Tek 11B - enrichment question

By Tanya Raghu

If the bacteria in a human's stomach that helps break down food is being killed off, how will that affect the human's digestive system?

Digesting Foods

Simple carbs (glucose) can easily be broken down by the body to make easy ATP energy, ready to use

Complex carbs (starch and cellulose) take more effort and first must be broken down into simple sugars before they can be processed. Special enzymes called CAZymes start breaking them into simple carbs to easily be digested.

Bacteria in the Gut

This is the biggest digesting organ where most food gets broken down. The gut houses many CAZ enzymes which break the complex carbs and also cellulose which is found in the cell walls of plants. Many bacteria have the ability to make cellulosome which is a large complex system of cellulose breaking enzymes held together by proteins.

Bacteria in the mouth

Wide range of carbohydrate digesting enzymes to break down small bits of food which get stuck in your teeth. They also coat the food with saliva which also has enzymes to prep the food to easily be broken down.

What if these bacteria's were gone?

If all of these bacteria left the body, the body would have a very tough time digesting the food, making it almost impossible with out the enzymes in the gut and mouth.