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Mario Tarango

Nutrition, Sec. 10131

Understanding Macronutrients Project
The digestion process of Carbohydrates begins in the outh !here che!ing he"ps
stiu"ate the sa"i#ary g"ands in the outh. $ediate"y after!ard, the sa"i#ary ay"ase begins to
brea% do!n starch into sa""er po"ysaccharides a"ong !ith a"tose. &fter!ard, the process
o#es on to the stoach !here the sa"i#ary ay"ase en'ye is destroyed by the acid "ocated in
the stoach (no other for of digestion occurs in the stoach. The process proceeds to the
pancreas !here the pancreatic ay"ase is discharged into the sa"" intestine. Ne)t, in the sa""
intestine, the pancreatic ay"ase finishes brea%ing do!n the reaining starch into a"tose. &"so,
additiona" en'yes (a"tase, sucrose, "actase, etc.* are sent out by ucosa" ce""s (ce""s that "ine
the sa"" intestine* to digest reaining disaccharides into onosaccharides !hich are then
absorbed by enterocytes (another type of ce"" that "ines the sa"" intestine* and continue to enter
the b"oodstrea to!ards the "i#er through porta" #ein. $t is at the "i#er !here the
onosaccharides are con#erted to g"ucose !hich circu"ates in the b"ood as our priary energy
source. &s for the e)cess g"ucose, they are stored in the "i#er as g"ycogen and is a"so transported
to the usc"e. +ast"y, in the "arge intestine, carbohydrates %no!n as fiber pass through !ith on"y
soe of it being ab"e to be bro%en do!n by bacteria !hich produce short chain fatty acids that
can aid in the hea"th of the co"on. The reaining fiber is then discarded through the feces.
The start of the digestion process of fats is in the outh !here the sa"i#ary g"ands
produce an en'ye ca""ed "ingua" "ipase !hich is ab"e to digest soe trig"ycerides. ,o""o!ing is
the stoach !here ost fat coes intact !here it is i)ed !ith the acids in the stoach and are
bro%en into drop"ets. The gastric "ipase "ocated in the stoach is a"so ab"e to digest soe
trig"ycerides. The ne)t step is the short process of the ga""b"adder re"easing bi"e (produced by the
"i#er and stored in the ga""b"adder* into the sa"" intestine. The bi"e then proceeds to brea% the fat
into e#en sa""er drop"ets and the pancreatic en'yes ("ipid-digesting en'yes fro the
pancreas* proceed to brea% the reaining trig"ycerides into t!o fatty acids (separated* and a
onog"yceride. The fat then enters the ucosa" ce"" in the for of a spherica" ice""e (consists
of fatty acids, onog"ycerides, phospho"ipids, and stero"s*. $nside the intestina" ucosa" ce"", the
fatty acids reattach to the onog"ycerides to recreate trig"ycerides. &"so, a sa"" aount of
protein !as added to the "ipids !hich fors a ch"yicron !hich is a "ipoprotein that is produced
by ce""s "ining the sa"" intestine. Ch"yicrons are a"so %no!n for being a transport #ehic"e that
reo#e absorbed fats to the sa"" intestine. The Ch"yicrons tra#e" through the "yphatic
syste and are transferred to the b"oodstrea. &t the oent that the chy"oicrons get to a ce""
in the body, the trig"ycerides in the chy"oicrons ha#e to be disasseb"ed by "ipoprotein "ipase
into t!o fatty acids and a onog"yceride before they can pass through the ce"" ebrane. .nce
they enter the ce"", the t!o fatty acids and onog"yceride refor a trig"yceride. &t this point,
they ha#e three options, to be used iediate"y for energy, a%e "ipid-containing copounds, or
to be a%e "ipid-containing copounds.
The digestion of proteins starts off !ith the outh by crushing the proteins in food and
oistening the by sa"i#a. /igestion then o#es do!n to the stoach !ith the proteins being
bro%en do!n by hydroch"oric acid. 0ydroch"oric acid a"so acti#ates pepsin !hich is an en'ye
that brea%s do!n proteins into short po"ypeptides and aino acids. The proteins then head to the
sa"" intenstine !here pancreatic en'yes ca""ed proteases cop"ete the digestion of proteins
into sing"e aino acids. Ce""s in the !a"" of the sa"" intestine then cop"ete the brea%do!n of
the rest of the po"ypeptides into sing"e aino acids. +ast"y, the aino acids are then transported
to the "i#er and are sent throughout the ce"" as needed.