Endocrine Abstracts (2006) 11 P253

New function for the enzyme amylase discovered: amylase works as a catalyst/hydrolyzing agent to break down, disaccharides (sucrose, lactose, maltose… etc) and polysaccharides (starch)

TSM Arbab


Zamzam Medical Centre, Khartoum, Sudan.


Amylase is a digestive enzyme made primarily by the pancreas and salivary glands.

Objectives: To determine other functions for the enzyme amylase.

Design: In vitro tests combined with prospective study on one hundred and fifty healthy volunteers.

Methods: Twenty five mls of Human Saliva alpha amylase were added to 5 mls of sucrose (table sugar) and 5 mls of flour (starch) in different samples. Twenty five mls of normal saline, bread yeast solution, sodium bicarbonate solution, distilled water and pure plant amylase (50 mg) were added to 5 mls of sucrose solution and 5 mls of flour (starch) solution. Hexokinase and glucoseoxidase were used to read sucrose and flour (starch) in each sample. Readings were obtained immediately, after five minutes, then half hourly for eight hours.

Results: Traces of sugar were detected immediately on the plant amylase (sucrose and flour) samples. Traces of sugars were detected in 148 samples of saliva-sucrose within 30 to 90 minutes (in two samples traces of sugar were detected within 90 to 120 minutes). One cross of sugar detected after two hours in 148 samples of saliva-sucrose. Two to three crosses of sugar were obtained after eight hours in all amylase-sucrose-samples. Traces of sugar were detected in all saliva-flour samples after 8 hours, and one to two crosses of sugar detected after 9 to 10 hours or more (up to 24 hours) in all samples.

Conclusion: This study demonstrated that the function of the enzyme amylase is to break down (hydrolyzes) polysaccharides starches and disaccharides.

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