This articles focuses on the importance of Secretory IgA for optimal health, also known as SIgA.
Our body, specifically our digestive system aims to absorb good things such as nutrients from the foods we eat.
Another key part of the digestive system is to prevent toxins, undigested food substances, and pathogens from getting into the bloodstream from the GI tract.
One of the key roles in the protection of our health is Secretory IgA.
Our SIgA levels can tell us a lot on the health issues our body is dealing with. This article is about what low and high SIgA levels mean and what measures to take to balance them and restore your gut health.
Secretory IgA (SIgA) is a type of antibody that protects your body’s mucosal surfaces from disease-causing pathogens and their virulence factors.
The potential entries for “bad guys” like various pathogenic microorganisms and mucosal antigens are:
In other words, SIgA antibodies are the first-line defense of your vulnerable mucosal surfaces, including intestinal, respiratory, and urogenital mucosal epithelia.
When the danger of foreign substances occurs, our body releases SIgA, which traps pathogenic invaders in the mucosal surfaces and prevents them from spreading.
Many people with IgA deficiency are asymptomatic. However, as a rule, low SIgA levels are associated with the drained out immune system, adrenal dysfunction, and exhaustion.
The underlying cause of reduced SIgA levels can be absolutely anything. Here are just a few examples when your SIgA levels are out of whack:
The most common situation when your SIgA levels get reduced is when you suffer from IBD. Usually, Ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s patients have low SIgA levels.
Nevertheless, to confirm the diagnosis, the best way is G.I Map test. It helps to measure not only biomarkers like SIgA or Calprotectin but detect a large number of pathogens.
Elevated SIgA levels are associated with an immune response to infection and inflammation. Increased SIgA concentration can be a sign of infection of the digestive system, in which case G.I Map stool test is recommended.
High SIgA levels can also indicate chronic viral infections:
The G.I Map stool testing and blood testing should be done in this case.
The three main things that lead to optimal SIgA levels are the right diet, supplements and stress management.
The crucial step to balancing your SIgA levels is an anti-inflammatory diet.
Add to your diet:
Eliminate from your diet:
Not everything and in the needed amount you can get from foods. The quality supplements prescribed by a functional doctor will help you fight your disease and balance Secretory IgA levels.
This is the list of the supplements that can normalize your Secretory IgA:
Note: Avoid probiotics, prebiotics, and foods containing histamines, if you have SIBO or a sensitivity to the nightshades. Instead, follow a low FODMAP diet.
Cortisol is the main stress hormone that can decrease SIgA levels. Learn new techniques and create stress reduction habits. This will help you improve your Secretory IgA levels and overall health.
The best methods to deal with stress are:
Elevated SIgA levels mean that your immune system is fighting against Inflammation, certain irritant or infection. For this reason, it is also recommended to follow the anti-inflammatory diet that includes the following supplements:
I use and recommend the Seed probiotic based on the latest research.
To reduce inflammatory damage to tissues and fight the free radical attack, you need:
In case you have SIBO, it is important to stick to low histamine and low FODMAP diet or AI Paleo diet.
In addition, you can try 4R Gut Restoration Program, which means Remove, Replace, Repair, and Reinoculate. It effectively helps heal your gut and digestion.
Blood test, won't work in this case. It is important not to confuse SIgA and IgA. SIgA is independent of blood IgA levels and, just because one seems to be good, it doesn’t mean the other is good as well. Therefore, blood testing is not a reliable way to asses SIgA levels.
Usually, SIgA is tested in saliva and the stool. However, the saliva test is also not the best indicator of SIgA levels, as it cannot tell us what’s going on deep inside the digestive system.
I recommend G.I Map stool test to asses your SIgA levels and shed the light on what’s happening inside your digestive system.
Michael is head consultant at Planet Naturopath - Functional Medicine and Nutrition Solutions. As Seen