The Importance of Secretory IgA For Our Immune Health and the Probiotic Bacteria That Can Help

The Importance of Secretory IgA For Our Immune Health and the Probiotic Bacteria That Can Help

Secretory IgA (SIgA) is the primary immunoglobulin produced on the mucosal surfaces of the body. This not only includes the lining of the digestive system, but also the sinuses and nasal passages, upper respiratory system, the eyes, bladder, vagina, and urethra in both men and women. Secretory IgA helps in preventing antigen (i.e., allergen, bacteria, yeast) penetration through the various mucosal surfaces, as well as neutralizing a pathogens ability to proliferate and expand their particular tissue penetration. Without adequate SIgA production our body is vulnerable to excessive overgrowth of opportunistic infections and systemic immune dysfunction.  Once it is secreted it plays a number of specific roles within the immune system, such as:

  • Inhibits pathogen adherence to the mucosal membrane
  • Neutralized viruses
  • Prevents various pathogen toxins from infiltrating the mucosal lining
  • Down regulates the immune response for what is called ‘oral tolerance’
  • Regulates other immune reactions

Breastfeeding is crucial for SIgA production, but certain normal gut bacteria, such as  Lactobacillius species, also help in the development of this immunoglobulin as well. Listed here are some less known intestinal flora with positive influence on induction of Secretory IgA production:

  • Lactobacillus rhamnosusfavorably stimulates immunity, as well as helping against preventing pathogen adherence.
  • Lactobacillus caseiincreases SIgA production and favorably acts against pathogens such as H. pylori, pathogenic E. coli and shigella-toxin damage.
  • Lactobacillus plantarumimproves mucosal immune function and helps against pathogens such as clostridia bacteria.
  • Bifidobacterium bifidumsupports SIgA production by activating B-cell IgA production
  • Bifidobacterium longumaugments intestinal SIgA production against food antigens
  • Bifidobacterium brevestimulates Peyer’s Patch B-cell proliferation and antibody production. Also, helps to neutralize various intestinal pathogens such as campylobacter and clostridium.
  • Bifidobacterium lactisincreases phagocytic activity of various immune cells, as well as SIgA production against clostridia toxins.
  • Saccharomyces boulardiithis is not a bacteria, but instead a non-pathogenic yeast with positive influence on SIgA production.

Many of these bacteria are found in multi-strain, high quality probiotic supplements.