Amylase - Definition

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Amylase is a digestive enzyme. It allows the digestion of starch and slow-burning carbohydrates. Amylase is present in saliva produced by the salivary glands and in pancreatic juice made by the pancreas, but it is rare in the blood. When levels of amylase in the blood go up, a number of conditions can be suspected: an inflammation or infection of the pancreas, a problem with the salivary glands, peritonitis, the mumps, chronic alcoholism, or a gall-bladder infection.