Immune System 101

Our immune system is so important. Our immune system is what protects use from viruses and bacteria that enter our bodies through the skin, nose, eyes and mouth.

This is going to be a blog series, were in each post we will learn about one immune cell in detail. We will learn what the cell does for our body and our immune system. I will also share a few holistic health tips that can help each of these cells.

There are two main classes of the immune system. The innate immune system and the adaptive immune system or acquired immune system.Your body has an innate immunity that is made up of different barriers. They aim to keep viruses,parasites, bacteria and other foreign particles out of your body or limit their ability to spread and move throughout the body.

You have an adaptive immunity to remember the last time you got sick. After you get sick as a kid, you are then less likely to get the same sickness again because your immune system tends to adapt. Fighting pathogens is the job of the adaptive immune system as it has a memory in which it experiences and then learns to recognizes pathogens.

Let’s Meet our immune system and the cells that are apart of it.

Our red blood cells ” Erythrocytes” are very important to our body and our immune system.They carry oxygen and vital nutrients from our lungs to the cells in our body.

Platelets Thrombocytes aid in clotting and they help replace damaged cells.

Our white blood cells”Leukocytes” are responsible for defending the body against invaders.

Different Types of Leukocytes:

Neutrophils– ingest pathogens and cellular debris. They are apart of your innate immune system.

Macrophages- These are the only leukocytes that can leave the bloodstream and enter the tissues. These white blood cells are active at the later stage of an infection. They are apart of your innate immune system but they do stimulate the adaptive immune system.

Basophils and Mast Cells – release chemicals to promote inflammation. Basophils are granulocytes that can only enter infected tissues from the bloodstream.Mast cells are found stationed throughout our body. Mast cells are found in connective tissue. Both Mast Cells and Basophils are apart of your innate immune system

Epsinophilsare cells that move to inflamed areas, participate in an allergic reaction, kill parasites and modulate the inflammatory response. They are apart of your innate immune system.

Dendritic Cells- work as an antigen-presented cell. These cells are able to ingest foreign antigens by placing the foreign antigen into their own cell membranes. The dendritic cells will display the foreign antigens and look for the lymphocytes that match the antigen. This is what triggers your adaptive immunity. They are apart of your innate immune system but they do stimulate the adaptive immune system.

Natural Killer Cells-These cells are a crude weapon and release chemicals to kill any cells that display foreign antigens no matter if its a pathogen or the body’s own infected cells. They are apart of your innate immune system.

T Lymphocytes (T Cells)- These cells kill pathogens directly, regulate the immune response and activate other lymphocytes . These cells remember past infections and are apart of your adaptive immune system.

B Cells- These cells release antibodies to foreign antigens and remember past infections. They are apart of your adaptive immune system.

As you can see, there is a lot your immune system does. That is why we need to take care of our bodies.

 In the next blog post we will look more closely at the Red blood cells ” Erythrocytes” and there will be some tips you can do to keep these cells healthy.

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