Lipase Digestion of Fatty Acids


Lipase digestion - what is the purpose and function of this important process?





The human body requires daily intake of fats at 20% of the caloric intake for its maintenance. Fats are digested by an enzyme called lipase in the human body. This digestion of fats is said to happen when the lipase hydrolyzes the ester bonds in triglycerides and forms fatty acids and glycerol which are soluble in water and can be carried through the blood stream to different parts of the body.

What on earth does all that mean?

In simple terms it means that an enzyme breaks down fats using a special chemical compound that helps your body to digest fat and turn it into something that is useful and beneficial. Hydrolysis is a chemical reaction that splits water molecules into hydrogen and hydroxide ions, in other words it allows us to digest food.

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Why is it important for this process to work correctly?

Improperly broken down fats can cause health problems such as heart disease and cancer.

The process of lipase fat digestion of in the small intestine begins with emulsification of the fats by action of bile. Large fat molecules are emulsified by the bile produced by the liver and broken down into tiny droplets that can be easily digested by lipase in the small intestine, which in this section of the digestive canal is from the pancreas. If the secretion of bile is impaired for some reason, the fat molecules cannot be broken down and remain largely undigested in the system creating an environment for the onset of diseases.

This digestion is of paramount importance for the well being of the individual. Deficiencies in this digestion system cause high cholesterol, high triglycerides, weight gain and diabetes. Such persons also exhibit a tendency towards glucosuria or a condition in which there is high sugar content in the urine without diabetes. These will in the long run manifest as heart disease.


Since, the lipase process supports another enzyme called chloride in the human body, poor lipase secretion in the body can manifest as hyphochlorhydria. Supplements to aid the lipase processing system will reduce the problems associated with poor secretion, but the disease cannot be corrected without proper diet control and lowering of fat intake.

Deficient lipase digestion also causes decreased cell permeability. Nutrients required by the cells do not reach them in adequate quantities and wastes are not flushed out from them. Doctors often prescribe waste eating enzymes like protease to correct this problem.

Another common symptom of a poor lipase digestion system is muscle spasms or pain in the upper shoulders and other muscles in the neck or small intestine or rectal tissues. People with spastic colon also fall within the category of individuals with poor lipase digestion systems.

Lipase like enzymes for supporting and supplementing deficienies can be found in Papain enzyme extracted from Papaya and bromelain enzyme, derived from pineapple. Other products are marketed under brand names such as Total Balance produced by Xtend-Life Natural Products.

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