Pepsin is an enzyme produced in the mucosal lining of the stomach that acts to degrade protein. Pepsin is one of three principal protein-degrading, or proteolytic, enzymes in the digestive system, the other two being chymotrypsin and trypsin.
The three enzymes were among the first to be isolated in crystalline form. During the process of digestion, these enzymes, each of which is particularly effective in severing links between particular types of amino acids, collaborate to break down dietary proteins to their components, i.e., peptides and amino acids, which can be readily absorbed by the intestinal lining. In laboratory studies pepsin is most efficient in cleaving bonds involving the aromatic amino acids, phenylalanine, tryptophan, and tyrosine.
Pepsin is synthesized in an inactive form by the stomach lining; hydrochloric acid, also produced by the gastric mucosa, is necessary to convert the inactive enzyme and to maintain the optimum acidity (pH 1-3) for pepsin function. Pepsin and other proteolytic enzymes are used in the laboratory analysis of various proteins; pepsin is also used in the preparation of cheese and other protein-containing foods.
Food is composed of varying amounts of protein, fats or carbohydrates, and the pepsin enzyme targets the protein portion of a meal. It has a proteolytic function, which means that it slices up large proteins into smaller polypeptides in preparation for absorption in the intestines.
Proteins are made up of long strings of amino acids held together by peptide bonds, and pepsin cuts proteins at certain amino acids, such as glutamic acid, leucine or aspartic acid. Later during digestion, these polypeptide fragments will be further broken down by additional enzymes, such as endopeptidases and exopeptidases, so they can easily cross the intestinal wall into the body.
Pepsins preference for certain amino acids, though, means that some proteins entering the stomach escape cleavage by pepsin. The persistence of these unbroken proteins can lead to disease in certain people. This is exemplified by celiac disease, in which whole gluten proteins of wheat enter the intestines and trigger inflammation.
Review the list of essential enzymes here: Enzymes Assembled via Scalar Energy
Pepsinogen production and release are regulated in part by the nervous system and also by endocrine hormones and the amount of acid in the stomach. People with medical conditions that reduce stomach acid secretion, such as the autoimmune condition achlorhydria, have a reduced pepsin level and are less able to digest proteins efficiently. Significant reduction in stomach acid can also occur with Helicobacter pylori infection of the stomach, following certain gastric surgeries or as a result of medications like proton pump inhibitors.
Raw foods and Digestive Enzymes
Raw foods are rich in enzymes. Enzymes are needed for the digestive system to work. They are necessary to break down food particles so they can be utilized for energy. The human body makes approximately 22 different digestive enzymes which are capable of digesting carbohydrates, protein and fats. Raw vegetables and raw fruit are rich sources of enzymes.While all raw foods contain enzymes, the most powerful enzyme-rich food is sprouted seeds, grains, and legumes. Sprouting increases the enzyme content in these foods enormously.
Lack of digestive enzymes can be a factor in food allergies. Symptoms of digestive enzymes depletion are bloating, belching, gas, bowel disorders, abdominal cramping, heartburn and food allergies.
All of us lose our ability to produce concentrated digestive enzymes as we grow older. In cases where age is a factor, or where lack of digestive enzymes causes food allergies, supplementation may be helpful. You may also want to explore food combining.
The Following Enzymes Aid Digestion
- AMYLASE works to breakdown carbohydrates i.e. starches, sugars
- BROMELAIN taken from pineapple plant, helps break down proteins
- HCL hydrochloric acid stimulates pancreatic secretion, activates pepsin and sterilizes the stomach from bacteria and parasites
- LACTASE needed to break down lactose found in milk products
- LIPASE works to break down fats into fatty acids and glycerol
- OX BILE improves fat digestion, stimulates bile flow, aids gallbladder
- PANCREATIN contains protease, amylase, and lipase, functions in the intestine and in the blood
- PAPAIN extracted from papaya fruit, aids in protein digestion
- PEPSIN breaks down proteins, function depends on availability of HCL
- PROTEASE works to breakdown protein into amino acids
The More Food You Eat Raw The Better
If you do cook your food, the best way to cook food is to lightly steam, stew, or use a slow crock cooker. Eat as few over-processed and over-cooked foods as possible. The body has a difficult time digesting fried, pasteurized, barbecued, dried, and other over-processed and over-cooked foods which you find in boxed and processed foods.
We encourage you to consume at least 50% of your food as uncooked. A good vegetable juicing program will easily put you over that volume.Proper nutrition is an essential factor to ensure optimal health. Let food be your medicine so to speak. We are what we eat. Make the necessary changes in your diet in order to eat only natural and wholesome food. Avoid junk food and other processed food that is low or missing enzymes altogether.
Thank you for your interest in the article Enzyme Pepsin Assembled via Nutrient Therapy
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