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Information on Carbohydrates

Digestion of carbohydrates is a complex process and itstarts in the mouth. The last area of the process of digestion of carbohydratestakes place in the gastrointestinal tract. Carbohydrates are among thedifferent types of naturally occurring organic substances and the most popularforms commonly include cellulose, starch, sugars and similar food items. Thereare four basic types of carbohydrates and they are complex carbohydrates,disaccharides, monosaccharide and polysaccharides. The most common type ofcomplex carbohydrates is the cellulose. It can be found in the fiber of mostplants and it is very efficient in aiding the process of digestion. The mostcommon disaccharides include maltose, lactose and sucrose, while the mostcommon types of monosaccharides include galactose, fructose and glucose. Bothdisaccharides and monosaccharides can be digested rather fast. Polysaccharidesusually require some more time, while there are certain types of complexcarbohydrates which cannot be digested at all. The complexity of the molecularstructures of different types of carbohydrates is in a direct proportion to thetime required for it to be digested.

Carbohydrate Digestion and Absorption

The process of digestion of carbohydrates involves certainactions in which the complex carbohydrates get conversed into simpler monosaccharidemolecules in order to be absorbed by the human body much more easily. Thesaliva gets released from the salivary glands in the mouth and it breaks up thecarbohydrates. That is the beginning stage of the process of digestion. Salivacontains an enzyme called amylase and it is in charge of breaking up thecarbohydrates into simpler molecular structures. Once the food gets swallowedit ends up in the stomach where it gets processed by different types ofdigestive acids. The digestive enzymes in the stomach do help with the overalldigestion of food, but they are mostly insignificant when it comes to theprocess of digestion of carbohydrates.

Most carbohydrates get digested in theduodenum which is located in the small intestine. It utilizes the amylaseenzyme from the pancreas gland. The molecules get converted into simplestpossible types of carbohydrates such as maltose, lactose and sucrose. Otherenzymes involved in the process of carbohydrate digestion in the smallintestine include sucrose, lactase and maltase. These enzymes are essentialwhen it comes to the absorption of carbohydrates. All the parts of complexcarbohydrates which cannot be digested end up in the colon and get excreted bythe movement of bowels. The absorbedcarbohydrates end up in the bloodstream. Insulin from the pancreas convertsthem into glycogen and provides the body with the much needed energy. Allexcess amounts of glycogen end up as fat deposits.

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