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MCAT Question A Day - 6/4/13 - Answer!

Which pancreatic secretion enables digestion of all macromolecules to take place in the duodenum of the small intestine?

A.  Insulin
B.  Glucagon
C.  Trypsin
D.  Sodium bicarbonate

The correct answer is (D). Sodium bicarbonate neutralizes the acidic chyme to a pH (slightly alkaline) compatible with all pancreatic and intestinal enzymes. Trypsin (choice C) partially digests only proteins, while insulin and glucagon (choices A and B) play a role in regulating nutrients in the blood after digestion and absorption have been completed.