Topics: Digestion, Protein, Metabolism Pages: 3 (777 words) Published: May 14, 2013


Carbohydrate Digestion and Absorption
Basically, digestion of carbohydrate involves conversion of the large molecules of carbohydrates like di-saccharides and polysaccharides into simple mono-saccharide molecules which can be easily absorbed by the body. The first step of digestion is the moment we put the food in mouth. As we chew the food, the saliva released by the salivary glands of the mouth starts its work of breaking up of the carbohydrates. This is possible because of the presence of a special enzyme named amylase in the saliva. Then we swallow the food and it goes to the stomach. Here the digestive acids secreted by the glands of the stomach play a major role in processing the carbohydrate molecules further. The digestive enzyme of the stomach also helps in this work but they do not have much significant role in digestion in the stomach. From the stomach, small amounts of the food enter the small intestine where most part of the carbohydrates is digested. The first section of the small intestine is duodenum which receives a form of amylase enzyme released from the pancreas gland for the purpose of carbohydrate digestion. Here, carbohydrate molecules are further converted into simple molecules of sucrose, lactose and maltose. While passing through the small intestine some more enzymes named maltase, lactase and sucrose are involved in the process which breaks down the maltose, lactose and sucrose into smaller bits to ensure easy absorption of the digested sugar through the intestinal lining and from there to the bloodstream. The indigestible part of the complex carbohydrates like dietary fiber is transferred to the colon and from there it is excreted by bowel movement.

As the end product of carbohydrate digestion get absorbed into the bloodstream, the blood sugar level of our body rises from its normal level. Soon pancreas gland secretes insulin hormone so...
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