What is the function of the enzyme pepsin

Written By The HealthMeth Team - Updated On Thursday, January 14, 2021 12:00 PM

Pepsin enzyme

Pepsin is produced and stored by the glands in the mucous membrane lining the stomach in the form of an inactive protein called Pepsinogen, and after food is chewed and passed through the esophagus into the stomach, pepsinogen and hydrochloric acid are excreted. ) Into the lumen of the stomach; The hydrochloric acid creates an acid medium that helps convert pepsinogen into the active enzyme pepsin. It is one of the digestive enzymes. In fact, the pepsin enzyme was the first animal enzyme to be discovered, by the scientist Theodor Schwann , in 1836 AD, and he named it after the word Pepsis, which means digestion in Greek. In 1929 AD, it was crystallized by the scientist John H. Northrop, where it became one of the first enzymes to be crystallized, and it is worth noting that the pepsin enzyme was the first crystallized protein that was studied using the technique of x -ray diffraction . [1] [2] [3]

The function of the pepsin enzyme

Pepsin is one of three main enzymes that break down and digest proteins in the digestive system , as it partially digests proteins in the stomach by converting them into smaller units called peptides, which are subsequently absorbed from the intestine into the blood, or It is further broken down by pancreatic enzymes. It is worth noting that the pepsin enzyme has many medical uses, and it is also used commercially in the leather industry. By using it to remove hair and tissue remaining from animal skin before tanning, it is also used to extract or recover silver from discarded photographic films; And that by digesting the gelatin layer that contains the silver compound. [2] [3]

Digestive enzymes

There are many digestive enzymes in the human body, the poor ability of the body to produce them adequately can lead to suffering from some health problems as a result of not fully digesting food . In fact, there are three main types of digestive enzymes in the human body, which are: Enzyme lipase ; Which works on digesting fats and converting them into fatty acids and glycerol , and these enzymes are secreted in small quantities in the mouth and stomach, and in large quantities from the pancreas , and the second type of enzyme is the protease enzymes, which are the enzymes that work to digest proteins And converting them into peptides and amino acidsExamples include: Pepsin, Trypsin, and Chymotrypsin . As for the third type of digestive enzyme, it is the enzyme amylase , which is the enzyme responsible for digesting carbohydrates into simple sugars, and they are excreted from the salivary glands in the mouth and the pancreas, and there are other enzymes that work on digesting disaccharides in the small intestine. It should have the following: [4] [5]

  • Lactase enzyme: Lactase digests the sugar lactose found in milk and other dairy products, and nutritional supplements that contain this enzyme may be resorted to if you suffer from a problem of lactose intolerance .
  • Maltase Enzyme: Maltase is responsible for the digestion of malt sugar or maltose.
  • Sugars: The enzyme Sucrase digests cane sugar, or what is known as table sugar, into glucose and fructose.

Digestion hormones

There are a number of hormones that play an important role in the digestive process as well, and among these hormones we mention the following: [1]

  • The hormone secretin: The hormone secretin stimulates the production of the enzyme pepsin inside the stomach, and stimulates the production of digestive juices from the pancreas, which work to neutralize stomach acid when it enters the small intestine.
  • Ghrelin: Ghrelin is produced in the stomach and stimulates the appetite.
  • Hormone gastrin: stimulates the hormone gastrin acid secretion in the stomach.
  • Peptide YY hormone: Peptide YY suppresses appetite in response to food.

Symptoms of insufficiency of digestive enzymes

Deficiency of digestive enzymes may lead to many different health problems that affect the body as a result of not absorbing essential nutrients, and there are many different symptoms that may accompany a deficiency in digestive enzymes in the digestive system, and among these symptoms the following: [6]

  • Suffering from diarrhea or constipation .
  • Flatulence and gas accumulation.
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) symptoms.
  • Feeling of pain and discomfort in the abdomen.
  • Suffering from a disorder in the balance of the human microbiota naturally present in the digestive system.
  • Suffering from steatorrhea.
  • Notice that part of the food comes out with the stool without being digested.
  • Feeling of fullness or fullness in the stomach after eating a small amount of food.
  • Suffering from some types of food allergies , and intolerance to certain types of foods.

Incidence of failure of digestive enzymes chronically may lead to a number of influences in the health of the injured person in the long term, and these effects are as follows: [6]

  • Suffering from allergies, and a weak immune system in the body.
  • Suffering from obesity.
  • Feeling tired and unwell.
  • Affliction with mental anxiety and depression.
  • Premenstrual syndrome .
  • Incidence of certain types of autoimmune diseases such as Siljak disease known as immune disease , wheat allergy .
  • Suffering from Ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease.


  1. ^ A b "Cross-Section Stomach" , Www.healthline.com , Retrieved 16-10-2018. Edited.
  2. ^ A b "Pepsin" , Proteopedia.org , Retrieved 16-10-2018. Edited.
  3. ^ A b "Pepsin" , /www.britannica.com , Retrieved 18-11-2018. Edited.
  4. "12 Foods That Contain Natural Digestive Enzymes" , www.healthline.com , Retrieved 16-10-2018. Edited.
  5. Barbara Bolen (14-9-2018), "Why You Need to Know About Your Digestive Enzymes" , www.verywellhealth.com , Retrieved 22-11-2018. Edited.
  6. ^ A b "Digestive Enzymes" , Www.clinicaleducation.org , Retrieved 16-10-2018. Edited.