Understanding Secretory Immunoglobulin A
In my past post, we learned about the important link between having a healthy gut and a healthy brain. Many of the ways, I recommended for keeping your gut happy involved maintaining a balance in your gut biota. I recommended foods like yogurt or kimchi and probiotic supplements like in order to avoid dysbiosis.
What is Secretory Immunoglobulin A?
As I’ve mentioned (in PPIs article 2 & in BGA article 3), your digestive system is an important partner to your body’s defense or immune system for a few reasons: your stomach’s digestive acid naturally destroys pathogens and your small intestines filter out the bad from the good.
Another reason is that your stomach walls produce Secretory Immunoglobulin A (abbreviated as SIgA) which is an antibody. An antibody is a large Y shaped protein that is produced by the cells in your immune system to destroy any germs in your body. SIgA protects the stomach lining tissue itself and acts as the first line of defense for the rest of your gut against disease.
SIgA is especially prevalent in the mucous membrane. Many internal organs in the body have mucous membranes (or mucosa). The stomach mucosa is particularly important because it prevents the stomach’s acids from digesting itself! It is also important for maintaining the balance of your gut biota and keeping your intestinal pH level (or level of acidity) stable.
What should my SIgA level be?
If your levels are high, that most likely means that you’re currently fighting an infection and your immune system is hard at work. But, it can also indicate acute kidney failure or chronic pancreatitis.
Low levels can be much more problematic. Although people with low levels can often be asymptomatic, they are actually more likely to develop gastrointestinal disorders like Celiac Disease, allergies/food intolerances, autism spectrum disorders, cancer, depression, and liver scarring.
So, you can see why SIgA is very important for your body.
TLDR: SIgA is important for gut health because it protects your stomach lining from digesting itself and it eliminates pathogens.
In My Next Post
In my next post, I’ll discuss the five benefits of maintaining SIgA.
In my last post, I’ll give my best recommendations for how to keep your SIgA levels in that healthy range.
For now, you can try these recipes:
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