The gastrointestinal tract serves a vital function by excluding the uptake of biological agents that cause disease. This is accomplished in large part by an immune molecule called secretory IgA which binds these biological agents so that they are rid from the body. The immune status of the GI tract can be assessed by determining the fecal concentration of sIgA. The sIgA secreted by lymphatic tissue in the gut represents a pivotal and specific line of defense of the GI mucosa. Secretory IgA plays an important role in controlling the intestinal milieu, which is constantly presented with potentially harmful substances such as microorganisms, abnormal cell antigens, and allergenic proteins.
Secretory IgA has been shown to bind to toxin A from Clostridium difficile, which is a bacteria that can cause serious health consequences. Other studies indicate that sIgA prevents Vibrio cholera (another serious bacteria) from adhering to the intestinal mucosa, and thereby preventing it from causing health concerns.
Deficiencies in sIgA have been associated with increased absorption of food allergens as well as with lowered resistance to intestinal infection, including yeast overgrowth. In instances where sIgA is low, there is increased risk for adhesion and proliferation of harmful organisms, and for associated damage to the gut. Levels higher than reference range have been associated with eczema, dysbiosis (ie. Inadequate ratio of good bacteria to bad bacteria), increased exposure to bacteria/viruses/parasites/yeasts and toxins, and increased exposure to allergens.
Talk to your health care provider about having a Secretory IgA test today!
**Description courtesy of Doctor’s Data Inc