The Immune System –
Your First Line of Defense in the Body! 1/5 of All Your Cells are Immune Cells!
by Frank M. Jordan
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What is the Immune System and Response?
The immune system is our body’s incredibly complex defense network comprised of trillions of immune cells representing 1/5 of our total body cells, with the purpose to defend us against substances that do not belong in our bodies and can potentially cause infection, disease and even death. The immune system has a complex group of specialized organs, cells and tissues that are coordinated and communicate to recognize and destroy health invaders (non-self) while ignoring harmless microbes (self). The primary organs of the immune system include lymph notes, thymus, spleen, bone marrow; and even our skin that attempts to keep out what doesn’t belong.
The immune response is the mechanism the body uses within the immune system when activated to recognize, respond, resolve and then remove the agents of infection and disease. As humans, from the time of conception, we are confronted with attacks by infectious agents including viruses, bacteria, and fungus plus parasites and environmental toxins.
For us to survive, our immune cell responses must recognize and determine the location and characteristics of pathogens immediately; then appropriately respond to kill the health invaders by chemicals or disrupting and breaking down the cell membrane (lysing) of a pathogen. Then phagocytosis occurs performed by phagocyte cells to ingest, evaluate and kill pathogens as appropriate.
Innate and adaptive immunity are the two divisions of the immune system with some immune cells participating in both. Innate immunity involves defense mechanisms that are nonspecific and attack any antigen considered non-self without an origin from within the body. Included in innate immunity are the skin (the largest immune organ), tears and mucous membranes in the nose.
Antigens are non-self substances present on all non-self that come from outside into the body and trigger an immune response due to chemicals unique to a specific antigen. In simplified terms, antigens are molecule name tags that can be bound to by an antigen-specific antibody (AB) or a B cell antigen receptor (BCR). Antigens are primarily microbes including bacteria, fungi and parasites. Antigens originating from our environment include viruses, chemicals, toxins, pollen and more. Harmless antigens that cause allergies are called allergens.
Phagocytosis and the Immune Process
Phagocytosis means “big eater” while the phagocytosis process involves a cell engulfing a particle, digesting the particle, and then expelling the waste products. Phagocyte cells protect the body by phagocytosing or ingesting pathogenic or harmful non-self foreign particles, bacteria, fungi and dead or dying cells.
Phagocytes include neutrophils, monocytes, macrophages, dendritic cells and mast cells. These phagocytes all have surface receptors by which they can detect pathogens, especially bacteria, viruses, fungi and even parasites. As an example of an immune response, activated macrophages ingest a body invader such as a virus and display pieces of the virus known as antigens on the macrophage surface. The macrophage, as an antigen presenting cell (APC) presents the antigen to the Helper T-Cells. The helper T-Cells recognize specific antigens on the macrophage surface (APC cells) and bind to the macrophages. The helper T-cells then evaluate the situation and call in the various immune system components needed to fight back effectively against a specific antigen if determined to be pathogenic.
The helper T-cells also activate the humoral side of the immune response, including the B-cells. B-lymphocytes develop and mature in the bone marrow and on presentation of a foreign antigen (non-self) on invasion of the body, begin to divide and secrete a protein known as an antibody. These unique antibodies then bind to the antigens on the surface of the health invaders, enabling recognition by the macrophages and various T-cells classified as Cytotoxic T-cells that kill with chemicals and NK or Natural Killer T-cells that kill by lysing or ramming the pathogens.
T-lymphocytes, or T-cells, are part of the cellular immune response. These lymphocytes are also produced in the bone marrow where they then migrate to the thymus to become mature T-cells. On the surface of the T-cell is an antigen-binding molecule known as the T-cell receptor. The T-cell can bind antigen, but it must be in the presence of a complex of proteins on the cells of the host, called the major histocompatibility complex (MHC). T-lymphocytes are mainly involved in the response to altered cells of the host, as in those infected by a virus or those that develop into cancer cells.
This antigen binding also alerts blood components known as complements (actually 25 different proteins) to puncture holes in invader infected cells. This facilitates phagocytosis, or ingestion of the invader by phagocytes such as the macrophage.
As the health invader is killed and brought under control, the activated T-cells and B-cells are signaled to stop attacking by suppressor T-cells. Another type of T-cell, the Memory T-cells, remain behind to create acquired immunity and to respond quickly against the same type of invader, if the same health invader attempts to attack again. Your body contains millions of antibodies at any given time. We often translate this to mean we are building up an immunity to various viruses, bacteria, fungi or parasites. Vaccines present a very small quantity of a specific antigen for which the B-cells produce antibodies unique to the specific antigen that are then available as memory cells to respond quickly if a future attack occurs as in influenza or polio. Unfortunately, many pathogens, especially viruses can mutate to neutralize vaccine effectiveness until a new form of antibody is developed to counter the specific mutated virus cell. This is why the four components of influenza vaccines are reviewed annually for potential effectiveness.
Macrophage Immune Cells
Macrophages are the immune cells that start and play a major roll in directing the immune process. Macrophage literally means, “big eater” and these large white immune cells are constantly vigilant policeman in your system are just that–immune soldiers for your defense! These immune cells recognize, engulf and destroy any cells, organisms or substances that are “non-self” or do not belong in the body; a process classified as non-specific. They not only fight individually, but they send chemical faxes to the other defense fighters in the immune system. The key is to enhance their arsenal of defense by arming them with better weapons and making their ability to recognize the “bad guys” more readily than normal or when suppressed.
In various parts of the body, the macrophage may be referred to as: Lungs – Alveolar cells; Kidneys – Mesangial cells; Brain – Microglial cells; Liver – Kupffer cells; and Skin – dendritic Langerhans cells. The macrophages, as each of us, as we grow older or are compromised by disease become less able to fight back and the cells ability to recognize pathogens becomes suspect .
How Does Microparticulate (MG) Beta Glucan Nutritionally Enhance and Normalize the Immune Response?
Microparticulate (MG) Beta glucan works through activation of biological response modifiers including the presence unique receptors on the surface of the Macrophage and Dendritic immune cells that are approximate matches in size for the Beta glucan when processed to be microparticulate particles 2-4 microns in size.
This means Beta 1,3/1,6 glucan extracted from yeast cell wall and micronized, nutritionally contributes to normalization of these important huge white immune blood cells, as the first line of defense in your body. The unique proprietary extraction process of the Nutritional Scientific Corporation (NSC) includes elimination of harmful proteins that can cause negative yeast reactions. This virtually eliminates negative allergic reactions to the micronized MG Beta 1,3/1,6 glucan. Beta glucan also nutritionally promotes the Interleukin 1 (IL1) production beneficial to insulin production in the pancreas. The Beta glucan nutritionally modulates and potentiates as appropriate the macrophage and other immune cells to a normalized state of readiness.
Proper diet, adequate rest, moderate exercise, managed stress, constant good hygiene and appropriate supplementation with vitamins, minerals, enzymes and nutritional supplements such as microparticulate beta glucan available in NSC-24 Original 30 ct, Extra Strength NSC-100 60 ct and NSC Immune Plus 60 ct are essential to nutritionally contribute to a program to regain, maintain and normalize the immune response.
Immune System Status
Our immune systems are generally strong at birth but decline during life due to genetics, aging, health impact of lifestyle lacks including poor diet, lack of exercise, lack of sleep and diseases incurred over the years. Protect and keep your immune system strong by eating a healthy diet, moderately exercising, getting adequate sleep, minimizing stress and regularly using vitamins and nutritional supplements. Your body is your first line of defense against all that seeks to harm you including viruses, bacteria, fungi, parasites, environmental hazards.
This IMMUNITION REPORTS website (www.immunitionreports.com) is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information with regard to the subject matter covered; however, this website is not intended to be a substitute for a professional consultation with a physician or a qualified health care provider or to offer medical or related professional advice. Frank Jordan is a health professional. Frank Jordan is neither a licensed physician nor a medical doctor.
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