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Your immune system exists to perform one major function: to protect your body from any incoming pathogens (any organism that can result in a disease). It is important to support your immune system as best you can to ensure normal functioning because both an under or overactive immune system can cause numerous problems.

Your immune system can launch two major forms of defense, namely, the innate immune response and adaptive immune response.

Innate immune response

This is the body’s non-specific immune response, which means that this response is not tailored to fight one specific pathogen but instead is designed to fight all infections. The first-line defence, that forms part of the innate immune response, is the skin. Your skin covers your entire body and acts as a physical barrier that aims to protect your body from any incoming pathogen. Mucus, saliva and tears protect openings in the body, such as the eyes, and help to break down incoming pathogens.

The second-line defense of the innate immune response will take place if a pathogen does make its way into the body. The pathogen triggers an inflammatory response in the body, which increases blood flow to the area of the body which has become infected by the pathogen. Blood vessels that surround the infected area will expand, which allows white blood cells, namely phagocytes, to travel from the blood vessels to the infected area. The phagocytes will engulf and destroy the pathogen. This process of the innate immune response may result in an increase in your body temperature, which slows down pathogen growth and accelerates the immune response.

Adaptive immune response

The adaptive immune response is triggered by antigens (molecule that initiates the production of an antibody and causes an immune response), which can be found on the surface of each pathogen. Antigens are specific to pathogens and help your body to identify which pathogen it is fighting. When the immune system picks up on an antigen, it will either send cells to destroy that pathogen or it will produce proteins called antibodies. Antibodies will attach themselves to the antigen and will then signal other cells to come and destroy the pathogen.

After looking at the different immune responses, organs and cells involved in the immune system, we have still only scratched the surface of understanding the immune system. However, this provides you with a basic need-to-know guide on the immune system and all elements involved in it. To learn more about how you can support your immune system through your genes, make the better choice and choose ImmuwellgxTM to find out more about how you can enhance your immunity.

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