What is Amylase?

what is amylase for digestion

Any of the hardcore stackers reading this blog might already have a good understanding of digestive enzymes.  For the rest of us, it’s probably a good idea to delve a bit deeper than the usual, on surface “this is what you should take to enhance that” type of article.  The benefits of digestive enzymes vary depending on the enzyme in question.  Most body builders carefully monitor the enzymes they’re ingesting down to the nth degree, ensuring the most bang for buck they can possibly get.  Amylase is ones of the enzymes that lean body builders and bulkers alike tend to keep tabs on, leading us to the first of a series of blogs we are going to be releasing about digestive enzymes in the world of healthy supplementation:  What is Amylase?

Carb Killer

Getting directly to the point, Amylase is a natural enzyme that digests carbohydrates [1].  As previously mentioned in our article about calculating macros, there are three major categories when it comes to foods in our body.  Protein, carbohydrates, and fat.  Protease digests the incoming proteins, Amylase handles the carbohydrates, and Lipase devours the fats.  Since carbohydrates hover around the 50% mark of our total consumption, Amylase is the most important digestive enzyme.  Carbohydrates are stored in our body so that we can use them later for energy.  “Using” carbohydrates really just means digesting them.  The philosophy becomes simple when you start to view it that way: Higher levels of Amylase means increased carbohydrate consumption, leading to even more energy during our workouts and increased weight loss [2].

5 Important Facts about Amylase

  • Your pancreas and salivary glands create amylase based on what you eat.
  • If you increase the amount of starch in your diet, you will naturally increase the amylase levels created in your body.
  • There are plants and bacteria that create smaller levels of amylase. This is how supplements are manufactured, since it’s not ideal to be intrusively syphoning natural amylase levels out of humans.  Sorry, forgive the little bit of bio-anatomy humor there.
  • Amylase is commonly added to flour products to enhance the breakdown of complex sugars and improve bread making.
  • Sometimes, amylase is used in Pancreatic Enzyme Replacement Therapy for those with pancreatic cancer or other pancreatic diseases [3].

Benefits of Amylase in Healthy Supplementation

Hardcore bodybuilders have leveraged increased amylase levels to maximize performance and increase muscle mass.  Since amylase is so easy to cultivate, taking amylase supplements are cheap, easy, safe, and plentiful.  As mentioned before, amylase is the key enzyme responsible for carbohydrate digestion and some individuals may unknowingly may be struggling with amylase deficiency, resulting in a frustrating lack of success when it comes to visceral fat loss and body building.

Since amylase is an all-natural enzyme produced in the human body, it’s safe to pick up a bottle or two to add to your daily macros.  If you have an inherent deficiency, you will see the results without having to change anything about your workout plan.  If you don’t have a deficiency, you will see the same results, but at a slower pace.  Try it out for yourself!

References

  1. Sonia A Tucci, Emma J Boyland, and Jason CG Halford
    The role of lipid and carbohydrate digestive enzyme inhibitors in the management of obesity: a review of current and emerging therapeutic agents
    Diabetes Metab Syndr Obes. 2010; 3: 125–143. Published online 2010 May 10.
  2. Gianluca Ianiro,1,* Silvia Pecere,1 Valentina Giorgio,2 Antonio Gasbarrini,1 and Giovanni Cammarota1
    Digestive Enzyme Supplementation in Gastrointestinal Diseases
    Curr Drug Metab. 2016 Feb; 17(2): 187–193. Published online 2016 Feb. doi: [10.2174/138920021702160114150137]
  3. Lipschitz DL1, Kuhn R, Kinney AY, Donaldson GW, Nakamura Y.
    Reduction in salivary α-amylase levels following a mind-body intervention in cancer survivors–an exploratory study.
    PMID: 23375640 PMCID: PMC3686861 DOI: 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2012.12.021 Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2013 Sep;38(9):1521-31. doi: 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2012.12.021. Epub 2013 Feb 1.
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