Can You Digest This?By: Evita Basilio
The concept of digestion and absorption of food can be complicated and confusing! You’ve eaten your food, but you have no idea what really happens to it in your body. We would like to clear that up for you and help you understand what happens when you eat fat.
Dietary fat is usually made up of triacylglycerols (TG) which is basically a glycerol molecule (the rectangle) attached to three fatty acids (squiggly lines). The TG has to be broken down by our body to be absorbed in the small intestine before it can be re-built and used for energy or stored.
In our mouth we have an enzyme (molecule that helps reactions take place) that is able to separate some fatty acids off of the glycerol. This process of separation continues in the stomach.
It’s not until the fat reaches the small intestine that a majority of the digestion and absorption takes place by the action of bile salts and enzymes. Bile salts break up fat globules into much smaller emulsion droplets, which increase the surface area where the enzyme can work to break up the TG and create free fatty acids plus one fatty acid hangs on to the glycerol molecule to make a monoglyceride!
These can then form little balls called micelles, which are absorbed by cells lining the intestines. Once inside the cells, the free fatty acids and monoglycerides are reassembled back into the TG. Carrier molecules then transport the TG throughout the body.
When you have our Alligga Flaxseed Cooking Oil, you’re mostly having the Omega-3 fatty acids (remember the squiggly lines attached to the rectangle). Omega-3s are an integral part of cell membranes throughout the body and affect the function of the cell receptors in these membranes. They provide the starting point for making hormones that regulate blood clotting, contraction and relaxation of artery walls, and inflammation. They also bind to receptors in cells that regulate genetic function. Likely due to these effects, omega-3 fats have been shown to help prevent heart disease and stroke, may help control lupus, eczema, and rheumatoid arthritis, and may play protective roles in cancer and other conditions.
Phew! That was a lot of information but I hope we have encouraged you to learn more about what happens to food in your body.