The pancreas supplies the major digestive enzymes that catalyze the breakdown of fats, carbohydrates and protein, so that the breakdown products can be absorbed in the upper small intestine. Although fat digestion starts in the mouth with salivary lipase, most triglycerides are digested by pancreatic lipase, which is secreted by the exocrine pancreas into the duodenum of the intestine. Pancreatic lipase cleaves triglycerides into monoglycerides and free fatty acids, which are efficiently absorbed in the upper small intestine. Some carbohydrate digestion takes place in the mouth by salivary amylase, but pancreatic amylase is the major carbohydrate–digesting enzyme. It breaks down starches into maltose and maltotriose, which are further hydrolyzed into glucose by the disaccharidases of the mucosal cells, and then absorbed. Protein digestion is initiated in the stomach by pepsin and hydrochloric acid, which denature and divide large proteins into smaller polypeptides. The pancreatic proteinases, trypsin and chymotrypsin, break down these polypeptides into free amino acids, and di– or tri-peptides, which are directly absorbed by the intestinal mucosa. Ultrazyme provides high levels of catalytically active pancreatic enzymes that are specific for fats, carbohydrates and proteins. Bromelain acts to help prevent allergens from crossing the gastrointestinal tract, and assists in the breakdown of large macromolecular protein complexes. This reduces the chance that these complexes will leave the stomach untouched or in large fractions retaining their recognizable antigenic form that could pass through gastric or intestinal lesions thereby inducing an allergenic response.
Ultrazyme tablets may be a useful nutritional adjunct for individuals who wish to supplement their diets with digestive enzymes.