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What Is Pepsin?

Pepsin is produced in the stomach and is the first protein to act on breaking down the proteins contained in foodstuffs so that they may begin the digestive process. Pepsin is inert when produced but is activated in the stomach by hydrochloric acid (HCl). Food proteins processed by Pepsin will continue down the digestive tract to be further acted upon by other proteins. Among all the enzymes that are part of the digestive system Pepsin was the first to be identified.

Cells are called the building blocks of life, well Proteins could be referred to as the building blocks of cells. It is believed that the first living thing came from a pool of proteins that had combined into the proper sequence to form a living organism. Proteins, made from large chains of amino acids, these chains are held together by peptide bonds. These chains are called peptides and polypeptides, for the small chains and large chains respectively. The human intestine is capable of absorbing amino acids and small chains of amino acids; the body uses these as fuel or as building blocks for new proteins. Enzymes act as catalyzers so that reactions can take place in less time.

Zymogen is the inactive form in which digestive enzymes are produced, they will only become activated when they meet with HCl in the digestive tract as digestive juice. Pepsinnogen is what Pepsin is called while it is still in the inactive form. Pepsin and Hcl are produced separately in the human body and only come in contact within the protected walls of the stomach and intestinal tract.

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