Pepsin is a digestive enzyme that is produced from a precursor substance called pepsiongen. Pepsin is produced in the cells lining the stomach and excreted in response to food entering the digestive tract. Your body makes pepsin in various forms, with the most active form being pepsin A. This enzyme is the chief ingredient in your body’s stomach juices, Drugs.com reports. Pepsin has a variety of benefits that help your body function properly.
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Pepsin is integral in digesting any protein you consume as part of your diet, according to UC Clermont College. Dietary proteins are large molecules that are difficult to absorb. In order for the cells of your digestive tract to absorb the nutrients within proteins, the proteins have to be broken down into smaller particles, called polypeptides. Pepsin is the main enzyme that digests protein into polypeptides. Without pepsin, your ability to metabolize proteins is severely inhibited.
Stimulates Bile Secretion
Bile is a digestive substance created by the liver. Bile is essential in the digestion of any dietary fat. In order for bile to be released and sent to the digestive tract, the liver and gallbladder must be stimulated. Pepsin is one of the chemicals that achieves this stimulation, the National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse states. Once pepsin is released it stimulates receptors that tell the liver and gallbladder to secrete bile into the small intestine. Bile then coats any ingested fat and allows it to be digested and absorbed by your body.
Aids in Vitamin B12 Absorption
Vitamin B-12 is an essential vitamin that your body needs in order to function properly and form new cells. Your main source of vitamin B-12 is from the foods you consume as part of your daily diet. However, in order to absorb the vitamin your body needs to produce adequate amount of gastric acids, which include pepsin, an article in the "American Journal of Clinical Nutrition" reports. Pepsin allows for the proper digestion and absorption of vitamin B-12. Without pepsin, you will suffer from vitamin B-12 deficiency, which can lead to a variety of serious complications.