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Carbohydrate Digestion

Understanding carbohydrate digestion and absorption is crucial for the MCAT, focusing on the breakdown of complex carbohydrates into monosaccharides for absorption.
  • Digestion begins in the mouth with salivary amylase breaking down complex carbohydrates.
  • Pancreatic amylase continues the breakdown process in the GI tract, reducing carbohydrates to disaccharides.
  • Brush border enzymes in the small intestine further digest disaccharides into monosaccharides, which are glucose, galactose, and fructose.
  • Lactose intolerance is used as an example to illustrate the importance of enzyme presence for the digestion of disaccharides into monosaccharides.
  • Key disaccharides include lactose (glucose and galactose), maltose (glucose and glucose), and sucrose (glucose and fructose).
Introduction to Carbohydrate Digestion
The Role of Salivary Amylase
Pancreatic Amylase and Further Breakdown
Final Steps with Brush Border Enzymes