Our immune system is a complex organization of cells and organs that operate to defend against invaders. At least, that is the current understanding of how the immune system works. However, because of the complexity of both the system, and the components within the system, it may be that it also has other functions that have not yet been identified.
At this point doctors believe that the immune system protects the body from infections and illnesses. It works to identify pathogens from other cells, such as tumors, that can cause diseases and then to eliminate them from the body. It accomplishes this using several different types of cells and integrating many of the vitamins and trace minerals required for biological and biochemical processes. (1)
The job of the immune system is very difficult because pathogens and cells can adapt themselves or redesign themselves, trying to sneak in under the radar, so to speak. However, the immune system is also complex with specific cells that have specialized functions.
Human beings also have the added protection of an system that can also adapt. After exposure to a specific pathogen it updates the response technology within the body that helps antibodies to recognize a pathogen and respond more quickly the next time the body is attacked. This learning curve helps the body to respond better and quicker and is called an immunological memory. This memory can be significantly impacted in a negative fashion when an individual does not get the normal number of common colds or illnesses because they are overly protected or receive an extraordinary number of vaccines.
There are four different specific organs in the body which interrelate and function with the immune system. The first is the bone marrow, found in the center of the larger long bones. All the cells of the immune system initially come from the bone marrow and then differentiate, or change, into mature cells or precursors that then work in the body.
The thymus is a gland located in the chest which produces mature T cells. The immature precursors leave the bone marrow and migrate to the thymus. These T cells are beneficial to the immune system and are released into the bloodstream by the thymus gland.
The spleen is a large organ found in the abdominal cavity whose job it is to filter the blood. The spleen is made up of B cells and T cells as well as macro phages and dendritic cells. The spleen functions to capture foreign material and then initiates an immune response. In addition, the spleen also destroys old red blood cells in order to make room for new ones that are constantly being manufactured.
The last system is the lymph nodes which also function as an immunological filter. These nodes are located around the body and are composed mostly of T cells, B cells and dendritic cells. It works much the same as the spleen only filtering lymph material and not blood.
The food that we eat, the vitamins and minerals we ingest, our environment, our Vital Force energy, as well as the amount of sleep we receive all interact in the overall health and well-being of the immune system.
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