Normal IgA levels protect the body against infections, allergies, and autoimmunity. High levels usually point to chronic inflammation. Read on to learn about the factors that may balance the immune response by decreasing IgA levels.
IgA levels are a marker of immune health. Low or high levels don’t necessarily indicate a problem if there are no symptoms or if your doctor tells you not to worry about it.
Improving your IgA levels won’t necessarily directly cause any kind of improvement in immune balance, but it can be used as a biomarker for your immune health.
The following are a list of complementary approaches to improve immune health and that have also been found to balance high IgA levels.
Though studies suggest various dietary and lifestyle factors may lower IgA levels, additional large-scale studies are needed. Remember to talk to your doctor before making any major changes to your day-to-day routine.
Address Underlying Inflammation Issues
Aside from the factors listed below, remember that IgA is a non-specific marker of inflammation. Talk with your doctor to resolve the underlying cause of your high IgA levels, such as chronic inflammation or infections.
You can also read about complementary approaches to lowering inflammation, such as taking curcumin or black cumin seed oil, exercising or practicing yoga, and following a Mediterranean-like diet.
5 Factors that May Reduce Inflammation (As Measured by Lowering High IgA)
In animal studies, cocoa decreased IgA in the blood, gut, and saliva [1, 2].
2) Avoiding Alcohol
Blood IgA levels tend to increase with alcohol consumption. In 460 people, the highest IgA levels were observed in heavy drinkers .
White wine increased blood IgA in 5 men .
However, while blood IgA increases, gut IgA may actually decrease with alcohol. In mice, alcohol increased total IgA but decreased gut IgA. Alcohol may diminish the release of IgA into the gut .
3) Sexual Activity in Women
During ovulation, immunity decreases to prevent immune interference with possible conception. Also, it is possible that there is a trade-off between investing energy in immunity and investing in reproduction.
This may explain why sexually active women have lower IgA levels than abstinent women .
Women with a high frequency of sexual activity had a decrease in IgA during ovulation. On the other hand, women with low frequency or no sexual activity had an increase in IgA during ovulation .
4) Anger Management
Among 18 healthy men and women with anger and depressive symptoms, IgA was increased in those who expressed their anger .
Domestic abuse perpetrators prone to express their anger have higher IgA levels [9, 10].
5) Refraining from Fasting
Refrain from fasting. In one study, fasting increased blood IgA levels in obese subjects .
In 86 women, those with higher estradiol (main estrogen) had higher IgA levels .
In cell studies, estrogens increase IgA transport into the mucus, which decreases bacterial invasion [13, 14].
Though estrogen helps women maintain a healthy and strong immune system, having too much estrogen may theoretically excessively raise IgA. Check your estrogen levels to make sure your hormones are balanced.
High IgA signals chronic inflammation. Your doctor may suggest steps you can take to reduce inflammation. Some complementary approaches include yoga, herbal supplements (curcumin), and following a healthy diet. Studies suggest that cocoa, avoiding heavy drinking, and refraining from fasting may also reduce inflammation and lower IgA levels.
- What is IgA? Blood Test & Normal Range
- Low IgA & Selective IgA Deficiency: Causes & Symptoms
- Low IgA Levels? 21 Ways to Improve Immune Health
- Causes of High IgA Levels