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Health Agencies Update
November 15, 2000

Protein Helps Lick Wounds

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JAMA. 2000;284(19):2445. doi:10.1001/jama.284.19.2445-JHA00011-2-1

A protein found in various body fluids may help heal chronic, nonhealing wounds such as diabetic ulcers and bed sores, according to findings by researchers from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (Nat Med. 2000;6:1147-1153).

The protein, secretory leukocyte protease inhibitor (SLPI), has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial effects and is found in fluids that bathe mucosal surfaces, such as bronchial fluids, cervical fluids, and saliva. In fact, in nature, saliva may be a way of delivering a potent wound-healing substance when animals lick their wounds.

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