The immune system
What can we do to strengthen our defences? Obviously not everyone suffers equally from certain infections, such as the wave of flu that occurs during the winter. People with certain pre-existing conditions are naturally at higher risk than healthy individuals. However, differences can be observed even between those who seem to be in good health.
What is the immune system, and how does it work?
A plethora of potentially harmful microorganisms exists in our environment. When they enter the human body, the body’s built-in immune system fights them off.
The human defence system consists of the innate and the acquired immune system. Both immune system types depend on the interplay between certain cells and dissolved molecules. The two systems are also closely interrelated.
The acquired and innate immune system are mutually dependent
The acquired immune system does not replace the innate immune system but rather works with it.
Only a well coordinated interplay of the innate and acquired immune defences makes the body’s complex immune response possible.
Non-specific or innate immune system
The innate immune system is not specialised for specific pathogens. Our non-specific immune response is something like the first line of defence. It generally attacks everything identified as “extraneous”.
Specific or acquired immune system
The acquired immune system only forms after contact with a specific pathogen. Memory cells and specific antibodies are subsequently retained, enabling a rapid and specific defence response upon renewed contact with that pathogen.
Both systems are comprised of humoral or dissolved compounds and cellular components.
Cellular immune defence
A functioning immune system requires certain cells or their precursors for defence. These are found in the immune system’s organs. The bone marrow and thymus gland are the primary immune organs.
This is where the immune cells (such as lymphocytes) are produced and subsequently mature. The secondary immune organs are the lymph nodes, spleen, tonsils, appendix and the Peyer’s patches in the small intestine. They are the primary repositories for mature immune cells and the specific immune response is organised from here.
Humoral immune defence – mainly with specific proteins
The production of antibodies released into the blood is referred to as the humoral immune response.
Thus the humoral immune defence is based on the immune system’s soluble components. Here the lymphatic system plays an important role. It also includes bacteria-killing enzymes found in saliva and the tear fluid. Antibodies “tailored” to a specific pathogen are part of it, along with various messenger substances (such as cytokines) that are produced by the immune cells and control the immune response.
Boosting the body’s defences
As autumn comes around, we often hear “The cold time of year is coming and my child will keep getting sick again!” Working adults, especially those who interact with a lot of people in their job, also say this about themselves.
Schuessler salts are ideal for boosting the body's own immune system. The innate immune system in particular is strengthened. Schuessler salts can make you more healthy and robust.
Naturally, the right Schuessler salt can offer quick relief in case of acute need. But for prevention, “so you don’t catch every bug”, a long-term perspective on taking the Schuessler salts is important. Schuessler salts can be taken at any age, by the whole family.
A healthy lifestyle also boosts the immune system.
Certain life choices and behaviours have a decisive influence on the immune system as well. They can prevent susceptibility to infection in the first place.