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Salivary Alpha-Amylase

Technical Summary

Analyte Summary
Analyte: ​​Alpha-Amylase
Aliases: α-Amylase
Serum-Saliva Correlation: NA
Optimum Collection Volume: 25 μL*
*Add 300 µl to the total volume of all tests for liquid handling
Interfering Factors
α-Amylase is Location Dependent

α-Amylase has a Diurnal Rhythm

α-Amylase may be Flow Rate Dependent
Assay Summary
Methodology: Kinetic Reaction
Sensitivity: 0.4 U/mL
Assay Range: 2-400 U/mL
Assay Type: Quantitative
Salivary α-Amylase Example Ranges*
Group Number Mean (U/mL) AbsoluteRange (ug/dL)
Adult 75 92.4 3.1-423.1
*To be used as a guide only. Each laboratory should establish its own range.

Collect Saliva Samples


Better results begin with better saliva collection. This collection protocol features general considerations to maximize salivary alpha-amylase analysis. Use this analyte-specific collection protocol to plan your collection methodology and sampling schemes.

Test Saliva Samples

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Add DNA Analysis to My Study

Considerations for adding Salivary DNA to analyte Studies:

You can combine salivary analytes with easy, accurate, and affordable genomic testing using Salimetrics SalivaLab and the same sample that you are already collecting – no specialized saliva collection devices or additional samples are required.

Don’t know what SNPs are right for you? The SalivaLab’s DNA team specializes in genetic testing services, we recommend you Request a DNA Consult (gratis) to learn more about common considerations such as # of samples, participant ethnicity, and IRB Approval.

All DNA Services

DNA Extraction and Normalization
Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP) Genotyping
VNTR & STR Analysis

References & Salivary Alpha-Amylase Research

      1. Granger, D.A., Kivlighan, K.T., El-Sheikh, M., Gordis, E., & Stroud, L.R. (2007). Salivary alpha-amylase in biobehavioral research: Recent developments and applications. Ann N Y Acad Sci, 1098, 122-44.
      2. Chrousos, G.P. & Gold, P.W. (1992). The concepts of stress and stress system disorders: Overview of physical and behavioral homeostasis. JAMA, 267(9), 1244-52. Erratum in JAMA (1992), 268(2), 200.
      3. Kirschbaum, C., Read, G.F., & Hellhammer, D.H. (1994). Assessment of hormones and drugs in saliva in biobehavioral research. Göttingen: Hogrefe & Huber.
      4. Scannapieco, F.A., Torres, G., & Levine, M.J. (1993). Salivary α-amylase: Role in dental plaque and caries formation. Crit Rev Oral Biol Med, 4(3/4), 301-7.
      5. Rogers, J.D., Palmer, R.J., Jr., Kolenbrander, P.E., & Scannapieco, F.A. (2001). Role of Streptococcus gordonii amylase-binding protein A in adhesion to hydroxyapatite, starch metabolism, and biofilm formation. Infect Immun, 69(11), 7046-56.
      6. Chatterton, R.T., Jr., Vogelsong, K.M., Lu, Y.C., Ellman, A.B., & Hudgens, G.A. (1996). Salivary alpha-amylase as a measure of endogenous adrenergic activity. Clin Physiol, 16(4), 433-48.
      7. Nater, U.M., & Rohleder, N. (2009). Salivary alpha-amylase as a non-invasive biomarker for the sympathetic nervous system: Current state of research. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 34(4), 486-96.
      8. Speirs, R.L., Herring, J., Cooper, W.D., Hardy, C.C., & Hind, C.R. (1974). The influence of sympathetic activity and isoprenaline on the secretion of amylase from the human parotid gland. Arch Oral Biol, 19(9), 747-52.
      9. van Stegeren, A., Rohleder, N., Everaerd, W., & Wolf, O.T. (2006). Salivary alpha-amylase as a marker for adrenergic activity during stress: Effect of betablockade. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 31(1), 137-41.
      10. Gallacher, D.V. & Petersen, O.H. (1983). Stimulus-secretion coupling in mammalian salivary glands. Int Rev Physiol, 28, 1-52.

    1. Rohleder, N., Wolf, J.M., Maldonado, E.F., & Kirschbaum, C. (2006). The psychosocial stress-induced increase in salivary alpha-amylase is independent of saliva flow rate. Psychophysiology, 43(6), 645-52.
    2. Bosch, J.A., Veerman, E.C., de Geus, E.J., & Proctor, G.B. (2011). α-Amylase as a reliable and convenient measure of sympathetic activity: Don’t start salivating just yet! Psychoneuroendocrinology, 36(4), 449-53.
    3. Thoma, M.V., Kirschbaum, C., Wolf, J.M., & Rohleder, N. (2012). Acute stress responses in salivary alpha-amylase predict increases of plasma norepinephrine. Biol Psychol, 91(3), 342–48.
    4. Granger, D. A., Kivlighan, K. T., Blair, C., El-Sheikh, M., Mize, J., Lisonbee, J.A., Buckhalt, J. A., et al. (2006). Integrating the measurement of salivary alpha-amylase into studies of child health, development, and social relationships. J Soc Pers Relat, 23(2), 267-90.
    5. Segal, S.K., & Cahill, L. (2009). Endogenous noradrenergic activation and memory for emotional material in men and women. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 34(9), 1263-71.
    6. Susman, E.J., Dockray, S., Granger, D.A., Blades, K.T., Randazzo, W., Heaton, J.A., & Dorn, L.D. (2010). Cortisol and alpha amylase reactivity and timing of puberty: Vulnerabilites for antisocial behaviour in young adolescents. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 35(4), 557-69.
    7. Wallenfels, K., Foldi, P., Niermann, H., Bender, H., Linder, D. (1978). The enzymic synthesis, by transglucosylation of a homologous series of glycosidically substituted malto-oligosaccharides, and their use as amylase substrates. Carbohyd Res, 61(1), 359-68.
    8. Weiner, D., Levy, Y., Khankin, E.V., Reznick, A.Z. (2008). Inhibition of salivary amylase activity by cigarette smoke aldehydes. J Physiol Pharmacol, 59(Suppl 6), 727-37.
    9. Klein, L.C., Bennett, J.M., Whetzel, C.A., Granger, D.A., & Ritter, F.E. (2010). Caffeine and stress alter salivary α-amylase activity in young men. Human Psychopharmacol, 25(5), 359-67.
    10. Nater, U.M., Rohleder, N., Scholtz, W., Ehlert, U., & Kirschbaum, C. (2007). Determinants of the diurnal course of salivary alpha-amylase. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 32(4), 392-401.
    11. Mackie, D.A. & Pangborn, R.M. (1990). Mastication and its influence on human salivary flow and alpha-amylase secretion. Physiol Behav, 47(3), 593-95.
    12. Lo Piparo, E., Scheib, H., Frei, N., Williamson, G., Grigorov, M., & Chou, C.J. (2008). Flavonoids for controlling starch digestion: Structural requirements for inhibiting human α-amylase. J Med Chem, 51(12), 3555-61.
    13. Hara, K., Ohara, M., Hayashi, I., Hino, T., Nishimura, R., Iwasaki, Y., Ogawa, T., et al. (2012). The green tea polyphenol epigallocatechin gallate precipitates salivary proteins including alpha-amylase: Biochemical implications for oral health. Eur J Oral Sci, 120(2), 132-39.
    14. Beltzer, E.K., Fortunato, C.K., Guaderrama, M.M., Peckins, M.K., Garramone, B.M., & Granger, D.A. ( 2010). Salivary flow and alpha-amylase: Collection technique, duration, and oral fluid type. Physiol Behav, 101(2), 289-96.
    15. Harmon, A.G., Towe-Goodman, N.R., Fortunato, C.K., & Granger, D.A. (2008). Differences in saliva collection location and disparities in baseline and diurnal rhythms of alpha-amylase: A preliminary note of caution. Horm Behav, 54(5), 592-96.

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