Amylase is a protein that accelerates biological reactions (enzyme) and is mainly produced by the pancreas. It is released by the pancreas into the digestive tract to help digest the reserve sugar of the plants (starch) found in food.Amylase is usually present in the blood in small quantities. When the cells of the pancreas are damaged or the pancreatic canal is blocked (by gallstones or, rarely, by a tumor ), the amount of amylase in the bloodstream and urine increases. In fact, amylase is eliminated from the body through the urine.
Amylase is part of a six-step digestive process that begins with chewing in the mouth and triggers the beginning of a domino effect in the following mechanism:
- The salivary amylase released into the mouth is the first digestive enzyme that helps break down food into its components and this process continues after food enters the stomach.
- The parietal cells of the stomach are then activated in pepsin-releasing acids and other enzymes, including gastric amylase and the degradation process of partially digested food begins.
- The acid also has the effect of neutralizing the salivary amylase, allowing the gastric amylase to take over.
- After about an hour, the chyme (semi-liquid portion of partially digested food) is pushed into the duodenum (upper small intestine), where the acidity acquired in the stomach triggers the release of the secretin hormone.
- That, in turn, warns the pancreas to release hormones, bicarbonate, bile and numerous pancreatic enzymes, of which, the most relevant are trypsin, lipase, amylase and nuclease.
Increased blood amylase levels may be altered due to salivary gland involvement, inflammation such as parotitis, or pancreatic problems such as acute and chronic pancreatitis. In addition, high amylase may be due to:
- Biliary tract diseases such as cholecystitis;
- Peptic ulcer;
- Pancreatic cancer;
- Obstruction of pancreatic ducts;
- Viral hepatitis;
- Ectopic pregnancy;
- Renal insufficiency;
- Use of some medications, such as oral contraceptives, valproic acid, metronidazole and corticosteroids.
In most cases of pancreatitis, blood amylase levels are 6 times higher than the reference value, but this is not related to the severity of the pancreatic lesion. Amylase levels usually increase by 2 to 12 hours and return to normal within 4 days. Nevertheless, in some cases of pancreatitis, there is no large increase or no increase in amylase concentration, so it is important to measure lipase to check function and the possibility of pancreatic disease. Understand what lipase is and how to understand its result.
Decreased amylase levels are more frequent in hospitalized patients, especially those in whom glucose is administered. In such cases, it is recommended to wait up to 2 hours for the amylase dosage to be performed and the result to be reliable.
In addition, the low amount of amylase may be a sign of permanent damage to the cells responsible for amylase production and, therefore, may be indicative of chronic pancreatitis and should be confirmed by other laboratory tests.
Amylase Reference Value
The reference value for amylase varies according to the laboratory and technique used for the examination, ranging from 30 to 118 U / L blood in people under 60 years and up to 151 U / L blood in people older than 60 years. 60 years old.
The 5 benefits of Amilasi
- More energy
- It helps digestion
- Fights stress
- Useful for those suffering from diabetes
- It is used in alternative therapies.
Amylase in foods
Natural food sources of amylase include raw fruits and vegetables , along with sprouted seeds , shoots in general and fermented vegetables.Pappa real and pollen are another excellent source.