Skip navigation

What is Glucoamylase?

Your total carb-dissolving enzyme.

Glucoamylase is an enzyme that digests partially processed starch (carbohydrates) in vegetables, potatoes, wheat, rice, and corn in order to release glucose that the body can use for energy.

If you’ve read our other enzyme articles, you might be wondering: How is glucoamylase different from amylase? There’s a subtle difference that provides a world of health benefits:

Amylase breaks down starch into glucose, whereas glucoamylase dissolves the bonds at the end of carbohydrate chains to release glucose that is already present.

We’ll talk more about these carb chains later, but for now, let’s begin with another question that might be on your mind...

What’s the Problem with Partially Processed Starch Anyway?

When certain enzymes, such as glucoamylase, are absent in the intestinal tract, partially digested starch clumps together, slowing the digestive process and causing constipation, abdominal heaviness, bloating, or even diarrhea when it begins to accumulate.

Additionally, undigested starch can become a breeding environment for harmful bacteria if it gets stuck in the intestines. Yuck!

But there’s another caveat. Even when healthy intestinal organisms do their job at fermenting partially digested food, gasses are released during the process, which also leads to digestive discomfort. Hello, flatulence!

So what’s a savvy supplement shopper like you to do? Stop that starch right in its tracks – with the right pancreatic enzyme! Glucoamylase is proficient at fully digesting starches (carbs) so that you can enjoy your post-dinner conversations even more. Here’s how it works!

Total Saccharide Surrender

Glucoamylase promotes the complete digestion of both polysaccharides and oligosaccharides, which comprise starches. (“Poly” refers to many carbohydrates and “oligo” means less carbohydrates.)

This is accomplished by breaking the bonds between the carbohydrate chains that form the aforementioned saccharides as well as dissolving the glycosidic bond at the end of the chain in order to release glucose.

Clear as undigested starch? Here’s all you really need to know:

The ability to degrade starches both between and at the end of carbohydrate chains makes glucoamylase particularly beneficial. This results in the total digestion of carbs that are then released in a form of energy your body can actually use – glucose – without the abdominal discomfort.

How Glucoamylase Performs in Comparison to Other Enzymes

A study published in the Journal of Animal Science and Biotechnology evaluated the degree to which different enzymes could digest starch and promote intestinal health. Glucoamylase was compared to other enzymes, such as pectinase or amylopectase.

In this study, 20,000 U/g of glucoamylase supplementation for 16 to 23 days demonstrated a positive influence on intestinal health, including the diversity of beneficial microorganisms in the gut microbiome, as well as enhanced starch digestibility in comparison to the other enzymes.

The Benefits of Combining Glucoamylase with Other Enzymes

Glucoamylase is often combined with other enzymes, such as peptidase, amylase, or cellulase for optimal health benefits. Here’s a quick summary of what each of these enzymes does:

  • Peptidase breaks down proteins into basic amino acids.
  • Amylase breaks down carbohydrates into glucose.
  • Cellulase breaks down cellulose, the complex carbohydrate found in plant fibers.

When these enzymes are taken together, they not only target digestive issues, but also help to improve autoimmune responses to certain foods, such as gluten sensitivity.

According to the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, blending dipeptidyl peptidase IV (DPP-IV), which breaks down gluten, with glucoamylase can limit gluten and other particles in wheat or rice, from causing adverse reactions.

Research has also shown the favorable relationship between amylase and glucoamylase. While amylase breaks down carbohydrates, glucoamylase dissolves the bonds between carbs and at the end of long chains. This one-two enzyme punch leads to a significantly higher degree of starch degradation, minimizing the nasty side effects of partially digested starches clumping together in the intestines.

In short, combining glucoamylase with other enzymes that target molecules which are known to induce autoimmune responses provides even greater health benefits by promoting optimal digestion as well as improving the body’s reaction to food sensitivities.

Give Glucoamylase a Try!

Devigest is our broad-spectrum enzyme blend, designed to help your body triumph over everything from casein to gluten to lactose and more. Packed with powerful enzymes like glucoamylase, DPP-IV, lipase, and cellulase, Devigest eases many digestive complaints in just one little capsule.

So bring on the ice cream, wheat, and cruciferous vegetables! Devigest is on your side.