by Dr. Edward Group

Amylase is one of the primary starch-digesting enzymes secreted in the body. It is somewhat unusual in that it is produced not only by the pancreas but also in the mouth as a component of saliva. This form is known as ptyalin (ti´ah-lin), and it begins the enzymatic digestion of starches in the oral cavity as food is chewed and mixed with saliva. This begins the reduction of larger, more complex starches into simpler sugars; however the process is largely arrested as the food enters the more acidic environment of the stomach.

How Does Amylase Work?

VeganZyme® is a full-spectrum blend of twenty powerful digestive and systemic enzymes that supports digestion, boosts the immune system, and more.The amylase in the mouth first begins to work on polysaccharides, such as starch and glycogen, which are present in food.[1] The form of amylase in the mouth is known as ptyalin (ti´ah-lin), and as you chew your food, it begins to digest larger, insoluble starches into soluble dextrins and ultimately, the single sugar maltose. If this important enzyme were not excreted in the saliva, the small intestine would have a much harder time breaking down sugars and starches. In this way, amylase helps the entire digestive system work better.

The process is inactivated as the food enters the more acidic environment of the stomach, although salivary amylase can act on the food bolus in the stomach for up to an hour before the gastric acid renders it inactive. Once the partially digested food moves from the stomach into the small intestine, pancreatic amylase goes into action. Starches continue to be broken into smaller trisaccharides and disaccharides and finally, into glucose which the body uses for energy.

Alpha-amylase hydrolyzes (breaks down) the alpha bonds in long starch or glycogen molecules into smaller chains of glucose called dextrins, which are easier to digest. Both salivary and pancreatic amylase are the alpha-amylase form. Amylase is also produced by various bacteria and fungal organisms like Aspergillus oryzae from which it can be isolated for effective, vegan-safe dietary supplements.

Due to poor dietary habits and age, most people become deficient in amylase production and may show some signs of deficiency which may include skin rash, allergies, gasconstipation, mood imbalances, and general digestive upset. What is more, having sufficient amylase activity reduces contributors to some degenerative diseases, as it helps the body digest and excrete dead white blood cells. Without proper amylase activity, inflammation can be excessive. Low amylase is also thought to be a factor in a variety of diseases that affect blood sugar and many forms of food sensitivities.

The Health Benefits of Amylase

1. May Help Lower Autoimmune Responses

One study on digestive enzymes and autoimmune diseases found that these enzymes could help slow the aggregations of antigens (molecules that trigger immune responses), as well as the resulting tissue damage from the heightened conglomeration of antibodies (immune system proteins that neutralize foreign cells). Some scientists are looking into the strong possibility that enzymes such as amylase can play a role in boosting immunomodulatory activity halting these strong immune states. [2-5]

2. Resistant to Swelling and Redness

Many European research groups are actively studying enzymes such as amylase. Oral enzymes are even being used in European countries as studies show that oral enzymes can be as effective in reducing swelling. Several placebo-controlled comparison studies found that patients with rheumatic diseases taking enzymes experienced some anti-swelling effects. These studies suggest that enzyme preparations can be just as effective as strong drugs, without many of the harmful side effects. [6-9]

3. Compromised Health Support


While not an approved course of action in the United States, enzyme therapy is even being studied in Switzerland for its uses as a supportive therapy of cancer. The amylase enzyme in particular was found to show amazing abilities in inhibiting the growth of tumor cells with metastatic capacities. [10-11] The Swiss research team concluded these astounding results of the study: “Enzyme therapy can reduce the adverse effects caused by radiotherapy and chemotherapy. There is also evidence that, in some types of tumors, survival may be prolonged. The beneficial effect of systemic enzyme therapy seems to be based on its potential to reduce redness.”

4. Lessens Aging Effects

While many scientists disagree on the question of whether or not enzyme production decreases as we age, one laboratory study found that pancreatic amylase decreased by 41% in aging rats. Similarly, a human study done in Argentina found that amylase and lipase secretion decreased in women over 45 years of age, but they actually increased in men of the same age. [13]

How to Read the Units of Measurement for Amylase

Alpha-amylase is measured by the FCC in DU (Dextrinizing Unit). This is a measure of the hydrolysis of gelatinized starches to dextrins and sugars. One DU is defined as the number of grams of soluble starch dextrinized per hour at 30 degrees Celcius and pH 4.6. The FCC notation stands for Foods Chemical Codex and is a division of USP (United States Pharmacopeia). It sets standards for ingredients. In the case of enzymes, FCC is a standard assay used to accurately determine the activity of enzymes. The current compendium is FCC VI.
VeganZyme® is a full-spectrum blend of twenty powerful digestive and systemic enzymes that supports digestion, boosts the immune system, and more.

Where Can I Find The Best Source of Amylase?

The product VeganZyme® contains a 100% vegan form of Amylase produced by the natural fermentation process of Aspergillus oryzae. It comes from all vegetarian, non-GMO sources, is kosher certified, gluten free, made in the USA, contains no animal product and is completely suitable for vegetarians and vegans. VeganZyme is the most advanced full-spectrum systemic and digestive enzyme formula in the world and is free from fillers and toxic compounds. This formula contains digestive enzymes which help digest fats (lipids), sugars, proteins, carbohydrates, gluten, fruits and vegetables, cereals, legumes, bran, nuts and seeds, soy, dairy and all other food sources. VeganZyme may also be used as a systemic enzyme blend to break down excess mucus, fibrin, various toxins, allergens, as well as excess clotting factors throughout your body.

References (13)
  1. Suarez F, Levitt MD, Adshead J, Barkin JS. Pancreatic supplements reduce symptomatic response of healthy subjects to a high fat meal. Dig Dis Sci. 1999 Jul;44(7):1317-21.
  2. Stauder G, Ransberger K, Streichhan P, Van Schaik W, Pollinger W. The use of hydrolytic enzymes as adjuvant therapy in AIDS/ARC/LAS patients. Biomed Pharmacother. 1988;42(1):31-4.
  3. Stauder G. Pharmacological effects of oral enzyme combinations. Cas Lek Cesk. 1995 Oct 4;134(19):620-4.
  4. Nouza K. [Systemic enzyme therapy in diseases of the vascular system]. Bratisl Lek Listy. 1995 Oct;96(10):566-9. Czech.
  5. Heyll U, Münnich U, Senger V. [Proteolytic enzymes as an alternative in comparison with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) in the treatment of degenerative and inflammatory rheumatic disease: systematic review]. Med Klin (Munich). 2003 Nov 15;98(11):609-15. Review. German.
  6. Klein G, Kullich W, Schnitker J, Schwann H. Efficacy and tolerance of an oral enzyme combination in painful osteoarthritis of the hip. A double-blind, randomised study comparing oral enzymes with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Clin Exp Rheumatol. 2006 Jan-Feb;24(1):25-30.
  7. Akhtar NM, Naseer R, Farooqi AZ, Aziz W, Nazir M. Oral enzyme combination versus diclofenac in the treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee–a double-blind prospective randomized study. Clin Rheumatol. 2004 Oct;23(5):410-5. Epub 2004 Jul 24.
  8. Anon. [Oral enzyme therapy in osteoarthritis of the knee. Proteolytic enzyme are effective with few risks]. MMW Fortschr Med. 2001 Jun 7;143(23):44-6. German.
  9. Leipner J, Iten F, Saller R. Therapy with proteolytic enzymes in rheumatic disorders. BioDrugs. 2001;15(12):779-89. Review.
  10. Novak JF, Trnka F. Proenzyme therapy of cancer. Anticancer Res. 2005 Mar-Apr;25(2A):1157-77. Erratum in: Anticancer Res. 2005 May-Jun;25(3c):2599.
  11. Leipner J, Saller R. Systemic enzyme therapy in oncology: effect and mode of action. Drugs. 2000 Apr;59(4):769-80. Review.
  12. Greenberg RE, Holt PR. Influence of aging upon pancreatic digestive enzymes. Dig Dis Sci. 1986 Sep;31(9):970-7.
  13. Tiscornia OM, Cresta MA, de Lehmann ES, Celener D, Dreiling DA. Effects of sex and age on pancreatic secretion. Int J Pancreatol. 1986 Jul;1(2):95-118.

Related Posts

10 thoughts on “The Health Benefits of Amylase

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.