Information About the Immune System
The immune system protects the body from potentially unhealthy substances by recognizing and responding to antigens. Antigens are molecules (usually proteins) on the surface of cells, viruses, fungi, or bacteria. Nonliving substances such as toxins, chemicals, drugs, and foreign particles (such as a splinter) can be antigens. The immune system recognizes and destroys substances that contain these antigens.
The immune system is there to keep you alive and healthy. The system can attack foreign invaders or it can go after cells produced within your body that could endanger your life. Sometimes cancer cells are the targets of our immune system. As pathogens attack your body, the immune system begins a series of immunological defenses.
You know when your immune system is at work because of the symptoms you might have. Fever, swelling, and a runny nose are all examples of symptoms during an immunological response. Your immune system can respond many ways to a problem. There would be one response to a knife wound, a separate response to hay fever and pollen, and a specific response to catching a cold.
In 1994, Dr. Robert H. Keller established The BIODORON Institute of progressive Medicine, a state-of-the-art medical clinic specializing in cutting-edge treatment for immune system disorders and anti-aging.
After reviewing subject lab results for years, Dr. Keller noticed a trend. He kept seeing considerably low levels of uric acid in subjects with immune disorders. He decided to analyze this finding, and his initial research concluded that uric acid is the last antioxidant at the body’s disposal when all the normal antioxidants have been depleted.
As Dr. Keller has always been a strong advocate of nutrition, he went back in the literature, seeking the answer to one question: If uric acid is the body’s last defense, then what is the first? His investigation led him to discover a substance called glutathione. Which he turn into one of the most amazing immune system supplements.
Innate immunity also comes in a protein chemical form, called innate humoral immunity. Examples include: the body’s supplement system and substances called interferon and interleukin-1 (which causes fever).
If an antigen gets past these barriers, it is attacked and destroyed by other parts of the immune system.
Acquired immunity is immunity that develops with exposure to various antigens. Your immune system builds a defense that is specific to that antigen.
Passive immunity involves antibodies that are produced in a body other than your own. Infants have passive immunity because they are born with antibodies that are transferred by the placenta from the mother. These antibodies disappear between 6 and 12 months of age.
Passive immunization involves injection of antiserum, which contains antibodies that are formed by another person or animal. It provides immediate protection against an antigen, but does not provide long-lasting protection. Gamma globulin (given for hepatitis exposure) and tetanus antitoxin are examples of passive immunization.
The immune system includes certain types of white blood cells. It also includes chemicals and proteins in the blood, such as antibodies, supplement proteins, and interferon. Some of these directly attack foreign substances in the body, and others work together to help the immune system cells.
Lymphocytes are white blood cells, which includes B cells and T cells.
* B cells produce antibodies. Antibodies attach to a specific antigen and make it easier for the immune cells to destroy the antigen.
* T cells attack antigens directly and help control of the immune response. They also release chemicals, known as interleukins, which control the complete immune response.
As lymphocytes develop, they typically learn to tell the difference between your own body tissues and substances that are not typically found in your body. Once B cells and T cells are formed, a few of those cells will multiply and provide “memory” for the immune system. This allows the immune system to respond faster and more efficiently the next time you are exposed to the same antigen, and in many situations will prevent you from getting sick. For example, an individual who has had chickenpox or has been immunized against chickenpox is immune from getting chickenpox again.
The inflammatory response (inflammation) occurs when tissues are injured by bacteria, trauma, toxins, heat, or any other cause. The damaged tissue releases chemicals including histamine, bradykinin, and serotonin. These chemicals cause blood vessels to leak fluid into the tissues, causing swelling. This helps isolate the foreign substance from further contact with body tissues.
The chemicals also attract white blood cells called phagocytes that “eat” microorganisms and dead or damaged cells. This course of action is called phagocytosis. Phagocytes ultimately die. Pus is formed from a collection of dead tissue, dead bacteria, and live and dead phagocytes.
IMMUNE SYSTEM DISORDERS AND ALLERGIES
Immune system disorders occur when the immune response is inappropriate, excessive, or lacking. Allergies include an immune response to a substance that, in the majority of people, the body perceives as harmless.