09 July 2008

salivary IgA is the key of upper respiratory tract infection (URTI)

Saliva holds the key to reducing upper respiratory illness in athletes@Loughborough Uni

The study involved 38 athletes from the prestigious America’s Cup yacht race

The study was carried out over 50 weeks and subjects were from a top yacht crew preparing for the 32nd America’s Cup (2007). Athletes provided weekly saliva samples and rated their level of fatigue, while their sailing and training load and any respiratory illnesses and infections were also recorded.

Results showed that levels of the saliva protein declined in the weeks prior to infection, and as a group the lower the level of IgA the greater the risk of illness. When IgA levels dropped below 40% of the normal value, athletes had a one in two chance of infection. Low levels of IgA also corresponded with high levels of fatigue, identified by the athletes.

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