Immune System and Disease Prevention
Boost Your Immunity
Immune system denotes the structure and functions of a biological mechanism that prevents diseases. The study of the immune system is Immunology.
Before I can describe the functions of the immune system, I need to tell you some facts on diseases. Disease is a medical condition that causes abnormality in body functions it is usually accompanied by distinct signs and symptoms it can be caused by internal and external factors.
Internal factors include various dysfunctions like heart attack, kidney failure or liver failure. External factors include inanimate substances like dust or chemical substances and micro-animate entities like bacteria, virus, fungi or protozoa.
Our immune system is primarily a mechanism that has evolved to deal with these disease causing inanimate and micro-animate entities. Inanimate entities are called triggers and cause allergic reactions. Micro-animate entities are popularly known as pathogens.
These pathogens cause diseases by a stepwise strategy that comprises of an initial establishment of a population of its own in our body and subsequent release of toxic substances that affect the cellular functions. Thus, our immune system is involved not only in recognition and destruction of the pathogens, but also the toxic metabolites of these pathogens.
This destruction process is accomplished primarily by two methods known as Cell-mediated immunity and Humoral immunity. Cell mediated immunity involves active employment of special type of immune cells like phagocytes, natural killer cells and lymphocytes. Humoral immunity involves active employment of macromolecules like antibodies, complement proteins and peptides.
Various natural factors disturb and retard this process. Aging is one such factor that severely impairs and retards the body immunity. Physical, psychological, physiological and sociological stress also impairs the immune system. Thus, effective disease prevention depends on maintaining an effective immune system.
A protein rich diet is essential for a good immune system because the main components of an immune response, called the antibodies are primarily composed of amino acids. A Vitamin D rich diet improves the immune function. Mushroom, sardines and dairy products are excellent vitamin D sources. Fruits are rich sources of antioxidants that boost the immune response. Maintenance of an effective immune system thus, depends on one’s fitness and an active life style.