Display Mode:

    Main content

    Health Information



    Amylase is an enzyme that changes complex sugars (starches) into simple sugars during digestion. Levels of amylase in the blood can be used to help diagnose and monitor diseases, such as diseases of the pancreas and salivary glands, or to determine whether the intestines have been damaged.

    There are two kinds of amylase enzymes:

    • Alpha-amylase (ptyalin), which is produced by the salivary glands. This enzyme begins starch digestion in the mouth and continues to work in the stomach.
    • Pancreatic amylase, which is secreted by the pancreas into the small intestine. This enzyme continues the starch digestion process.

    Current as of: February 19, 2016

    Author: Healthwise Staff

    Medical Review: E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Jerome B. Simon, MD, FRCPC, FACP - Gastroenterology

    This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated, disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. Learn how we develop our content.

    © 1995-2016 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.