The mouth is one the more dangerous places in the human body in terms of what comes out, what goes in, and what lives there. Fungi, micro-organisms, and viruses constantly come in with every bite of food and frequently just from breathing. In spite of all that, the tongue rarely gets infected, and when it does, it usually heals quickly.
One reason is that the tongue secretes an antibiotic called “lingual antimicrobial peptide.” Studies done at the Magainin Research Institute show that the tongue secretes more antibiotic when there is a sore or injury.
Our bodies are designed to survive in a world that has all kinds of things that could do us harm. The tongue is only one small, but important example of how design protects us from the dangers around us. We think this is another Dandy Design.
National Geographic, Sept 1995
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