Write a short note on digestion of fats in human body.


  • Fat digestion occurs in following steps-
1) In the mouth and stomach:-
  • Digestion of fats starts in the mouth.
  • Mechanical digestion occurs as the teeth grinds and breaks it apart into smaller pieces. 
  • Chemical digestion takes place as the enzyme lipase in the saliva begins to emulsify fat and saliva moistens the food to make it easier to swallow.
  • In the stomach, the muscles there begin to churn and move to further break it down. 
  • As it leaves the stomach, the food becomes a semi-liquid substance known as chyme.
2) In small intestine:-
  • As the chyme enters the duodenum, the pancreas secretes bicarbonate ions, which neutralize the pH of the chyme entering the small intestine and lipases break down fat.
3) Creation of micelles:- 
  • Fats are hydrophobic (do not dissolve in water).
  • Bile molecules have a hydrophobic as well as a hydrophilic end.
  • The hydrophobic end sticks to each fat molecule and the hydrophilic protrudes to prevent the molecules from sticking together. 
  • The combined structures of fat molecules and bile molecules are called micelles.
4) Breakdown of micelles:-
  • Lipases act on the micelles and break down fat molecules into fatty acids and monoglycerides that passes through the small intestine.
  • After they pass through the small intestine the fatty acids get converted to triglycerides which combine with cholesterol, phospholipids and protein to form a structure called a chylomicron.
  • The protein coating of the chylomicron makes it water-soluble so it can travel through the lymph vessels and eventually reach the bloodstream.


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