7 Best Benefits Of Amylase

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

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The presence of amylase in our body is extremely important, although most people don’t understand the full range of its potential health benefits.

What is Amylase?

Amylase is a very important starch-metabolizing enzyme that is produced in both the saliva and in the pancreas to speed the digestive process. There are various types of this enzyme, but all are digestive enzymes – alpha-amylase, beta-amylase, and y-amylase. In our digestive system, this enzyme begins the entire digestive process in the mouth, breaking down some of the molecules even before they reach the small intestine. Once the food reaches the acidic environment of the stomach, different amylase enzymes (produced in the pancreas) break down the food more fully. Without this enzyme in our saliva beginning the process of breaking down complex carbohydrates, our stomach would have to work much harder when metabolizing all of our food.

If the levels of this enzyme are high, it could mean that your pancreas is inflamed, which means you should see a doctor immediately, as it could be a sign of pancreatitis. As we age, our bodies produce less of this enzyme, so it becomes important to consume amylase-rich foods, such as raw fruits and vegetables, nuts, legumes, and whole grains.

Gloved hand holding test-tube labeled 'Amylase Test'

A blood test can show the level of amylase in a person’s body. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Health Benefits of Amylase

The many benefits of this enzyme include its ability to improve digestion and prevent signs of premature aging, among others.

Stress

Research has found connections between low levels of salivary amylase and higher stress hormones in the body, so ensuring your count is correct means fewer mood swings and chronic stress.

Energy Levels

When you are absorbing all of your food and not letting those nutrients go to waste, you are at the most efficient level of energy production in the body, which means fewer hunger pangs.

Digestion

The main purpose of this enzyme is the smooth digestion of nutrients and carbohydrates in the gut; when these processes are running cleanly, you will be able to avoid symptoms of constipation and other gastrointestinal issues.

Autoimmune Disease

Although most healthy foods boost the immune system, and can, therefore, be dangerous for those with autoimmune diseases, this enzyme can cut down on inflammatory molecules in the body, which trigger the immune response.

Inflammation

Whether you consume supplements or food that is rich in this enzyme, your body is more able to control swelling, redness, irritation, and inflammation throughout the body, including symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and other common inflammatory conditions.

Premature Aging

Some studies have found that increased levels of this enzyme are able to slow down the aging process; in men, who tend to produce more of this enzyme as they age, amylase is shown to prevent oxidative stress in numerous cases.

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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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