Amylase is a digestive enzyme that helps break down carbohydrates into smaller particles and is produced by the salivary glands and the pancreas in the human body. Although most carbohydrate digestion occurs in the small intestine by the pancreatic amylase, small amounts of dietary carbohydrates are digested in the mouth by the salivary amylase. It starts to break down starch in foods, as it is chewed in the mouth, and converts it to maltose a smaller carbohydrate.
Amylase digests starch by catalysing hydrolysis, which is splitting by the addition of a water molecule. Therefore starch plus water becomes the disaccharide maltose (which is equivalent to two joined glucose molecules). Body temperature is the optimal heat for the best reaction of amylase.
If carbohydrates are not digested well blood sugar imbalances can occur. Many foods also contain amylase as listed below.
Natural sources of amylase
Subscribe to the monthly newsletter
Like on Facebook
Follow on Twitter