Lipase

Lipase is an enzyme that helps digest fats. Its exact functions vary slightly depending on where in the body it is produced.

The three different types of lipase are:

  • Pharyngeal lipase, which is produced in the mouth and is most active in the stomach.
  • Hepatic lipase, which is produced by the liver and regulates the level of fats (lipids) in the blood.
  • Pancreatic lipase, which is produced by the pancreas and released into the beginning of the small intestine (duodenum) to continue the digestion of fats.

Levels of lipase in the blood can be used to diagnose and monitor diseases of the pancreas. High levels of lipase are also common in people who have cystic fibrosis, kidney failure, or intestinal obstruction.

Last Revised: March 8, 2013

Author: Healthwise Staff

Medical Review: E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Jerome B. Simon, MD, FRCPC, FACP - Gastroenterology

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

© 1995-2014 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.