Microbial Degradation of Intestinal Enzymes

In the following section, trypsin is used as a model substance for endogenously derived enzymes. It is excreted as a precursor, trypsinogen, from the pancreas, and activated in the small intestine, mainly by brush border enzymes (36). Fecal tryptic activity represents the net sum of processes involving the secretion of trypsinogen, its activation to trypsin, trypsin inactivators, and the presence in the intestine of microbial- and diet-derived compounds and enzymes that inactivate or degrade trypsin and trypsin inactivators. Feces of germ-free rats contain large amounts of tryptic activity, whereas far less is found in their conventional counterparts (37,38). Obviously, intestinal microorganisms are responsible for the inactivation of trypsin, and at least one strain of Bacteroides distasonis capable of performing this inactivation, has been described (39).

In most mammals, except man, the intestinal microbiota is breaking down trypsin, yielding fecal tryptic activity to be absent or very low. In man, most adults express tryptic activity in their feces, although the levels are influenced upon by age and gender (24).

Pregnancy And Childbirth

Pregnancy And Childbirth

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