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the secretion of salivary glands, consisting of a clear usually slightly acid aqueous fluid of variable composition. It moistens the oral cavity, prepares food for swallowing, and initiates the process of digestion
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



the clear, viscid secretion of the salivary glands, with a weakly acid or weakly alkaline reaction (pH 5.6–7.6). A human adult secretes about 1.5 liters of saliva a day, and large farm animals from 40–60 to 120 liters. The composition and quantity of the saliva vary according to the consistency and chemical composition of the substances taken into the mouth and the organism’s functional condition.

Saliva contains 98.5–99.5 percent water, and dissolved anions of chlorides, phosphates, bicarbonates, thiocyanates, iodides, bromides, fluorides, and sulfates and the cations Na+, K+, Ca2+, and Mg2+. It also contains the trace elements Fe, Cu, Mn, Ni, Li, Zn, and others and organic matter, including protein and its fractions (albumin, globulins), amino acids, and mucin. In addition, it contains the enzymes amylase, lactase, ly-sozyme, kallikrein, and parotin, as well as cholesterol, glucose, lactic acid, and vitamins C, B1, B12, H, and K. Saliva helps dissolve the food, thus facilitating the perception of taste and the protection of the teeth against caries. It coats the alimentary bolus, thereby enabling the food to pass easily through the esophagus into the stomach; it also affects the secretory and motor activity of the gastrointestinal tract.

The level of development, habitat, and nature of the food consumed determine the content of certain constituents in the saliva of some animals. In snakes, for example, the saliva contains toxins and serves as a means of defense and attack. In other animals, including annelid worms and some birds, the secretions of the salivary glands are rich in the sticky substances needed to glue together the materials used in building nests. The saliva of bloodsucking animals, such as leeches and mosquitoes, usually contains anticoagulants, for example, hirudin in leeches. Carnivorous animals that feed on live prey may secrete paralyzing toxins in the saliva. Many insects, some mol-lusks (for example, Helix), and vertebrates secrete salivary car-bohydrases. The saliva of some predatory cephalopods contains proteases as well as toxins and mucus.


Fiziologiia pishchevareniia. Leningrad, 1974(Rukovodstvo po fiziologii.)


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


The opalescent, tasteless secretions of the oral glands.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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Selectivity was assessed by obtaining chromatograms for blank saliva samples obtained from six different volunteers and processed using the same optimum conditions.
Resting saliva from the parotid gland and venous blood (5 ml) were collected between 8:00 and 11:00 in the morning after an 8-hour fast; patients did not perform any oral hygiene in the 90 min before the saliva collection.
"Spit", "drool", "dribble", "slob", are some lay or common terms used to describe saliva. With saliva being such an ordinary part of our everyday function, not much thought goes into what makes saliva so unique.
As the study is intended to know the correlation between serum and saliva levels of rifampicin, we made two groups of subjects depending on the dosage, so as to look for the correlation with variable drug concentrations.
Professor David Wong of the University of California at Los Angeles, said: "We need less than one drop of saliva and we can turn the test around in 10 minutes.
Professor Wong, who is Associate Dean of Research at the University of California Los Angeles, said the saliva test could be available in the UK by the end of the present decade.
Speaking to the American Association for the Advancement of Science, in Washington DC, Prof Wong said: "If there is circulating signature of a tumour in a person's blood or saliva, this test will find it.
It was reported that the medicine contains the saliva of the monitor lizard and could help cure diabetes.
Comment: Xerostomia is dryness of the mouth resulting from insufficient saliva production.
In this experiment we will look at the oral secretion, primarily saliva, which is recognized as a 'cue' left behind by the caterpillar on the leaf tissue.
First thing each morning, before eating, drinking, smoking, or brushing teeth, a woman applies a thick drop of saliva to the glass surface and waits for it to dry (5-15 minutes).
La saliva contiene sistemas amortiguadores organicos e inorganicos como bicarbonato, fosfato y proteinas que mantienen regulado su pH (3,4).