lipase

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lipase (lī´pās), any enzyme capable of degrading lipid molecules. The bulk of dietary lipids are a class called triacylglycerols and are attacked by lipases to yield simple fatty acids and glycerol, molecules which can permeate the membranes of the stomach and small intestine for use by the body. Gastric lipase, secreted by the stomach lining, has a pH value for optimal activity around neutrality and would appear, therefore, to be essentially inactive in the strongly acid environment of the stomach. It is suggested that this enzyme is more important for infant digestion since the gastric pH in infancy is much less acid than later in life. Most lipid digestion in the adult occurs in the upper loop of the small intestine and is accomplished by a lipase secreted by the pancreas. Phospholipases are the enzymes that degrade phospholipids.

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lipase Enzyme that hydrolyses fats to glycerol and fatty acids. Most lipases have low specificity and will attack any triacylglycerol or long‐chain ester. Present in the pancreatic juice, liver, and adipose tissue, and in many seeds and grains. Sometimes responsible for the development of rancidity in stored foods.

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lipase (steapsin) (lip-ayz) n. an enzyme, produced by the pancreas and the glands of the small intestine, that breaks down fats into glycerol and fatty acids during digestion.

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lipase An enzyme secreted by the pancreas that catalyses the breakdown of fats into fatty acids and glycerol in the small intestine.