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Keywords:

  • cycling;
  • lysozyme;
  • α-amylase;
  • immunogloblulin A;
  • chewing

This study investigated the salivary secretion rates of antimicrobial proteins in response to prolonged, exhaustive exercise in both stimulated (STIM) and unstimulated (UNSTIM) saliva flow sample methods. Twenty-four trained men cycled for 2.5 h at 60% inline image and then to exhaustion at 75% inline image. Timed collections of whole saliva were made before exercise, mid-exercise, at the end of the moderate exercise bout and post-exhaustive exercise. After each UNSTIM collection, a STIM sample was collected following chewing flavored gum for 1 min. Saliva was analysed for lysozyme, α-amylase and salivary immunoglobulin A (s-IgA), and secretion rates were calculated. Saliva flow was 156% higher in STIM compared with UNSTIM (P < 0.001) and decreased with exercise in STIM only (P < 0.001). Exercise increased lysozyme and α-amylase levels and secretion rates were 144% higher and 152% higher in STIM compared with UNSTIM for lysozyme and α-amylase, respectively (all P < 0.001). S-IgA concentration (P < 0.05) and secretion rate (P < 0.001) increased with exercise but were both lower in STIM compared with UNSTIM (P < 0.001). In conclusion, a STIM saliva flow collection during exercise by chewing flavored gum increased the quantity of saliva and the secretion of lysozyme and α-amylase, but had a limited impact on the secretion of s-IgA.