Difference Between Salivary and Pancreatic Amylase

Salivary amylase and Pancreatic amylase are two types of solutions released from two different places during our digestion processes. These two amylases are released at two different times and from two different glands in two different places.

Salivary amylase is the amylase that is released in our mouths which is the first step of the digestion process. The salivary glands release this salivary amylase which helps to initiate carbohydrate digestion. 

Pancreatic amylase is the amylase that is released into the stomach and is the last step of digesting the carbohydrates. The Pancreatic gland releases the pancreatic amylase at the end of the digestion process to complete the process of digestion of carbohydrates.

Salivary vs Pancreatic Amylase

The main difference between Salivary and Pancreatic Amylase is that one starts the digestion of carbohydrates while the other ends this process of digestion of carbohydrates. This release of amylase catalyzes the breakdown of carbohydrates. 

Salivary and Pancreatic Amylase

Salivary amylase is present in saliva, which further mixes with the food from the mouth itself to begin digestion. This catalyzes the breakdown of the carbohydrate from the mouth itself. The salivary gland in the mouth releases this salivary amylase. This mixes with the food as we chew the food and acts on the raw form of carbohydrates.

Pancreatic amylase is the amylase that is released by the pancreas into the stomach and small intestine, which then end the process of carbohydrate digestion. At the end of the process of digestion, pancreatic amylase catalyzes the rest of the undigested carbohydrates. These amylase complete the carbohydrate digestion.

Comparison Table Between Salivary and Pancreatic Amylase

Parameters of Comparison Salivary AmylasePancreatic Amylase
Produced This salivary amylase is produced in salivary glandsThis pancreatic amylase is produced in the pancreas
Function place This starts its function in mouth This conducts its function in the stomach and small intestine
Function This starts the digestion of raw carbohydrates This digests the complex form of carbohydrate after partial digestion
ActionTakes place in the mouth as they mix with the food while chewing Takes place in the stomach and small intestine by mixing with leftover undigested complex carbohydrates
Specification It acts randomly to all the starch / It acts specifically to complex carbohydrates It acts specifically to complex carbohydrates

What is Salivary Amylase?

The salivary gland releases the salivary amylase to digest the raw form of carbohydrates which is a starting process of the digestion of food. Amylase is one of the three main types of enzymes in our body which catalyzes the hydrolysis of starch. 

Salivary amylase is an amylase that acts on the raw form of carbohydrates. When the food is chewed in the mouth, the salivary gland releases the salivary amylase. The food is mixed with salivary amylase along with other components of saliva. 

The partial digestion of food and especially carbohydrates starts from the mouth itself. The digestion of simple carbohydrates starts within the mouth even before. This enzyme helps in catalyzing the process of digestion. As the process starts in the mouth itself, it can be said as the first step of digestion.

This enzyme mainly hydrolyzes the simple carbohydrates into maltose. Due to this action of Salivary amylase on carbohydrates, a sweet taste is felt in our mouth. This is due to the conversion of carbohydrate polymers into simple sugar. 

What is Pancreatic Amylase?

Pancreatic amylase is also a kind of amylase that acts on carbohydrates. The Salivary amylase works initially on simple carbohydrates, but when food goes further into the digestive process, the pancreatic amylase breaks down the left carbohydrates.

Pancreatic amylase is produced in the pancreas and is released into the stomach and small intestine through the pancreatic duct. The function of pancreatic amylase is to convert the rest of the carbohydrates left in food into disaccharides and trisaccharides. Then further, these saccharides are converted into glucose.

The carbohydrates that pancreatic amylase digests are mainly complex in form. Just like salivary amylase in our body, pancreatic amylase also helps in the digestion of carbohydrates but in different forms and positions. As the stomach digests food along with many other components, pancreatic amylase also participates in the process of digestion.

The ultimate function of pancreatic amylase can be said to complete the process of digestion of partially digested carbohydrates. As the pancreatic amylase digests the carbohydrates and turns them into glucose, it becomes easy for the body to absorb them into the bloodstream. This ultimate digestion of half-digested carbohydrates takes place after pancreatic amylase digests it.

Main Differences Between Salivary and Pancreatic Amylase

  1. The Salivary amylase starts the digestion of carbohydrates first from the mouth itself as we chew the food, while the Pancreatic amylase completes these half-digested carbohydrates later in the digestion process.
  2. The salivary amylase is released along with saliva from the salivary gland, while the Pancreatic amylase is released along with other components by the pancreatic gland.
  3. The saliva function in the mouth, while on the other hand, the Pancreatic amylase functions in the stomach and small intestine. 
  4. The saliva starts the process of digestion of raw carbohydrates while the half-digested and complicated form of carbohydrate is seen to be digested by Pancreatic amylase.
  5. The salivary amylase can be said as the beginner of the process of digestion of carbohydrates, while the Pancreatic amylase can be said as the one to end this process of digestion of carbohydrates.

Conclusion

Salivary amylase and Pancreatic amylase can be said to be two parts of the amylase family. One acts on raw carbohydrates while the other acts on the half-digested complex form of carbohydrates. Both have the same work, which is to simplify carbohydrates for easy absorption.

Both though with same work but is found in different parts of the body and is seen to act differently. One is seen to act while we chew our food and start the process, while the other is seen to ultimately end the process. 

References

  1. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF00486066
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/pmc1762637/
  3. https://journals.asm.org/doi/abs/10.1128/mcb.6.4.969-975.1986
  4. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1186/s12916-017-0784-x
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