that we use in our digestive systems when we eat starch. At equilibrium, this reaction produces a mixture of glucose and fructose that is about 55% fructose and 45% glucose. Mixing the purified fructose with glucose, or using the initial equilibrium mixture, gives HFCS42 (42% fructose), HFCS55 (55% fructose), and HFCS90 (90% fructose). Because of corn subsidies by the government, and import tariffs on Brazilian sucrose, HFCS is much less expensive than normal sugar. With the exception of artificial sweeteners like aspartame, acesulfame, sucralose, and saccharin, and the natural sweet compounds from stevia, all sweetened foods contain either sucrose or HFCS. The number of processed foods containing HFCS, sucrose, or one of the less-highly-refined preparations of sucrose (cane syrup, rice syrup, agave nectar, etc) is astonishingly great. The simplest solution, of course, is to avoid processed foods altogether, and prepare your own meals.
The final step in digestion is the elimination of undigested food content and waste products. Diarrhea and constipation are some of the most common health concerns that affect digestion.
Check out our new site currently under development, combining the Biotechnology and Science Learning Hubs with a new look and new functionality. The suffix ‘-ase’ is used with the root name of the substance being acted upon, for example,  when sucrose (sugar) is digested, it is acted upon by an enzyme called sucrase. The type of chemical reaction involved as the enzyme functions, for example, when sucrase acts on sucrose, it breaks it into a molecule of glucose and a molecule of fructose. The following pathway summarises how starch present in a food like bread is broken down chemically into glucose, which can then be absorbed through the intestinal wall and into the bloodstream for transport to the liver and from there to other parts of the body.Mouth and duodenumStarch hydrolysed into maltose through the action of the enzyme amylase. Other dietary sugars such as sucrose and lactose (both disaccharides) are broken down further by different carbohydrase enzymes. NOTE: Ita€™s important you recall the main digestive enzymes, the food types they break down and where they are produced.
The ultimate goal of digestion and absorption of sugars and starches is to dismantle them into small molecules that the body can absorb and use—chiefly glucose.
In the Mouth • In the mouth, vigorous chewing of high-fiber foods slows eating and stimulates the flow of saliva.
In the Stomach • The swallowed bolus mixes with the stomach's acid and protein-digesting enzymes, and these digest the salivary enzyme amylase. In the Small Intestine • The small intestine performs most of the work of carbohydrate digestion. The mechanical action of the mouth crushes and tears fiber in food and mixes it with saliva to moisten it for swallowing. Fibers delay the absorption of carbohydrates and fats in the small intestine, conferring benefits on health that a later section describes further. The small fraction of starches that escapes digestion and absorption in the small intestine is known as resistant starch. Like resistant starches, fibers in the large intestine attract water, which softens the stools for passage without straining. The blood then circulates through the liver, whose cells take up fructose and galactose and convert them to other compounds, most often to glucose, as shown in Figure 4-11.
This description of the way the body receives carbohydrate should help explode a myth perpetrated by advertisers of high-sugar foods and beverages.
In the digestion and absorption of carbohydrates, the body breaks down starches into disaccharides and disaccharides into monosaccharides; it then converts monosaccharides mostly to glucose to provide energy for the cells' work. Normally, the enzyme lactase ensures that the disaccharide lactose found in milk is both digested and absorbed efficiently. Symptoms • When more lactose is consumed than the available lactase can handle, lactose molecules remain in the intestine undigested, attracting water and causing bloating, abdominal discomfort, and diarrhea—the symptoms of lactose intolerance.
Prevalence • The prevalence of lactose intolerance varies widely among ethnic groups, indicating that the trait is genetically determined.8 The prevalence of lactose intolerance is lowest among Scandinavians and other northern Europeans and highest among native North Americans and Southeast Asians.
Dietary Changes • Managing lactose intolerance requires some dietary changes, although total elimination of milk products is usually not necessary.
Starches and sugars are called available carbohydrates because human digestive enzymes break them down for the body's use.
In many cases, lactose-intolerant people can tolerate fermented milk products such as yogurt and acidophilus milk. Many lactose-intolerant people use commercially prepared milk products that have been treated with an enzyme that breaks down the lactose. Because people's tolerance to lactose varies widely, lactose-restricted diets must be highly individualized.
People who consume few or no milk products must take care to meet riboflavin, vitamin D, and calcium needs. Lactose intolerance is a common condition that occurs when there is insufficient lactase to digest the disaccharide lactose found in milk and milk products. SabineHow does nutrition absorbed by the capillaries of the small intestine travel to the liver? Minerals, vitamins and water are already small enough to be absorbed by the body without being broken down, so they are not digested.
They produce sucrose in large enough quantities that it is relatively easy to purify it from them. Refined sugar, raw sugar, cane juice, corn syrup, rice syrup, and agave nectar, are all sucrose. The seeds have not quite reached their full size, and they have not yet converted all of the sucrose into starch. This is the same ratio that is in honey and fruit, though these also contain some sucrose and other sugars. It ranges from sweet drinks to sports supplements to yogurt to ketchup to barbecue sauce, and even to a surprising number of products intended as the main course of a meal -- sweetened meat mixtures. The American Heart Association recommends no more than 6 teaspoons for women and 9 for men (men, on average, being larger).
Food needs to be broken into smaller particles so that animals can harness the nutrients and organic molecules.
It is important to break down macromolecules into smaller fragments that are of suitable size for absorption across the digestive epithelium. The salivary enzyme amylase begins the breakdown of food starches into maltose, a disaccharide. Recall that the chyme from the stomach enters the duodenum and mixes with the digestive secretion from the pancreas, liver, and gallbladder. The enzyme pepsin plays an important role in the digestion of proteins by breaking down the intact protein to peptides, which are short chains of four to nine amino acids. However, the bulk of lipid digestion occurs in the small intestine due to pancreatic lipase.
Constipation is a condition where the feces are hardened because of excess water removal in the colon.
It is often in response to an irritant that affects the digestive tract, including but not limited to viruses, bacteria, emotions, sights, and food poisoning. Digestion and absorption take place in a series of steps with special enzymes playing important roles in digesting carbohydrates, proteins, and lipids.


Digestive enzymes speed up the breakdown (hydrolysis) of food molecules into their ‘building block’ components. This reaction involves adding a water molecule to break a chemical bond and so the enzyme is a hydrolase. All digestive enzymes are hydrolases, whereas most of the enzymes involved in energy release for muscular contraction are oxidation-reduction enzymes such as oxidases, hydrogenases and dehydrogenases.Chemical structure of enzymesEnzymes are large protein molecules, all of which have their own specific 3D shape. Proteins are long chains of amino acids, and protease enzymes break them into peptides (smaller chains of amino acids molecules) and eventually into individual amino acids, which are small and easily absorbed in the small intestine. It digests complex fat (or lipid) molecules into simple, soluble fatty acid and glycerol molecules.
The large starch molecules require extensive breakdown; the disaccharides need only to be hydrolyzed once. When a person eats foods containing starch, enzymes hydrolyze the long chains to shorter chains, the short chains to disaccharides, and, finally, the disaccharides to mono-saccharides. The salivary enzyme amylase starts to work, hydrolyzing starch to shorter polysaccharides and to maltose. A major carbohydrate-digesting enzyme, pancreatic amylase, enters the intestine via the pancreatic duct and continues breaking down the poly-saccharides to shorter glucose chains and disaccharides. Fructose and galactose can eventually become glucose after being processed in the liver, as explained later.
Starch may resist digestion for several reasons, reflecting both the individual's efficiency in digesting starches and the food's physical properties.4 Resistant starch is common in whole lentil beans, raw potatoes, and unripe bananas. Thus all disaccharides not only provide at least one glucose molecule directly, but they can also provide another one indirectly—through the conversion of fructose and galactose to glucose.
The fibers help to regulate the passage of food through the GI system, but contribute little, if any, energy. Lactase activity is highest immediately after birth, as befits an infant whose first and only food for a while will be breast milk or infant formula. The undigested lactose becomes food for intestinal bacteria, which multiply and produce irritating acid and gas, further contributing to the discomfort and diarrhea. Lactase deficiency may also develop when the intestinal villi are damaged by disease, certain medicines, prolonged diarrhea, or malnutrition; this can lead to temporary or permanent lactose malabsorption, depending on the extent of the intestinal damage. In contrast, fibers are called unavailable carbohydrates because human digestive enzymes cannot break their bonds.
The bacteria in these products digest lactose for their own use, leaving these foods relatively low in lactose. A completely lactose-free diet can be difficult because lactose appears not only in milk and milk products but also as an ingredient in many nondairy foods such as breads, cereals, breakfast drinks, salad dressings, and cake mixes. Later chapters on the vitamins and minerals offer help with finding good nonmilk sources of these nutrients. This is only a start to the process of digestion, as chewed pieces of food are still too large to be absorbed by the body. If you chew a piece of bread for long enough, the starch it contains is digested to sugar, and it begins to taste sweet.
This correlation has led many people to conclude that HFCS is responsible for the obesity epidemic and the consequent diabetes epidemic.
But, rather than conclude that HFCS is good, it might be more appropriate to conclude that sugar is also bad.
To obtain maple syrup from the sucrose-containing sap of maple trees, we must collect very large quantities of sap and boil away most of the water to produce a small amount of concentrated sucrose solution.
It's the same chemical whether it's been left in the form of concentrated syrup, or has been partially-purified (raw sugar), or whether it has been re-crystallized (refined sugar). Seeds, in particular, use this enzyme to convert the sucrose they obtain from the sap into the glucose they use to build starch. In fact, sweet corn carries a mutation that inactivates one of the two enzymes that build starch from glucose. To produce high-fructose corn syrup, manufacturers separate the fructose from the glucose by chromatography. This recommendation comes from the types of analysis described here: sugar, and particularly the fructose component, are a major source of weight gain and a major contributor to metabolic syndrome. Large, complex molecules of proteins, polysaccharides, and lipids must be reduced to simpler particles such as simple sugar before they can be absorbed by the digestive epithelial cells. As the bolus of food travels through the esophagus to the stomach, no significant digestion of carbohydrates takes place. Pancreatic juices also contain amylase, which continues the breakdown of starch and glycogen into maltose, a disaccharide. In the duodenum, other enzymes—trypsin, elastase, and chymotrypsin—act on the peptides reducing them to smaller peptides.
When chyme enters the duodenum, the hormonal responses trigger the release of bile, which is produced in the liver and stored in the gallbladder. If the lipid in the chyme aggregates into large globules, very little surface area of the lipids is available for the lipases to act on, leaving lipid digestion incomplete. It is important to consume some amount of dietary lipid to aid the absorption of lipid-soluble vitamins. Recall that the colon is also home to the microflora called “intestinal flora” that aid in the digestion process. This forceful expulsion of the food is due to the strong contractions produced by the stomach muscles. Elimination describes removal of undigested food contents and waste products from the body. Lipids are also required in the diet to aid the absorption of lipid-soluble vitamins and for the production of lipid-soluble hormones. Embedded within the shape is a region known as the ‘active site’, which can attract other suitably shaped molecules to bind to the site.
Because food is in the mouth for only a short time, very little digestion takes place there. To a small extent, the stomach's acid continues breaking starch down, but its juices contain no enzymes to digest carbohydrate.
This process generates water, gas, and short-chain fatty acids (described in Chapter 5).* The short-chain fatty acids are absorbed in the colon and yield energy when metabolized. Concentrated sugars do offer energy, but clearly, the best pick-me-ups are carbohydrate-containing foods that deliver vitamins, minerals, and fiber along with their energy. In the great majority of the world's populations, lactase activity declines dramatically during childhood and adolescence to about 5 to 10 percent of the activity at birth.7 Only a relatively small percentage (about 30 percent) of the people in the world retain enough lactase to digest and absorb lactose efficiently throughout adult life. Lactose intolerance differs from milk allergy, which is caused by an immune reaction to the protein in milk. Hard cheeses and cottage cheese are often well tolerated because most of the lactose is removed with the whey during manufacturing. The enzyme hydrolyzes much of the lactose in milk to glucose and galactose, which lactose-intolerant people can absorb without ill effects. People on strict lactose-free diets need to read labels and avoid foods that include milk, milk solids, whey (milk liquid), and casein (milk protein, which may contain traces of lactose).
Because treatment requires limiting milk intake, other sources of riboflavin, vitamin D, and calcium must be included in the diet. Food has to be broken down chemically into really small particles before it can be absorbed. Digestion of proteins in the stomach is helped by stomach acid, which is strong hydrochloric acid. We will show below that any and all natural sweeteners -- sugars -- are nutritionally equivalent.


Starch is the concentrated, tasteless, storage-form of carbohydrates in plants, and is the major nutrient in seeds. Of course, removing the fat makes the material unpalatable, so manufacturers add sweeteners to make them attractive to us. If the product contains any of the fructose-sources mentioned here, think very hard about whether you want to buy it. The disaccharides are broken down into monosaccharides by enzymes called maltases, sucrases, and lactases, which are also present in the brush border of the small intestinal wall. Trypsin elastase, carboxypeptidase, and chymotrypsin are produced by the pancreas and released into the duodenum where they act on the chyme. By forming an emulsion, bile salts increase the available surface area of the lipids many fold. The semi-solid waste is moved through the colon by peristaltic movements of the muscle and is stored in the rectum. Many bacteria, including the ones that cause cholera, affect the proteins involved in water reabsorption in the colon and result in excessive diarrhea.
While most absorption occurs in the small intestines, the large intestine is responsible for the final removal of water that remains after the absorptive process of the small intestines. The analogy that is often used to describe this mechanism is that of a key fitting into a lock. Fibers linger in the stomach and delay gastric emptying, thereby providing a feeling of fullness and satiety.
Next time you need an energy boost, why not have a delicious peanut butter and banana sandwich, a tall, cool glass of milk, and a fresh, juicy orange? They also need to check all drugs with the pharmacist because 20 percent of prescription drugs and 5 percent of over-the-counter drugs contain lactose as a filler. The leaf cells then export the sucrose to the plant sap (analogous to the plant's bloodstream), through which the sucrose is transported to the other parts of the plant.
In addition, it is important to recognize that soft drinks are the primary source of sugar for Americans. In vertebrates, the teeth, saliva, and tongue play important roles in mastication (preparing the food into bolus). The animal diet needs carbohydrates, protein, and fat, as well as vitamins and inorganic components for nutritional balance.
Further breakdown of peptides to single amino acids is aided by enzymes called peptidases (those that break down peptides). Emulsification is a process in which large lipid globules are broken down into several small lipid globules. The pancreatic lipases can then act on the lipids more efficiently and digest them, as detailed in [link]. As the rectum expands in response to storage of fecal matter, it triggers the neural signals required to set up the urge to eliminate. The cells that line the large intestine absorb some vitamins as well as any leftover salts and water.
Therefore, our digestive system produces the enzyme, sucrase, which digests sucrose into glucose and fructose.
In particular, sucrose is essential for root growth and the growth of new shoots and leaves, and of flowers and seeds.
While the food is being mechanically broken down, the enzymes in saliva begin to chemically process the food as well. Other disaccharides, such as sucrose and lactose are broken down by sucrase and lactase, respectively. Specifically, carboxypeptidase, dipeptidase, and aminopeptidase play important roles in reducing the peptides to free amino acids.
These small globules are more widely distributed in the chyme rather than forming large aggregates. If a solution of sugar is left in a sealed container, it breaks down into glucose and fructose extremely slowly. The combined action of these processes modifies the food from large particles to a soft mass that can be swallowed and can travel the length of the esophagus. Sucrase breaks down sucrose (or “table sugar”) into glucose and fructose, and lactase breaks down lactose (or “milk sugar”) into glucose and galactose. Lipids are hydrophobic substances: in the presence of water, they will aggregate to form globules to minimize exposure to water.
These molecules can pass through the plasma membrane of the cell and enter the epithelial cells of the intestinal lining.
In the presence of a small amount of the enzyme sucrase, the rate of breakdown is millions of times faster.Sometimes, chemical substances other than substrates can bind with the active sites of enzymes, blocking their normal function.
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The monosaccharides (glucose) thus produced are absorbed and then can be used in metabolic pathways to harness energy. Bile contains bile salts, which are amphipathic, meaning they contain hydrophobic and hydrophilic parts. The bile salts surround long-chain fatty acids and monoglycerides forming tiny spheres called micelles. For example, water-soluble compounds of arsenic and mercury are extremely poisonous because they can permanently bind to some enzyme systems, markedly reducing their efficiency. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.
The seeds of sweet corn shrivel somewhat during maturation; those of super-sweet corn shrivel tremendously.
The monosaccharides are transported across the intestinal epithelium into the bloodstream to be transported to the different cells in the body. Thus, the bile salts hydrophilic side can interface with water on one side and the hydrophobic side interfaces with lipids on the other.
The micelles move into the brush border of the small intestine absorptive cells where the long-chain fatty acids and monoglycerides diffuse out of the micelles into the absorptive cells leaving the micelles behind in the chyme. Depending on the dose, the end result could be death.Digestive enzymesDigestive enzymes all belong to the hydrolase class, and their action is one of splitting up large food molecules into their ‘building block’ components. As water is drawn out of the seeds during maturation, the starch remains trapped in the seeds; most of the sugars flow out with the water, and the seeds wrinkle. The long-chain fatty acids and monoglycerides recombine in the absorptive cells to form triglycerides, which aggregate into globules and become coated with proteins. Another unique property is that they are extracellular enzymes that mix with food as it passes through the gut. The majority of other enzymes function within the cytoplasm of the cell.The chemical digestion of food is dependent on a whole range of hydrolase enzymes produced by the cells lining the gut as well as associated organs such as the pancreas. Chylomicrons contain triglycerides, cholesterol, and other lipids and have proteins on their surface. The end goal is to break large food molecules into very much smaller ‘building block’ units. Together, they enable the chylomicron to move in an aqueous environment without exposing the lipids to water.



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