Why are enzymes needed in the small intestine?


Quick Answer

Enzymes are needed in the small intestine to breakdown food and aid in the absorption of minerals to the body, according to the San Francisco Gate. Different types of digestive enzymes perform different functions. Some target dietary fats, while others focus on the breakdown of protein or carbohydrates.

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Full Answer

Like the stomach, the small intestine has many small ridges and furrows. Small projections called villi function to increase the surface area of the small intestine. Microvilli reside within individual villus cells and greatly increase absorptive surface area. Peptidase, sucrase, maltase, and lactase are enzymes that exist within the microvilli. The Springfield Techinical Community College notes that peptidase breaks down proteins, while the other three focus on carbohydrates.

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