Chemistry: Effects Of Digestive Supplement On The Human Body

1396 words - 6 pages


The purpose of this lab was to determine the effects that pH had on lactase activity of four different digestive supplements that assist in the breakdown of lactose in the body. Lactase is an enzyme that digests lactose, it is also the primary sugar found in milk (BIOB 260 Lab Manual, 2014). Before it can be broken down lactose needs to be broken down into glucose and galactose for easy absorption into the bloodstream, this is done by the hydrolying of the monosaccharide (BIOB 260 Lab Manual, 2014). Lactase has the ability to catalyze reactions to allow for proper function of breaking down the lactose(BIOB 260 Lab Manual, 2014). To ensure proper function of the lactase enzyme, optimal temperature and pH are needed. Without these conditions the enzyme becomes denatured and lose their functionality (BIOB 260 Lab Manual, 2014). Denature can be defined as destroy the characteristic properties of (a protein or other biological macromolecule) by heat, acidity, or other effects that disrupt its molecular conformation ( pH can be defined as the measure of hydrogen ion concentration of an aqueous solution (BIOB 260 Lab Manual, 2014). pH can be maintained by buffers which accepting protons when concentration rises or donating protons when concentration falls as needed(BIOB 260 Lab Manual, 2014).

Equilibrium between the undissociated and dissociated for of acid in water:

- undissociated acid ions of dissociated acid

Reaction showing change of the pH solution:

- CH3COONa CH3COO- + Na+

The hypothesis of the lab was: Digestive Advantage will be the least effective at breaking down lactose than the other three digestive supplements (Fast Act, Up & Up, and Equate) tested at a pH of 6.


Lactose was added to each test tube, enzyme was also added to each test tube. 1M pH 4 buffer and 1M pH 10 buffer were added to each test tube to achieve the remaining pH levels of 5,6,7,8,and 9 at a 0.1 M concentration. Distilled water was added to each test tube completing each mixture. The test tubes were then incubated for 5 minutes at body temperature. The final result was tested with Diastix strips to determine the amount of glucose present in each solution.


The most optimum pH level was determined by testing lactose in various pH levels. The pH of 7 was the most optimum pH for the lactose.

Lactase Activity at Various pH

Ph Ratios

Desired pH pH 4 ratio pH10 ratio Volume added of each to make 5 mL total Volume added of each to make 10 mL total Volume added of each to make 30 mL total
pH4 6 (100)% 0 (0%) 5 mL (4)
0 mL (10) 10 mL (4)
0 mL (10) 30 mL (4)
0 mL (10)
pH5 5 1 4.167 mL (4)
0.833 mL (10) 8.33 mL (4)
1.67 mL (10) 25mL (4)
5 mL (10)
pH6 4 2 3.33 mL (4)
1.67 mL (10) 6.67 mL (4)
3.33 mL (10) 20 mL (4)
10 mL (10)
pH7 3 (50%) 3 (50%) 2.5 mL (4)
2.5 mL (10) 5 mL (4)
5 mL (10) 15 mL (4)
15 mL (10)
pH8 2 4 1.67 mL (4)
3.33 mL (10) 3.33 mL (4)
6.67 mL (10) 10 mL (4)

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