Saliva Fortify Elderly From Flu

Saliva was able to protect the elderly from influenza attack. A new study from China published in the Journal of Proteome Research, protection of the elderly is due to certain proteins in saliva that is fighting infection.

Study author Zheng Li and his team said the findings help explain why older people better protect themselves from the new swine flu compared to those younger. As is known, a new type of swine flu hit China since the beginning of this year and has killed dozens of people.

Saliva is a fluid produced by glands located around the mouth to help digest the food. But not only that, it also serves as saliva fighting harmful microorganisms carried through food or air.

While the age of a person affects the levels of certain glycoproteins in the saliva which can fight harmful microorganisms. For information, glycoprotein is a sugar-coated proteins.

In this study, researchers sought to discover how the age difference may affect the ability of saliva to protect themselves from influenza. The researchers also analyzed saliva samples from 180 men and women with varying ages.

Then they find, glycoproteins in the saliva of people aged over 65 years are more effective attached with influenza virus compared with the saliva of children and young adults.

The researchers said the findings provide evidence that the saliva test could improve the understanding, prevention, and diagnosis of several diseases of aging.