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Autism Treatment – Secretory IgA, Immune Function And The Mucosal Barrier

Posted on 10 December 2009 by admin

If you have ever done a comprehensive digestive stool analysis, there is a marker on the stool analysis called SIGA which stands for secretory IgA. If you got it from Great Plains Laboratory, secretory IgA is generally the bottom marker on page 2, in many kids it is very low. What secretory IgA indicates is something called the mucosal immune system. Secretory IgA is the secreted form of an antibody in the blood called IgA. IgA is produced in the blood, taken into the gut, secreted across the mucosal lining into that mucous layer that is the surface lining of our digestive tract. It is the mucosal immune barrier or first line immune defense.

When secretory IgA is low it can indicate that there is an overall deficiency of this particular immune chemical in the gut. Getting a one time secretory IgA marker on a stool test can be a little tricky because it can be low due to other factors. If you are seeing secretory IgA low in conjunction with a lot of food sensitivities, yeast, bacterial problems, that is a pretty good indicator that your child tends to run low on their secretory IgA.

Why is this important? Well we think of our digestive system as somewhat separate from the rest of our body. Our digestive tract is actually a tube that runs through the center of our body and the lining of the mucosal barrier is just encased in this secretory IgA chemical as a way to neutralize against pathogens like viruses, candida and bacteria but also as a control mechanism for the rest of immune system throughout our body. The mucosal barrier doesn’t just make up the surface lining of the digestive tract. It makes up our mouth, our throat, our intestines, all the way through the rectum. We also have secretory IgA secreted in our eyes, nasal cavity, the upper part of our lungs, in the urethra in both men and women and in the vagina in women. So it is those external surfaces of the body that are bathed in this secretory IgA chemical.

A couple of things can help raise secretory IgA. Colostrum is one, colostrum is that premilk immunoglobulin mixture that is secreted from the mom’s breast in the early stages of breast feeding. Colostrum has a lot of antibodies in it and that can be a stimulus for secretory IgA production. Probiotics, the normal bacteria like acidophilus and bifidobacter, also help to stimulate secretory IgA production. Cayenne pepper, which isn’t something you will get a lot of kids to take, but cayenne is also a stimulant for secretory IgA production. If your child can swallow capsules then you can put some cayenne powder in capsule form and have them take 2 or 3 per day and that can be something to help stimulate secretory IgA production over time. There is another remedy that can too and this is a probiotic called saccharomyces boulardii. Saccharomyces boulardii is actually a yeast, but it is a healthy yeast for our digestive tract and helps fight off some of the pathogenic yeast like candida. But it also a stimulant for secretory IgA production. So if you see the secretory IgA marker you now have a better understanding of what it means. Secretory IgA is generally an indication of the immune system in the gut which is our first line immune defense and it is called the mucosal barrier.

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