Immunity is an incredibly complex subject. This article will define the concepts that help us understand how the body fights disease. It will cover concepts such as the function of lymphocytes and how lifestyle choices can influence the immune system. This article will also explain the difference between innate and acquired immunity. It will also discuss the concepts of self, danger, and antigen and receptor.
The body's organs of immunity are comprised of various structures and tissues. The spleen is similar in structure to a large lymph node and functions to filter blood while synthesizing antibodies in the white pulp. These tissues work to neutralize threats to the integrity of lymph fluid and the immune response from both the interior and exterior world. Organs of immunity are categorized according to their location and function, as shown in Table 3.6.
The lymphatic system contains a vast number of white blood cells. These cells are called lymphocytes. They are part of the peripheral immune system and contain immune-competent T and B-lymphocytes. These cells enter the lymphoid organs from other parts of the immune system.
Functions of lymphocytes
Lymphocytes are white blood cells that help the body fight infections. There are three types: B lymphocytes, T lymphocytes, and natural killer cells. Each has its functions and protein products, which are in large numbers throughout the body. They are found in the blood, lymph nodes, channels, and Peyer's patches. B lymphocytes originate in the bone marrow, while T lymphocytes migrate to the thymus, developing into T cells.
Lymphocytes also play a key role in the adaptive immune response. They produce antibodies against pathogens and infected cells and help regulate the immune response. These cells vary in size, but the majority are small. The size of mature lymphocytes in blood is similar to that of erythrocytes, which are about six to 15 um in diameter.
Sources of immunity
Improving immunity naturally is important, and one of the most effective ways to do so is through a well-balanced diet. Eating foods rich in antioxidants, like vitamin C, can enhance the immune system. Flavonoids in various foods also play a vital role in respiratory defense. Research shows that individuals who eat foods rich in flavonoids are less likely to contract an upper respiratory tract infection. Similarly, dark chocolate contains a powerful antioxidant called theobromine, which can protect cells from free radicals. Free radicals cause many diseases and can damage our body cells.
Antibodies are produced by T and B immune cells in the body, which recognize specific germs and activate the rest of the immune system. Passive immunity develops after someone in the same family has received antibodies to a particular germ or pathogen. It is not a permanent immunity boost, and the immune system does not have to recognize a specific pathogen in the future to develop passive immunity. Maternal antibodies can be passed from a mother to her child through the placenta and breast milk in the first few days after birth.
Influence of lifestyle on immunity
A healthy lifestyle has many benefits, and one of those benefits is the ability to improve immunity. This includes eating a well-balanced diet rich in vegetables and fruits, exercising regularly, getting plenty of sleep, avoiding smoking and drinking in moderation. Lifestyle choices also include social connections that promote a sense of well-being. In addition to boosting immunity, a healthy lifestyle can prevent many chronic diseases. Continue reading to learn more about the influence of lifestyle on immunity.
The immune system has many components, including white blood cells, antibodies, and the lymphatic system, a network of vessels that drains waste and excess fluids out of the body. It comprises organs such as the spleen, tonsils, and appendix. Inadequate nutrition, excessive alcohol consumption, and stress can compromise immunity and make us more susceptible to disease.
Disorders of immunity
Disorders of immunity occur when an individual's immune system is compromised. This condition can occur in any of several ways. Some conditions are caused by inherited defects that prevent the body's phagocytic cells from producing the enzymes necessary to break down pathogens. Consequently, treatments for these conditions typically involve antibiotics.
Most disorders of immunity are autoimmune. In these cases, the immune system attacks itself, resulting in more frequent, more severe, and longer infections. Other conditions that result from autoimmune responses include asthma, autoimmune polyglandular syndrome, Crohn's disease, and some aspects of diabetes. Nevertheless, regardless of the underlying cause, these diseases are caused by a failure of the immune system to recognize and combat foreign and threatening organisms properly.