LACTOBACILLUS & BIFIDOBACTERIA SPECIES
Lactobacillus & Bifidobacteria species are referred to as beneficial bacteria or “probiotics.” They produce important nutrients & enzymes that contribute to an optimal intestinal environment. In addition, Lactobacillus & Bifidobacteria species have individual functions that collectively produce beneficial effects in the body. Bifidobacteria represents approximately one-fourth of the beneficial bacteria in the intestinal tract.
Enzymes of digestion
Ptyalin which is contained saliva, begins the process of breaking down starch into smaller molecules.
Pepsin, secreted by glands in the stomach, breaks proteins into smaller peptides to ready them for digestion by the proteolytic enzymes of the pancreas.
Many digestive enzymes are produced by the pancreas. These enzymes do the major work of digesting proteins, fats and carbohydrates contained in our foods.
Pancreatic proteases such as trypsin and chymotrypsin, digest proteins into amino acids for their assimilation by the body.
Bile secreted by the liver and stored in the gall bladder is not an enzyme but it emulsifies fat so that it is easier for lipase from the pancreas to digest fat.
Lipase changes triglycerides in dietary fats to monoglycerides and fatty acids.
Amylase from the pancreas continues the digestion of starches begun by the salivary ptaylin. Amylase digests other carbohydrates, such as glycogen from animal skeletal muscle.
Cellulose, contained in plant foods, is a carbohydrate that humans cannot digest because we do not produce cellulase, the enzyme needed to digest it.
Mammals such as cows and sheep contain symbiotic (friendly) bacteria in their digestive tracts which produce the enzyme cellulase for breaking down cellulose.
The small intestine also secretes enzymes for the further digestion of carbohydrates into sugars for use in the body.