Before the meaning of the term amylase can be determined, it is necessary to know its etymological origin. In this case, we can indicate that it is a word of Latin origin, fruit of the sum of “amidum”, which can be translated as “starch”, and the suffix “-asa”. Of course, we must not forget that this first part derives, in turn, from the Greek word “amylon”. This was used to refer to a kind of bread that was made from the starch resulting from introducing the unmilled grain into what was water.
It called amylase to a enzyme which has the ability to split the starch into its various components. This definition leads us to the analysis of two terms to understand precisely what amylase is: enzyme and starch.
An enzyme is a protein that is specifically responsible for catalysing the different biochemical reactions that metabolism develops. In the case of amylase, it catalyzes a hydrolysis reaction that, in the digestion of the starch, gives rise to simple sugars.
For its part, starch is a carbohydrate that acts as an energy reserve in vegetables. Therefore: when the amylase enzyme acts on the starch carbohydrate, it breaks it down into simple sugars through a metabolic reaction.
Amylase, therefore, is key in digestion. When a person eats bread, pasta, or other products that have flour, they eat starch. The amylase produced by the pancreas and salivary glands breaks down starch into simpler substances so that the body can absorb nutrients.
The analysis of the amount of amylase in the blood allows diagnosing various diseases. When its level is excessive, it may be due to pancreatitis, mumps or a kidney problem.
Exactly when a person has high levels of amylase in the blood, which exceed 137 U / L, they suffer what is called hyperamylasemia. From this pathology we can highlight the following data of interest:
-Many are the causes that may be behind it, such as kidney failure, the person has taken certain medications, has a tumor, suffers from inflammation of the pancreas…
-Symptoms associated with this situation are fatigue, noticeable weight loss, a very excessive thirst, nausea, weakness, frequent urination…
-In order to end hyperamylasemia or reduce it to the maximum, it is recommended that the person affected hydrate very well, that they eat a diet low in fat and high in fiber or that they do not consume alcohol. In the same way, it is necessary that you do not self-medicate before any ailment and, of course, follow each and every one of the advice and treatments imposed by your doctor.
It should be noted that amylase is also present in the yeast that is used for the production of bread. This amylase breaks the starch in the flour, allowing the yeast to “feed” on the simple sugars and causing the dough to rise or rise. The process also gives a distinctive flavor to the bread.