A well-functioning immune system keeps us healthy by protecting the body’s healthy tissues and fighting off harmful foreign invaders such as bacteria and viruses. Although finely tuned to protect us, there are ways to strengthen it with recommended vaccines and healthy habits. Learn everything you need to know about what you can do to keep your immune system in top shape.
What is the immune system?
Let’s start from the beginning: The immune system prevents or limits infection from potentially harmful pathogens and non-infectious pathogens (such as sunburn and cancer). How the immune system works
The immune system has several components, including:
The skin can prevent many bacteria from entering the body. Mucous membranes The moist linings of the mouth, nose, and lungs that produce mucus and other substances that trap and fight bacteria. White blood cells produce these to fight infections and other diseases. Organs and Tissues of the Lymphatic System The thymus, spleen, tonsils, lymph nodes, lymph vessels, and bone marrow are the parts of the body that make, store, and transport white blood cells.
Scientists classify various immune cells into two groups: innate immune cells and adaptive immune cells. When foreign invaders such as bacteria and viruses enter the body. They can multiply and attack, leading to infection, illness and disease. Innate immune cells are the first line of defence against invaders. These include barriers such as skin and mucous membranes that prevent some pathogens from entering the body. The innate immune system also includes cells and chemicals that identify microorganisms and other potential threats and trigger responses to eliminate them. Adaptive immune cells are involved in her second part of the immune response. “These are specialised cells that respond to ‘wipe out’ any remaining organisms left after the innate immune response.”
Interesting points are: The adaptive immune system has something called “immune memory”. That is, when these cells discover a pathogen that has previously invaded the body, they not only eliminate the invader, but also make more copies. The body continues to build stronger defences in the future, ready to fight off pathogens when they reappear.
This can occur even without a bacterial or viral infection. For example, exposure to the flu can boost your immune system even if you don’t get infected.This exposure helps your immune system “remember” the virus and make more antibodies that know how to attack it.
How vaccines work to provide immunity and strengthen the immune system
According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), vaccination is one of the most convenient and safe ways to prevent many diseases. Vaccines work with the body’s natural defences to help develop immunity to disease safely without actually getting sick.
Vaccines work based on immune memory. if vaccinated. For example, a flu shot exposes your immune system to a version of the virus. This causes the body to increase the number of immune cells that can respond to and fight viruses when exposed to the real thing.Vaccines are immune system boosters that actually work. But keep in mind that no single vaccine will boost your entire immune system. Getting the flu shot does not make you more resistant to colds and other illnesses. It boosts your immune response against the specific strains of influenza that vaccines are designed to protect you from.
“Vaccines are highly specific, designed to fight off specific pathogens such as chickenpox, polio, and influenza.”
A new type of vaccine that emerged during the COVID-19 pandemic — messenger RNA vaccine, or mRNA vaccine — works differently than previous vaccines. Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine works by introducing fragments of mRNA corresponding to viral proteins, rather than using versions of the virus to trick the body into recognizing an immune response. Vaccines “teach” cells how to make proteins that trigger an immune response. Experts believe mRNA technology will change the way many diseases are treated and prevented. Studies are currently underway to test the safety and efficacy of mRNA influenza vaccines.
This is a big reason why older people are more susceptible to infection than younger adults. And this is one of the primary reasons that older people catch infection at a much faster rate. Their immune systems aren’t working as well.”
Another part of the equation is practicing behaviours that promote health. This keeps your immune system functioning at its best.
Get enough sleep Healthy sleep supports the immune system in many very important ways, says Lynn. , is known to be regulated by the body’s circadian rhythm.
Eat healthy food: It should include lots of nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables, that further helps in aiding. The vitamins and minerals in our food are the lifeline that all systems of our body (including the immune system) rely on to function well. The better you supply your body with the nutrients it needs. The better it can function and better prevent chronic and acute illnesses.
Avoid environmental hazards. Prolonged exposure to toxic air pollution can cause adverse health effects, including damage to the immune system. According to the Environmental Protection Agency. Other toxins, which may include heavy metals, endocrine disruptors, affect immune system development. Researchers who stay active have yet to identify the mechanisms by which the immune system works best when staying active, but they do know that exercise helps other systems in the body function normally. A study published in Ageing Cell found that older people who exercised regularly were as likely as those decades younger who weren’t to exercise regularly. It turns out that it keeps the immune system working and strong.
Note: There is also evidence that overdoing it can impair immune function. Maintain moderate activity levels for optimal immunity. Manage stress. Stress suppresses the immune system and prevents it from functioning 100%. “Take out some time for you to relax and do something interesting.