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Pancreatic lipase is an enzyme (more specifically, a lipase) secreted from the pancreas that uses hydrolysis to break apart fat molecules. Bile salts secreted from the liver and stored in gallbladder are released into the duodenum where they coat fat droplets. Because the droplets are small, their surface area is greater, allowing the lipase to break apart the fat more effectively. The resulting monomers are then moved by way of peristalsis along the small intestine to be absorbed into the lymphatic system by a specialized vessel called a lacteal. This protein belongs to pancreatic lipase family.
Pancreatic lipase is secreted into the duodenum through the duct system of the pancreas. Normally its concentration in serum is very low. Under extreme disruption of pancreatic function, such as pancreatitis or pancreatic adenocarcinoma, the pancreas may begin to autolyse and release pancreatic enzymes into serum. Thus, through measurement of serum concentration of pancreatic lipase, pancreatitis can be diagnosed.
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