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What Is Your Immune System?

You probably know you immune system protects your from illness. But could you point it out on your body? The immune system is more complicated than it seems but is no short of amazing.
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You've probably heard about strengthening your immune system or heard it compared to an army, fighting off the bad guys that want to make you sick. But what is your immune system, exactly? If you've been wondering just what is going to the front lines for your health, this one is for you.

Where the Immune System Is Located
The immune system is  best described as a system, or a network throughout the body, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Your immune system is comprised of organs, cells and tissues that work together to fight off foreign invaders:

  • Adenoids
  • Tonsils
  • Thymus
  • Spleen
  • Peyer's patches
  • Bone marrow
  • Appendix
  • Lymphatic vessels
  • Lymph nodes

Like a bad grunge, your immune system is also able to remember millions of these microscopic invaders. We develop an acquired immunity as we get older and are exposed to more microorganisms, which the immune system makes note of. The study of the immune system continues as researchers search for more clues about how it works and how it's affected by age and lifestyle.

What the Immune System Does
When the body encounters a foreign invader, the immune system responds by releasing antibodies to destroy it, known as phagocytes and lymphocytes. Phagocytes are white blood cells (leukocytes) that attack the organism posing the threat, while the leukocytes fight the infection and "remember" it. The two main types of lymphocytes are B-cells and T-cells. Specifically, the B-cells produce the antibodies to destroy the threat while the T-cells destroy the cells that have been infected.

On Tuesday, May 15, the medical journal Immunity and Ageing published a study conducted at the Tokyo Medical and dental University women are more likely to live longer than men because their immune systems age more slowly. The study involved 356 men and women who were between 20 and 90 years of age and healthy overall and analyzed their B-cells and T-cells. While the research continues, it's shows the immune system can be thoroughly tracked and monitored for changes and will lead to new revelations about how it works.

How to Support Your Immune System
You're not stuck with the decline of your immune system over time or the one you have now. Thankfully, there are some lifestyle changes you can make to improve your immune system, especially as you age:

  1. Take probiotics
  2. Add more antioxidants
  3. Eat a balanced, healthy diet
  4. Avoid processed foods
  5. Exercise regularly
  6. Quit smoking
  7. Get enough sleep and don't drink heavily
  8. Lower your blood pressure

Trying a combination or all of these methods can help you boost your own immunity to help prevent illness, however, there is no one single pill or method to drastically improve immunity. Take care of your whole body and it will take care of you.

Shop our selection of immunity-boosting products at eVitamins for continued health and share your tips here!

 

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