The immune system is essentially a network of protecting cells and proteins that guard the body against illnesses. The immune system records every pathogen it has ever eliminated, allowing it to promptly identify and eliminate the bacterium if it re-enters the body.
Every organ in our body helps regulate the body’s defenses from pathogens that invade other tissue, but none are as critical to our well-being as the immune system.
It is how our body’s cells distinguish between what is “self” and what does not. When this system doesn’t function properly, it can lead to many chronic diseases, such as cancer and heart disease.
The article discusses how genetics influence susceptibility to certain diseases or disorders, why certain parts of the immune system work over others, and how a healthy diet affects an individual’s health through their immune response.
Fights Against Pathogens:
The immune system comprises non-specific cells that can recognize foreign material as “nonself.” Because of this, the immune system fights against pathogens and any infectious agents.
The non-specific cells’ recognition of “nonself” is the trigger that causes inflammation, which increases the body’s resistance to infection. It also has a role in healing wounds and recovering from injury.
Normal” immune responses include immune surveillance, a response where only those cells that are infected or damaged are killed by the body, thus increasing an individual’s immunity; and an antigen-specific response where the immune system destroys only those cells that contain specific antigens.
“Immune surveillance” can also correct any flaws in cell metabolism that result in the production of mutated or defective proteins.
Keeping Us Healthy:
To survive, the human body must be able to fight off foreign bacteria, viruses, and parasites that can potentially lead to infection or even death.
Because the immune system has evolved over thousands of years, it can recognize and attack many types of pathogens, such as viruses and bacteria. If the immune response fails or is weak, the body becomes more vulnerable to infection.
Kill Infecting Microbes:
The immune system can recognize and kill microbes which could be a serious risk to the individual if not stopped. When the immune system recognizes a pathogen attacking an individual, it will respond by sending out an increase in blood flow, chemical signals, and inflammation.
It often causes the immune response to become overdone. It leads to allergic reactions such as difficulty breathing, hives or swelling of the face, throat, or larynx (especially around the neck), runny nose, and eyes/glaucoma.
In addition to this, there are also “dangerous” pathogens such as fungi and protozoa that can cause infections in other body parts far away from where they are attacked.
The immune system can also be stimulated by fats and carbohydrates similar to the parasites and pathogens it recognizes. These are then killed by a specific type of white blood cell known as a macrophage.
However, this type of response can be harmful because, at first, the body produces antibodies that will attack and destroy any cells with antigens; it will begin to attack any cells that have anything similar to the first recognized antigens. An autoimmune disorder results if the immune system fails to differentiate between “self” and “nonself.”
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