Salivary -amylase activity among cigarette smokers in Awka, Anambra state, Nigeria

Author(s): B.N.Enemchukwu, J.K.Emeh, K.I.Ubaoji, I.O.Igwilo

Alpha – amylase enzyme activity was determined in the saliva samples collected fromtwo hundred and fifty (250) volunteers who were not known to have any disease of the buccal cavity. The volunteers comprise two hundred (200) smokers of different categories and fifty (50) non-smokers (control) randomly selected from Awka, Anambra State, Nigeria. All the volunteer subjects were within the age bracket of 23-40 years. The analysis of the saliva samples using buffered starch substrate solution revealed specific activities ranging from1.27 to 2.32 U/mg for non smokers, 1.30 to 2.45 U/mg for light smokers (< 10 sticks/day) and 1.27 to 2.38 U/mg for heavy smokers (> 11 sticks/day).Mean values of 1.76 + 0.30U/mg and 1.77 + 0.30 U/mg were obtained for light and heavy smokers respectively while the control group (ie non smokers) has amean activity of 1.79 + 0.33 U/mg. These mean values were subjected to a statistical test for differences in means using students t-test which revealed no significant difference at 95% level of confidence interval. From the findings in this study, it is evident that cigarette smoke does not alter salivary alpha-amylase activity and protein level.

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