Salivary amylase (AMY1) is the most abundant enzyme in human saliva, responsible for the hydrolysis of α-1,4 glycosidic linkages that aids in the digestion of dietary starch. Recently few studies have shown that copy number of AMY1 is associated with obesity, however, the data varies with different location. One-third of children are overweight/obese in Alabama. In this study, we specifically aim to determine the relationship between the copy number of AMY1 gene and obesity measurements in elementary school children from Alabama. Sixty elementary school children (30 normal weight and 30 overweight/obese) aged between 6 to 10 years participated in this study. Anthropometric measurements were measured using WHO recommendations. Saliva was collected, genomic DNA was extracted and the copy number of the AMY1 gene was estimated by digital PCR. Linear regression analysis was used to investigate the association between AMY1 copy number and obesity measurements. The mean AMY1 copy number was found to be significantly decreased in obese compared to normal weight children. The results showed a significant inverse association between obesity measurements and AMY1 copy number. Gender-specific analysis showed boys had a stronger association between low AMY1 copy number and obesity compared to girls. Our findings suggest that low AMY1 copy number plays a major role in childhood obesity in Alabama elementary school children and the effect is more prominent in boys compared to girls.


C. Kurapaty Venkatapoorna: None. P. Ayine: None. E.P. Parra: None. T. Koenigs: None. M. Sandey: None. R.B. Jeganathan: None. G. Thangiah: None.


National Institute of Food and Agriculture

Readers may use this article as long as the work is properly cited, the use is educational and not for profit, and the work is not altered. More information is available at