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The Healthy Vibe
Immunity: Thrive in a Toxic World is a simple, straightforward guide to creating and sustaining vibrant health. Along with easy-to-follow nutrition, exercise and lifestyle strategies, you'll also discover the healing potential of plant sterols to support immune system health.
Book Excerpt - Chapter 2 Page 12
The Immune system: how it works
The immune system is an elegant and complex set of components that combine to fight disease, infections, and various pathogens. A healthy immune respose identifies pathogens as "non-self" and rapidly destroys them. A depressed immune system, by contrast, will allow invading organisms to flourish. On the other hand, when the immune system mistakenly recognizes a "self" cell as a "non self" and mounts an immune response, the result is an autoimmune disorder such as allergies or rheumatoid arthritis.
In general, the body has two primary defense mechanisms: natural immunity and acquired immunity. Natural immunity is the "first responder" to an attack. The natural immune response relies on various white blood cells and physical barriers to block or immediately attack any foreign invader and attempt to destroy it.
The natural defenses include the following organs, chemicals and processes. The first lines of defence are the skin and mucous membranes. Skin forms a physical barrier that prevents most pathogens from entering the body. Glands in the skin secrete lactic acid and fatty acid, which make the skin surface acidic, preventing bacterial growth. The puter layer of skin flakes off, which removes bacteria and prevents the entrance of many pathogens. There are many secondary barriers. For example, tears, sweat, and saliva combat some bacteris. The hydrochloric acid and protein-digesting enzymes secreted by the stomach are lethal to many, but not all, pathogens.
By Alan Fergusson and Jack Davidson
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