Magazine article Nutrition Health Review

Enzymes and Diet

Magazine article Nutrition Health Review

Enzymes and Diet

Article excerpt

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

1. Food enzymes are released when food is chewed or otherwise ground up. The activity of these enzymes is greatest in three locations: before we actually begin eating (for example, while a fruit smoothie is still in the blender or glass), in the mouth, and in the upper part of the stomach.

2. Food is held in the upper part of the stomach for twenty to sixty minutes, averaging about forty minutes. This part of the stomach serves primarily as a reservoir, without the release of hydrochloric acid and with little churning taking place during this time. We do not know precisely how significant this stage of pre-digestion is to the entire digestive process. However, we do know that the chemical breakdown of food occurs mainly in the small intestine. This leads us to the conclusion that food enzymes play a relatively minor role in human digestion.

3. Once food descends to the lower part of the stomach, the pH of the stomach drops from as much as 4. …

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