List of Digestive Enzymes and Their Functions: Digestive Enzyme Roles

What Are Digestive Enzymes?

The GI tract incorporates and releases a lot of different enzymes that carry out various crucial functions which include assimilation, breaking food down and digestion. The food goes through enzymatic action at which point the solid food is transformed to fat and carbohydrates, proteins and taken in by the body while the waste is ejected.

List of Digestive Enzymes and Their Functions

The digestive enzymes are grouped in to 4 divisions. They are:

  • Lipolytic Enzymes: break down fats in to fatty acids and glycerol
  • Proteolytic Enzymes: break down proteins and transform them to amino acids
  • Amylolytic Enzymes: break down carbohydrates and transform them  simple sugars
  • Nucleolytic Enzyme: break down nucleic acids and transform them to nucleotides

Functions of the Digestive Enzymes

  • The enzymes situated t in the mouth are:
  • Ptyalin: this enzyme breaks down carbohydrates and transforms them to simple single molecule sugars
  • Amylase: this enzyme also crushes carbohydrates in to simple single molecule sugars
  • Bromelaine: is an anti-swelling compound and also makes meet tender.


  • Enzymes present in the stomach are:
  • Pepsin: breaks down proteins into peptides that are smaller.
  • Gastric amylase: breaks down carbs and changes them into  simple sugar
  • Gastric lipase: breaks down fat
  • Gelatinase: breaks down collagen and gelatine seen in meet


  • Enzymes present in the pancreas are:
  • Trypsin: breaks down peptides and changes them amino acids
  • Chymotrypsin: breaks down proteins and changes them to  aromatic amino acids
  • Pancreatic amylase: changes carbs and transforms them  simple sugar
  • Elastase: breaks down elastin
  • Nuclease: changes nucleic acids in to nucleotides


  • Enzymes found in the small intestine are:
  • Sucrase: crushes sucrose to monosaccharides
  • Maltase: changes  maltose to glucose
  • Lactase: changes lactose to glucose and galactose


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