The purpose of digestion consists in breaking down the nutrients consumed with food and in enabling the body to absorb them through the mucous membranes of the intestinal tract.
Digestion is initiated by the mechanical processes of crushing, transport and mixing. In the digestive tract the nutrients must be broken down into smaller pieces so that they can be absorbed by the body.
Enzymes, contained in the digestive fluids or located on the inner wall of the intestine, cleave the carbohydrates, proteins and fats that have been consumed into their constituent parts.
- carbohydrates: the polysaccharide starch (plant origin) and glycogen (animal origin) constitute most of the carbohydrates in food. They are cleaved into the individual sugars by the enzyme amylase from saliva and the pancreatic juices.
- Proteins: The cleaving of protein molecules into the amino acids is done by the proteases (protein enzymes) from the pancreatic juices.
- Lipids (fats): the collaboration of the bile and the pancreatic juices is extremely important for the digestion of fats. The fats are emulsified by the bile acids, making them more accessible for the enzyme lipase contained in the pancreatic juices. Fats are cleaved thus into glycerin and the free fatty acids.
Difficulties to digest may be expressed with various symptoms. Frequently a feeling of fullness, bloating, burping or congestion are the result of a temporary overloading of the digestive tract. In these cases, oral intake of digestive enzymes can be of assistance. They supplement the body’s own enzymes and support natural digestion.
Consulting a physician is recommended for serious, recurrent digestive complaints. Serious diseases of the digestive tract can be detected and the correct therapy initiated.
Medinova products for digestive complaints: Combizym