What Organ Produces Amylase? Unleash the Enzyme’s Digestive Powers

When we consume food, our body initiates a process of breaking down the complex molecules into simpler ones to extract the essential nutrients. The digestive system, a complex network of organs and tissues, plays a crucial role in breaking down the food into smaller molecules. One of the key enzymes involved in this process is amylase, which helps digest carbohydrates. In this article, we will discuss what organ produces amylase and how it works to break down carbohydrates.

Understanding Amylase

Amylase is an enzyme that breaks down carbohydrates such as starch and glycogen into smaller sugar molecules like glucose and maltose. There are different types of amylase enzymes that work in different parts of the body, including:

  • Salivary amylase: Produced in the salivary glands in the mouth, this enzyme starts the breakdown of carbohydrates in the mouth.
  • Pancreatic amylase: Produced in the pancreas, this enzyme is released into the small intestine to further digest carbohydrates.
  • Intestinal amylase: Produced in the small intestine, this enzyme helps in the final stages of carbohydrate digestion.

What Organ Produces Amylase?

Amylase is produced in various organs of the body, but the two main sources of amylase are the salivary glands and the pancreas. The salivary glands produce salivary amylase, which starts the process of carbohydrate digestion in the mouth. The pancreas produces pancreatic amylase, which is released into the small intestine to digest carbohydrates further.

Salivary Glands

The salivary glands are a group of three glands located in the mouth, namely the parotid gland, submandibular gland, and sublingual gland. These glands produce saliva that contains various enzymes, including amylase. Salivary amylase helps break down the carbohydrates in the food that we eat and convert them into smaller molecules that can be easily absorbed by the body.


The pancreas is an organ located behind the stomach that produces various enzymes, including pancreatic amylase. Pancreatic amylase is released into the small intestine, where it helps in the digestion of carbohydrates further. This enzyme works on the complex carbohydrates that were not broken down by the salivary amylase in the mouth and further breaks them down into simple sugars.

How Does Amylase Work?

The process of carbohydrate digestion starts in the mouth when we chew and mix our food with saliva. Salivary amylase starts breaking down the carbohydrates into smaller sugars, which further move to the stomach and then to the small intestine. In the small intestine, pancreatic amylase breaks down the remaining carbohydrates into simple sugars, which are then absorbed by the body.

Amylase works by breaking down the bonds between the complex molecules of carbohydrates, which results in the formation of smaller molecules. These smaller molecules are then used by the body to produce energy or stored as glycogen in the liver and muscles.

Factors Affecting Amylase Production

Several factors can affect amylase production in the body, such as:

  • Age: The production of amylase decreases with age, making it harder for the body to digest carbohydrates.
  • Health conditions such as pancreatitis, cystic fibrosis, and celiac disease can also affect the production of amylase in the body.
  • Diet: A diet high in carbohydrates can increase the production of amylase in the body, while a diet low in carbohydrates can decrease its production.

Symptoms of Amylase Deficiency

Amylase deficiency can result in various symptoms, such as abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, and malabsorption of carbohydrates. A deficiency in amylase production can lead to conditions such as lactose intolerance, gluten intolerance, and carbohydrate malabsorption syndrome.

Final Thoughts

Amylase is an essential enzyme that plays a crucial role in our digestive system. It breaks down complex carbohydrates into smaller molecules that can be easily absorbed by the body. The salivary glands and the pancreas are the main sources of amylase production in the body, and their proper functioning is essential for maintaining a healthy digestive system. Understanding the role of amylase in our body can help us make better food choices and maintain a healthy diet.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Q. What is amylase?
  • A. Amylase is an enzyme that breaks down carbohydrates into smaller sugar molecules.

  • Q. What organ produces amylase?
  • A. Amylase is produced in two main organs of the body, namely the salivary glands and the pancreas.

  • Q. What are the types of amylase enzymes?
  • A. Salivary amylase, pancreatic amylase, and intestinal amylase are the three types of amylase enzymes.

  • Q. How does amylase work?
  • A. Amylase works by breaking down the bonds between the complex molecules of carbohydrates.

  • Q. What are the symptoms of amylase deficiency?
  • A. Abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, and malabsorption of carbohydrates are some of the symptoms of amylase deficiency.


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