Lipase enzymes are secreted by the pancreas, glands in the small intestine, and others in the stomach. Their function is to break down fats into fatty acids and glycerol. Already emulsified fats like these of cream and egg yolk are broken down in the stomach by gastric lipase. Other fats pass the stomach, are then emulsified by bile salts, and broken down by pancreatic and other lipases in the small intestine.

Lipase enzymes are found in the pancreatic juice, the liver, the blood, and fat cells in the body, and in many seeds and grains in nature. They are given as supplements where it is suspected that fat breakdown is impaired, in gallbladder and digestive problems, etc.