Lingual lipase

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Lingual lipase is an enzyme found in the saliva that breaks down lipids. Specifically, it breaks down triglycerides into fatty acids and monoglycerides. The enzyme works over a wide range of pH, therefore it starts breaking down lipids in the mouth and can still function in the acidic environment of the stomach (usually in the range of 2-4, but rarely ever below 1.5 due to the enterogastric reflex).

In contrast to pancreatic lipase, it can cleave fatty acids from all three positions of a fat molecule. (Pancreatic lipase can only cleave at the 1st and 3rd Carbon of glycerol.)

It is secreted from Ebner's glands.[1]


  1. Essentials of Human Physiology by Thomas M. Nosek. Section 6/6ch6/s6ch6_8.