The Immune System

The immune system is made up of a network of cells, tissues and organs that work together to defend and protect the body against environmental agents such as microbes or chemicals, thereby preserving the integrity of the body.  Microbes are tiny organisms such as bacteria, parasites and fungi that can cause infections. When the immune system is functioning properly, it can identify a variety of threats, including viruses, bacteria and parasites, and distinguishes them from the body's own healthy tissue.  

The major components of the immune system include:

Lymph nodes: Small, bean-shaped structures that produce and store cells that fight infection and disease --- lymphatic system — which consists of bone marrow, spleen, thymus and lymph nodes. Lymph nodes also contain lymph, the clear fluid that carries those cells to different parts of the body. When the body is fighting infection, lymph nodes can become enlarged and feel sore.

Spleen: The largest lymphatic organ in the body, which is on your left side, under your ribs and above your stomach, contains white blood cells that fight infection or disease.  The spleen, which filters the blood by removing old or damaged blood cells and platelets and helps the immune
system by destroying bacteria and other foreign substances.

Bone marrow: The yellow tissue in the center of the bones produces white blood cells.  This spongy tissue inside some bones, such as the hip and thigh bones, contains immature cells, called stem cells. 

Lymphocytes: These small white blood cells play a large role in defending the body against disease. The two types of lymphocytes are B-cells, which make antibodies that attack bacteria and toxins, and T-cells, which help destroy infected or cancerous cells. 

Thymus: This small organ is where T-cells mature. This often-overlooked part of the immune system, which is situated beneath the breastbone (and is shaped like a thyme leaf, hence the name), can trigger or maintain the production of antibodies that can result in muscle weakness, the Mayo Clinic said. Interestingly, the thymus is somewhat large in infants, grows until puberty, then starts to slowly shrink and become replaced by fat with age, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

Leukocytes: These disease-fighting white blood cells identify and eliminate 
pathogens and are the second arm of the innate immune system. A high white blood cell count is referred to as  leukocytosis, according to the Mayo Clinic. The innate leukocytes include phagocytes  (macrophages, neutrophils and dendritic cells), mast cells, eosinophils and basophils. 

Here are simple ways to boost the Immune System:

Get enough sleep and manage stress. Sleep deprivation and stress overload increase the hormone cortisol, prolonged elevation of which suppresses immune function.
Avoid tobacco smoke. It undermines basic immune defenses and raises the risk of bronchitis and pneumonia in everyone, and middle ear infections in kids.
Drink less alcohol. Excessive consumption impairs the immune system and increases vulnerability to lung infections.
Eat plenty of vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds, which will provide your body with the nutrients your immune system needs. 
Consider probiotics. Studies indicate supplements reduce the incidence of respiratory and gastrointestinal infections.  Fermented milk products have also been shown to reduce respiratory infections in adults and kids.
Take immune-supportive food supplements--like AIM Global products- C24/7, Complete, Choleduz, Restorlyf and a lot more, proven to protect your immune system.

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