Saliva enzyme linked with lower blood sugar levels

Thu, 05 Apr 2012
Higher levels of an enzyme, amylase, in saliva has been found to be linked with lower blood sugar levels after consuming starchy meals.

The news comes from a study carried out by the Monell Center in Philadelphia and published by The Journal of Nutrition. The study measured saliva samples in 48 non-diabetic adults and participants with the highest and lowest levels of salivary amylase activity were assigned to specific groups. 7 participants with the highest levels of amylase activity were put into a high amylase group and the 7 with lowest amylase activity were grouped as low amylase.

As part of the study the participants drank a simplified corn starch solution and had blood samples, taken over the following 2 hour period, to test blood glucose and circulating insulin levels.

The study results showed that the group with higher amylase activity had lower blood glucose levels compared to those in the low amylase group. The lower blood glucose levels in the high amylase group appears to be a result of earlier release of insulin in this group of participants.

Dr Paul Breslin, Sensory Geneticist at the Monell Center states: "People with higher levels of salivary amylase are able to maintain more stable blood glucose levels when consuming starch. This might ultimately lessen their risk for insulin resistance and non-insulin dependent diabetes."
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