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Q: Health effects of saliva consumption ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   2 Comments )
Subject: Health effects of saliva consumption
Category: Health > Conditions and Diseases
Asked by: voodoomover-ga
List Price: $20.00
Posted: 09 Oct 2006 12:19 PDT
Expires: 08 Nov 2006 11:19 PST
Question ID: 772043
main question - What are the chances that consumption of another
person's saliva lead to any long term neurological problems?

Additional -   If the chances are high then what tests can be
performed to check for any potential problems?

(reecently we found out that a person with mental problems where I
work had been spitting in the food of others).  This is a real issue
with peace of mind at stake and thus a clear and honest answer will be
very gratefully received.

Request for Question Clarification by nenna-ga on 23 Oct 2006 14:31 PDT
What sort of neurological problems?


Clarification of Question by voodoomover-ga on 24 Oct 2006 01:18 PDT

Any really.  Any impairment of neurological funtion - perhaps arising
from viruses/bacteria transmitted through the saliva then trespassing
beyond the blood brain barrier.
The symptoms exhibited shortly after the incident described were
general lethargy, absent mindedness and also an H-Pylori infection
causing 2 duodenal ulcers.  But perhaps the reason for these
conditions lies elsewhere, I just don't know.  In fact the very
knowledge that someone did this hasn't exactly helped.
Hope someone manages to give me an answer!  Thanks for getting back to me.


Request for Question Clarification by nenna-ga on 26 Oct 2006 13:51 PDT
How much saliva? Before or after the food was cooked? Does the person
carry any diseases?


Request for Question Clarification by nenna-ga on 31 Oct 2006 14:34 PST
Hello again,

Without a response to the clarification I can not continue to research
this question. Please respond as soon as possible so that I can
continue to search with   the information you provide me.


Clarification of Question by voodoomover-ga on 01 Nov 2006 02:04 PST

after the food was cooked.  I'm not sure how much saliva - as far as I
know it only happened a few times.

Also, as far as I know, the person was disease free - but I'm not entirely sure.


Subject: Re: Health effects of saliva consumption
Answered By: nenna-ga on 01 Nov 2006 12:35 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hello voodoomover-ga,

I did find a connection between saliva transmission and H. pylori. 

H. pylori is an abbreviation standing for Helicobacter pylori. It?s a
spiral shaped bacteria that lives in or on the lining of the stomach
causing about 90% of ulcers. About 2/3rds of the world?s population is
infected with Helicobacter pylori though most never experience

How do some become infected with HP (Helicobacter pylori)?
??most likely spread from person to person through the fecal-oral
route (when infected fecal matter comes in contact with hands, food or
water) or the oral-oral route (when infected saliva or vomit comes in
contact with hands, food or water)?

?Helicobacter has been cultured from a small percentage of saliva and
dental plaque samples examined. However, it is likely that these cells
are transients and have not permanently colonized the mouth. Their
presence does indicate that the bacteria could be dispersed by
spitting, coughing, or vomiting. Since H. pylori probably doesn?t
survive long outside the human body, the presence of a suitable,
nearby host is critical.? 

Now, while this is possible, remember that 2/3?rds of us carry this
bacteria. While it could have been introduced by the saliva in the
food, it could have also have been in the person who came down with
the infection for years and something just triggered it within the
body at that time. Maybe the stress of having some spit in your food
could weaken you immune system, making you susceptible to bacteria
already present in your body. ? States the contrary
however to the previous articles. In most Western Countries and people
with good oral hygiene, it?s not usually found present in the mouth.
So, depending on where you live or the tooth brushing habits of the
?spitter?, it may not have came from the saliva in food.

Saliva is 98% water, containing also?

?# Electrolytes: (2-21 mmol/L sodium, 10-36 mmol/L potassium, 1.2-2.8
mmol/L calcium, 0.08-0.5 mmol/L magnesium, 5-40 mmol/L chloride, 2-13
mmol/L bicarbonate, 1.4-39 mmol/L phosphate)

# Mucus. Mucus in saliva mainly consists of mucopolysaccharides and glycoproteins;

# Antibacterial compounds (thiocyanate, hydrogen peroxide, and
secretory immunoglobulin A)

# Various enzymes. The major enzymes found in human saliva are
?-amylase (EC3.2.1.1), lysozyme (EC3.2.1.17), and lingual lipase
(EC3.1.1.3). Amylase starts the digestion of starch and lipase fat
before the food is even swallowed. It has a pH optima of 7.4. Lingual
lipase has a pH optimum ~4.0 so it is not activated till entering an
acidic environment. Lysozyme acts to lyse bacteria. Human saliva
contains also salivary acid phosphatases A+B (EC3.1.3.2),
N-acetylmuramyl-L-alanine amidase (EC3.5.1.28), NAD(P)H
dehydrogenase-quinone (EC1.6.99.2), salivary lactoperoxidase
(EC1.11.1.7), superoxide dismutase (EC1.15.1.1), glutathione
transferase (EC2.5.1.18), class 3 aldehyde dehydrogenase (EC1.2.1.3),
glucose-6-phosphate isomerase (EC5.3.1.9), and tissue kallikrein
(EC3.4.21.35). The presence of these products causes saliva to
sometimes have a foul odor.?

I could not find a connection between the absent mindedness and the
lethargy. Maybe a bout of mild depression from knowing someone spit in
your food? Maybe just an off week? It?s hard to say for sure

So, here?s the final scoop. While the HP bacteria could have been
transmitted through saliva, the person could have also had the HP
bacteria for years and not even known it. There?s no way to say for
sure what caused the HP infection and ulcers. Overall, the saliva in
food is a horrible situation.

There have been cases where people who have spit in the food of others
have been charged with 6 months jail time for assault and battery from
spitting in the soda of a customer at a Taco Bell. Initially the
person was charged with a felony ? adulteration of food- but it was
later lowered to the misdemeanor charge because no intent could be
proved she meant to injure/kill with what she did.

There was another case as well where a fast food worker was charged
and had to do 60 hours of community service, pay a $500.00 fine, and
write a letter of apology for spitting in a soda.

You may want to check into what can be done legally about the situation?

Google Search:
Helicobacter pylori in saliva

"saliva in food"

If this answer requires further explanation, please request
clarification before rating it, and I'll be happy to look into this

Google Answers Researcher
voodoomover-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $2.00

Subject: Re: Health effects of saliva consumption
From: pinkfreud-ga on 09 Oct 2006 12:24 PDT
There's often saliva exchange during kissing, and I have never heard
that kissing causes neurological problems. While the notion of someone
spitting in one's food is repugnant, I doubt that there's any health
risk unless the saliva comes from someone who has a communicable
Subject: Re: Health effects of saliva consumption
From: voodoomover-ga on 24 Oct 2006 01:20 PDT
Thanks for the comment!

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