Secretory immunoglobulin A (sIgA) is found in saliva, gastric fluids, plasma and the mucous membranes of the body. sIgA is provides the first line of defence against bacteria, food residues, yeasts, parasites and viruses. It is thought to be representative of the functional status of the entire mucosal immune system.
sIgA is also found in the colostrum and milk of breastfeeding mothers, hence its importance to the immune system of the individual from the earliest stages of life.
Stress has a major impact on the output of sIgA and maintaining a high daily production is essential for an adaptive immune response. It is thought that sIgA may provide a link between gut-related health conditions and systemic illness and is usually associated with altered intestinal permeability.
Investigation of salivary sIgA is recommended in food sensitivity, allergy, atopic conditions such as asthma and eczema, inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome and chronic infection.
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