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Article: Overview of your immune system

The guard and protector of your body….

The immune system is made up of a network of cells, tissues, and organs that work together to protect the body.

Through a series of steps called the immune response, the immune system (lymphatic system) attacks organisms and substances that invade body systems and cause disease.

One of the important cells involved are white blood cells, also called leukocytes, which come in two basic types that combine to seek out and destroy disease-causing organisms or substances.

The two basic types of leukocytes are:

  1. phagocytes, cells that chew up invading organisms
  2. lymphocytes, cells that allow the body to remember and recognise previous invaders and help the body destroy them

Leukocytes are produced or stored in many locations in the body, including the thymus, spleen, and bone marrow. For this reason, they’re called the lymphoid organs. There are also clumps of lymphoid tissue throughout the body, primarily as lymph nodes, that house the leukocytes.

The leukocytes circulate through the body between the organs and nodes via lymphatic vessels and blood vessels. In this way, the immune system works in a coordinated manner to monitor the body for germs or substances that might cause problems.

Attempting to boost the cells of your immune system is especially complicated because there are so many different kinds of cells in the immune system that respond to so many different microbes in so many ways.

Which cells should you boost, and to what number? The answers are not clearly defined as yet. But what is known – is that the body is continually generating immune cells.

Certainly it produces many more lymphocytes than it can possibly use. The extra cells remove themselves through a natural process of cell death called apoptosis — some before they see any action, some after the battle is won.

But for you, your first line of defence against bacteria, viruses and other harmful substances – is to choose a healthy lifestyle. Following general good-health guidelines is the single best step you can take toward naturally keeping your immune system strong and healthy to fight off any invaders.

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