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Pancreatin is a mixture of several digestive enzymes produced by the exocrine cells of the pancreas. It is composed of amylase, lipase and protease.[1] This mixture is used to treat conditions in which pancreatic secretions are deficient, such as surgical pancreatectomy, pancreatitis and cystic fibrosis.[1][2] It has been claimed to help with food allergies, celiac disease, autoimmune disease, cancer and weight loss. Pancreatin is sometimes called "pancreatic acid", although it is neither a single chemical substance nor an acid.

Pancreatin contains the pancreatic enzymes trypsin, amylase and lipase. A similar mixture of enzymes is sold as pancrelipase, which contains more active lipase enzyme than does pancreatin. The trypsin found in pancreatin works to hydrolyze proteins into oligopeptides; amylase hydrolyzes starches into oligosaccharides and the disaccharide maltose; and lipase hydrolyzes triglycerides into fatty acids and glycerols. Pancreatin is an effective enzyme supplement for replacing missing pancreatic enzymes, and aids in the digestion of foods in cases of pancreatic insufficiency.

Pancreatin reduces the absorption of iron from food in the duodenum during digestion [3]

Some contact lens cleaning solutions contain porcine pancreatin extractives to assist in the intended protein-removal process.[4]


  1. ^ a b Whitehead, A.M. (1988). "Study to compare the enzyme activity, acid resistance and dissolution characteristics of currently available pancreatic enzyme preparations". Pharmaceutisch Weekblad Scienafic Edition 10: 12–13. 
  2. ^ Löhr, Johannes-Matthias; Hummel, Frank; Pirilis, Konstantinos; Steinkamp, Gregor; Körner, Andreas; Henniges, Frederike (September 2009). "Properties of different pancreatin preparations used in pancreatic exocrine insufficiency". European Journal of Gastroenterology & Hepatology 21 (9): 1024. doi:10.1097/MEG.0b013e328328f414. Retrieved 25 November 2015. 
  3. ^ R. Stephton Smith (1965) 'Iron deficiency and iron overload' Arch. Dis. Childh. 40, 343.
  4. ^ Baines, M.; Cai, F. (1990). "Adsorption and removal of protein bound to hydrogel contact lenses". Optometry & Vision Science 67 (11): 807–810.