Diet / Gene Interaction

Digesting Carbohydrates: Amylase variants

Carbohydrate digestion begins in the mouth with an enzyme called amylase.  Saliva mixes with your food as you chew it, and the amylase in saliva begins breaking down carbohydrates into simple sugars.  Amylase is also produced by the pancreas and used for further breaking down carbs in the small intestines. Amylase isn't the only enzyme involved in breaking down carbohydrates; it is just the first step.  Amylase helps convert starches eventually into maltose or maltotriose, which are then converted by the enzymes maltase into glucose in the small intestines. Glucose then is utilized by the body for energy production.   (Vampire bats are the only mammals not to produce maltase) (more…)

By Debbie Moon, ago


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