Stress Link to SIgA Part 1

Is Lack of Secretory IgA causing Your Stress?

Immunoglobulin A (Secretory IgA (sIgA) is an antibody that plays a critical role in mucosal immunity is produced in large quantities, much bigger quantities than other types of antibodies. In its secretory form IgA is the main immunoglobulin found in mucus secretions and provides protection against potentially pathogenic microbes, due to its ability to resist degradation by enzymes and survive in harsh environments such as GI and respiratory tracts.

Secretory IgA is the dominant immuno globulin in external secretions like the respiratory and intestinal tract and is a vital component of the immune system’s first line of defence against pathogenic microorganisms, viruses and bacteria, food residues, yeast, parasites and viruses and imbalances may provide the link between gut dysbiosis and systemic illness.

There is a test called secretory sIgA that can be done on a stool sample. The daily production is weight and age dependent. The maximum production level being reached at age 7-10 which then declines with age from 60+. Secretory IgA production is both beneficial and adversely affected by a number of diverse factors including stress, emotions such as frustration and anger, nutrients, commensals, pathogens and inflammation.

Despite the importance to an individual of mucosal immunity, it is one of the least well understood areas of human immunology. sIgA accounts for approximately 15 to 20% of serum immunoglobulin, what is the most abundant immunoglobulin in saliva, tears, colostrum and bronchial, intestinal and gastrointestinal secretions. sIgA represents the first line of defence against potential pathogens, toxins and food allergens.

So what are the clinical applications of sIgA antibody testing? Production is stimulated by bacteria and viruses in the body which are removed by secretory IgA. Patients are deficient in secretory sIgA are susceptible to pathogens in the GI tract. There is particularly high prevalence of IgA deficiency in coeliac’s at about 5%.

Deficiencies may be associated with asthma, autoimmune disease, candida, coeliac disease and food allergies. Ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s patients all have decreased levels of sIgA. There is some evidence that increasing these levels may help disease. High levels are often found in patients with chronic infection like cytomegalovirus, Epstein Barr virus and HIV. Lifestyle and nutritional factors influence the levels.

Getting good high levels of Choline, Omega 3s, Zinc, Vitamin C, Biotin are so important to help SIgA levels.