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Amylase is an enzyme that helps breaks down starch into glucose. In humans, it is produced in both the salivary glands (where it is found in saliva) and the pancreas.

Amylase levels in the blood and urine may be diagnostically relevant if they are outside the normal range. Higher than normal levels often indicate a problem with the pancreas, but can also indicate a perforated peptic ulcer, ovarian cysts or mumps. However, several pharmaceuticals can raise amylase levels, including aspirin, the pill and opiates. Lower than normal levels indicate pancreatic dysfunction, kidney disease or toxicemia of pregnancy.

Amylase test at NIH

Amylase at Wikipedia

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