BACKGROUND: The ins and outs of immune boosting
The immune system is like rush hour in the centre of town. There are so many parts moving in so many directions and at so many speeds that it looks like chaos. But somehow, it still works. And everyone still gets where they need to go.
A BIT OF BACKGROUND: KNOW YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM
To cut a long system short, here are the basic parts that make up the whole:
What? These are the cars in the traffic. And each model has its own specs and speed.
What else? Some are removal vans for refuse. Some are traffic patrol cars that keep the flow on the road. Others are tow trucks. You get the picture.
Where? The immune cells, or white blood cells, are produced in the bone marrow and speed around on the bloodstream highway.
What? Call them immunoglobulins if you feel like it (or Igs if you don’t). They’re basically signpost proteins that the immune system uses to find and fight invaders.
How? Plasma cell releases antibody. Antibody recognises and attaches to a foreign microorganism or damaged cell. Then killer and clean-up cells come in to swallow and ship out the offending element. In a nutshell.
Antibodies come in different classes. And each class has a claim to fame.
What? They’re cell-signalling proteins. The traffic lights, or traffic officers that conduct and communicate with immune system travellers.
What else? Different cytokines are produced by different immune cells. Some tell other cells where to go, others trigger an immune response.
So what? Mostly they have either pro- or anti-inflammatory effects, meaning they play a role in controlling the immune system’s rise and fall.
There are families of cytokines with various fancy functions. Suffice to say that each clan sends different signals to different targets. Some family names to drop...
4. THE GUT
What? It’s one of the body’s most important physical barriers. It’s also an honorary part of the immune system.
Why? A complex mix of immune cells and healthy bacteria allows do-gooder nutrients in, but keeps the criminal element out.
Immune bits and pieces of the gut include the following...
- Outgrow and out-compete infecting organisms
- Increase the number of IgA-secreting plasma cells in the area
- Increase number and activity of T-cells and Natural Killer cells.
For details on how good gut bacteria get the bad guys, read about The Real Thing PRO-Probiotic. And get more of them on your side.