Today, I’m going to outline the five biggest benefits of keeping your SIgA levels healthy.
1. Block Pathogens
As an antibody, SIgA's main job is to take out antigens, molecules that induce an immune response in the body. Examples of antigens are pathogens (like viruses and bad bacteria), allergens, and tumors, but they can take a wide variety of forms. Antibodies are an effective defense because they are able to adapt to the threat of the antigen and “match” it. By doing so, they are able to figure out the weaknesses in the pathogen to eliminate it and prevent it from affecting you the future.
In the gut, SIgA prevents pathogens from gaining access to the walls of the intestines which prevents issues like stomach flu, C. Difficile, Salmonella, Streptococcus pneumonia, E. Coli, and HIV.
2. Control Allergens
An allergen is interesting type of antigen because they are supposed to be harmless yet the body perceives them as a threat. When the immune system attempts to fight it off, you have an allergic reaction.
People with low levels of SIgA have a decreased control of their allergic reactions. They are more likely to have trouble breathing, allergic rhinitis (inflamed nasal passages) and increased gut permeability. They may also experience dysbiosis because their immune systems may attack their “good” bacteria.
3. Protects the Gut Microbiome
By destroying antigens and controlling allergens, SIgA maintains the balance between the microbiota, the cells in the walls of your gut, and the immune system.
If this “triad” is disrupted it can result in problems like irritable bowel syndrome and malnutrition.
4. Reduces Inflammation
In addition to preventing pathogens that could cause inflammation, SIgA can reduce the occurrence of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Cytokines are proteins that control cell signaling. So, when cytokines are released by a cell, it how that cell tells the other cells what to do. Some cytokines, such as TNF-α, IL-6, IFN-γ come from the cells that make up the walls of the intestines and cause inflammation. SIgA suppresses the immune system’s response to these cytokines.
In essence, SIgA prevents the other cells from listening to the harmful messages from these inflammatory cytokines. Instead, they can get orders from properly functioning immune system cells.
5. May Help those with Autism
Some studies have found that autistic children have low levels of SIgA. When their SIgA levels are raised, their gut becomes less permeable. Another reason observed for this gut permeability is gluten so doctors recommended a gluten-free diet for their autistic patients. This led to fewer instances of “leaky gut” and an improvement of their behavior and cognitive function.
TLDR: SIgA prevents pain by reducing inflammation and preventing diseases and keeps you happy by keeping your gut happy.
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