The main difference between lipase and trypsin is that lipase catalyzes the hydrolysis of lipids, whereas trypsin catalyzes the hydrolysis of proteins.
Digestive enzymes are the chemical substances that help you digest food. They digest the food by breaking down large complex molecules that make up proteins, fats, and carbohydrates into smaller ones. In fact, this breakdown of molecules allows the food to be easily absorbed into the blood. Moreover, these digestive enzymes are secreted by the salivary glands and the cells lining the stomach, small intestine, and pancreas. Some examples of digestive enzymes are lactase, sucrase, maltase, lipase, and trypsin.
Key Areas Covered
What is Lipase
Lipase is an enzyme that catalyzes the hydrolysis of lipids. It is a subclass of esterases. They break down triglycerides into fatty acids and glycerol. Lipase is commonly found in plants, animals, molds, and bacteria. They are active in multiple tissues, such as hepatic lipases in the liver, lipoprotein lipases in the vascular endothelial surfaces, pancreatic lipases in the small intestine, and hormone-sensitive lipases in the adipocytes. Furthermore, lipases function optimally in an acidic environment (pH 4-6).
There are different functions of lipases. For example, hormone-sensitive lipases hydrolyze the triglycerides stored within adipocytes; hepatic lipase degrades triglycerides that remain in intermediate-density lipoprotein; lipoprotein lipase in the vascular endothelial cells degrade triglycerides that circulate from chylomicrons and very low-density lipoproteins, while pancreatic lipase in the small intestine degrades dietary triglycerides.
What is Trypsin
Trypsin (proteolytic enzyme or protease) is an enzyme that helps to digest proteins. In the pancreas, trypsin is produced as trypsinogen in its inactive form. This trypsinogen enters the small intestine through the common bile duct and is later converted to active trypsin. This chemical reacts with other proteases, chymotrypsin, and pepsin, to break down dietary proteins into peptides and amino acids.
Trypsin can also be taken as a nutritional supplement. Trypsin extracted from meat-producing animals is combined in various dosages with other enzymes. Moreover, a few uses of these supplements include promoting recovery from sports injuries, reducing pain and inflammation from osteoarthritis, and treating indigestion.
Apart from the role of protein digestion, it also has other functions in the body. It also helps in the regulation of blood clotting. It can activate other clotting factors in the blood. Trypsin is also useful in the immune system, as it helps to break down the foreign proteins that may be present in the body.
Complications of inadequate trypsin levels include pancreatitis, malabsorption, cystic fibrosis, and cancer. Furthermore, trypsin inhibitors (compounds that block trypsin activity) are present in certain foods, which leads to a decrease in protein digestion if consumed in large amounts.
The uses of trypsin include its use in the laboratory to digest proteins to isolate or identify specific peptides or proteins and the production of certain biotechnology products such as insulin.
Difference Between Lipase and Trypsin
Lipase is an enzyme that catalyzes the hydrolysis of lipids, whereas trypsin is an enzyme that catalyzes the hydrolysis of proteins.
Lipase acts on lipids (fats), whereas trypsin acts on proteins.
Moreover, lipase functions optimally at a pH of around 7-8, whereas trypsin functions at around pH 8-9.
Lipasee is a hydrolase as it breaks down molecules by adding water, while trypsin is a protease that specifically breaks down proteins.
In brief, digestive enzymes are the chemical substances that help you digest food. They digest the food by breaking down large complex molecules into smaller ones. Lipase and trypsin are two types of enzymes. The main difference between lipase and trypsin is that lipase catalyzes the hydrolysis of lipids, whereas trypsin catalyzes the hydrolysis of proteins.
1. “Horse Pancreatic Lipase” By Bourne, Y., Martinez, C., Kerfelec, B., Lombardo, D., Chapus, C., Cambillau, C. – Image from the RCSB PDB of PDB ID 1HPL (CC BY-SA 4.0) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “Trypsin active site” By Fdardel – Own work (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia