Sucrase

Friday, January 2, 2009

Sucrase is a digestive enzyme which breaks down sucrose into the simpler sugar glucose through hydrolysis. Also known as invertase or saccharase, it is not present in newborn animals so that they are unable to digest sucrose and feeding of the sugar will cause severe, osmotic diarrhea. Sucrase activity in the intestine increases with age as lactase decreases.

Sucrase is secreted by tiny, finger-like projections called villi which come out from the wall of the small intestine. Its levels are reduced in response to villi-blunting events such as celiac sprue and the inflammation associated with the disorder. The levels increase in Pregnancy/Lactation and Diabetes as the villi hypertrophy.