324 Carbohydrate Digestion

324 Carbohydrate Digestion - CARBOHYDRATE DIGESTION Simple...

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Simple, soluble (non-structural) CHO: SUGARS The amount of SUGARS in traditional horse feeds (hay and grains) is very small. Addition of molasses (sweet feed) or lactose (milk additives) raises the sugar level significantly. Therefore, the amount of energy derived from SUGARS depends upon the amount in the diet. Digestion processes: SALIVATION adds amylase to the food bolus in the MOUTH. o The amylase added is fairly dilute and probably functions as a pre- stomach additive to expose some of the starches and fiber in the exposed interior of the roughage and grains. o Its impact on sugars may be to provide a small amount of 2-carbon atom chains for use by the bacteria in the stomach as an energy source for the digestive processes occurring in the stomach. STOMACH: The fermentation in the non-glandular portion of the stomach probably has NO IMPACT on sugar digestion. No sugar digestion takes place in the glandular portion of the stomach. SMALL INTESTINE: Sugar digestion and absorption takes place almost 100% in the small intestine. Complex sugars are easily split into simple sugars by amylase enzymes from the pancreas and from the intestinal juices. Simple sugars (glucose and fructose) readily pass through the wall of the small intestine. Complex, soluble (non-structural) CHO: STARCH Starch is a simple straight or branched chain of glucose units. The BONDS joining the glucose units are simple and easily broken by amylase. The COMPLEXITY of starch is derived from the fact that the chains are very long and intermingled , making it difficult for the amylase to attack the inner bonds. THEREFORE, starch digestion is a lengthy process. Digestive processes: MOUTH: Salivation adds a small amount of dilute amylase. Its action on starch is very limited and probably functions in the same manner as sugar. MASTICATION physically breaks the outer shell of the forage or grain to
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324 Carbohydrate Digestion - CARBOHYDRATE DIGESTION Simple...

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