The mouth is one of 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 is usually quick to heal.
The reason is that the tongue secretes a peptide that acts as an antibiotic. This antibiotic called "lingual antimicrobial peptide" is secreted from the lining of the tongue which is about as thick as aluminum foil. Studies done at the Magainin Research Institute show that if the tongue has a sore, more of the antibiotic is secreted.
It is easy when we are ill to complain about what is making us feel bad, but our bodies are designed to survive in a world that has all kinds of things that could do us harm. Life is fragile, but as David said, "I will praise thee, Lord, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made and that my soul knoweth right well" (Psalm 139:14).
--Source: National Geographic, September, 1995
Back to Contents Does God Exist?, Jan/Feb 1997