In this article, we are going to take a look at what is lipase & health benefits it can bring? This article is one of a series of articles on enzymes that the human body uses. It has been written in as simple terms as possible so that people with no medical training can understand it. This simplicity necessitates that we leave out any details not entirely relevant to each point we are making. We want to remind you that this is designed for information only and not intended to replace consulting a trained medical professional. [i]
What is lipase?
Lipase is an enzyme that causes or accelerates the hydrolysis of fats. Hydrolysis is the chemical breakdown of a substance due to reaction with water. So, put simply lipase helps and speeds up the breakdown of fats when they mix with water.
Lipase is used by virtually every living organism to assist in the digestion, movement, and processing of lipids. Stepping back for a second, I will explain that lipids are a general description of organic compounds that are either fatty acids or come from fatty acids, but are also not soluble in water. They can, however, be soluble in organic solvents such as lipase.
So we see that pretty well every living organism uses lipase to process lipids, that would not be soluble in water alone.
You may have had a “lipase test” at some stage in your past. This standard test measures how much lipase is in your blood. Lipase comes from your pancreas, which is a gland between your stomach and spine. Should your pancreas get injured or become inflamed, it can release more lipase than average. A lipase test is sometimes requested by the doctor if:
· Severe pain in the abdomen or back
· You have a fever
· You are suffering from a loss of appetite
· You are feeling sick
Hyperlipasemia is a condition that describes when you have too much lipase in your blood. High levels typically mean that your pancreas has a problem. Often this condition will not show itself with any symptoms, but if your pancreas does have problems, you may show signs of diabetes, including thirst, urinating a lot, tiredness, and weight loss. An excess od lipase may manifest itself with excessive sweat, stomach pains, and nausea in addition to the diabetes symptoms. [ii]
Treatment of hyperlipasemia (high lipase levels) is urgent, and sufferers should get medical help reasonably quickly.
If your lipase levels are lower than average, then you may have the following symptoms:
2. Involuntary urination
3. Joint pain
4. Trouble digesting dairy products
6. Skin problems
If you are suffering from low levels of lipase, then your doctor may decide to prescribe lipase supplements. These can often have side effects, so consult with your doctor before taking them. [iii] [iv]
We have taken time out to look at irregularities in lipase levels. We will nor return to the question “What is lipase & Health benefits.”
More about lipase
While ost lipase is manufactured in the pancreas, there are several other lipases that the body secretes. The various kinds of lipase are:
· Bile salt-dependent lipase – pancreas and breast milk
· Pancreatic lipase – digestives juices
· Lysosomal lipase – interior space of organelle lysosome
· Hepatic lipase – endothelium
· Lipoprotein lipase – endothelium
· Hormone-sensitive lipase – intracellular
· Gastric Lipase – digestive juice
· Endothelial lipase – endothelium
· Pancreatic lipase related protein 2 – digestive juice
· Pancreatic lipase related protein 1 – digestive juice
· Lingual lipase – Saliva
Not all of these lipases function in the gut. Some lipases are involved in a variety of vital tasks. Some work inside the cells themselves, while others work in the space between the cells.
Some lipases from other organisms use lipases to help attack the human system. For example, some fungus and bacteria may excrete their own lipase to help them get absorbed quickly by the human host.
Some venom from wasps and bees contain a substance called phospholipases. The purpose of this enzyme is to increase the damage that a sting produces. [v]
Foods that contain natural digestive enzymes like lipases
As we have found in this article so far, we need enzymes like lipases to help digest our food. There are three main enzymes:
If the body is not making enough of these enzymes, some foods contain natural enzymes of their own, which will aid digestion.
Avocado is unique as a fruit because it is low in sugar and high in fats. They also contain the digestive enzyme call lipase, so the fatty acids in the Avocado will be easily digested . If you have enjoyed a high-fat meal and end it with an avocado, you will assist the body’s lipase by easing digestion.
Many people will not have heard of Kefir, a fermented milk drink that has quite a following in the health foods community. It is brewed by adding kefir particles to a milk drink. These grains are cultures of yeast, bacteria from lactic acid, and acetic acid bacteria. Kefiir has not only natural lipases, but also proteases, and lactase. People with lactose intolerance will benefit from Kefir.
Kimchi is a Korean dish that is quite spicy. It is made from vegetables that have been fermented. The bacteria contained in Kimchi is Bacillus and this produces both lipases and proteases. Once again, if you are planning a high-fat meal, including Kimchi on the menu will make digestion that much easier.
Miso is a seasoning from Japan that has become quite popular.It is prepared by fermenting soybeans with salt and a variety of fungus called koji. This process produces enzymes called lipases, lactases, proteases, and amylases.
Most of the time, our body will produce just the right amount of lipases that we need, and it will do it automatically. However, if we include too much fatty food in the meal, our system can sometimes struggle to handle the job of processing the food correctly. And these foods with their supplement of natural lipases can be a great help and avoid any discomfort. However, if your body is continually struggling with too little lipases or too many lipases, then you should consider medical advice as t can be a symptom of something more serious.
[iv] Health Chechup