If you understand the role of the immune system in the body, the importance of the body’s natural defences is probably clear to you. The immune system is complex and sophisticated, capable of protecting us against diseases and pathogens. Its main function is to repel invasions and external threats, such as bacteria, viruses, fungi and other foreign organisms. It also plays a crucial role in detecting and eliminating abnormal or cancerous cells within the body.
What is the immune system?
Natural defences for the body make your immune system stronger. This, in turn, is made up of several interrelated components and processes. These elements work together to identify and eliminate pathogens and maintain the body’s health.
- Immune cells. There are different types, each with different functions. Some important examples are:
- B lymphocytes. They are responsible for the production of antibodies, specialised proteins that bind to antigens present in pathogens to neutralise or mark them for destruction.
- T lymphocytes. They are divided into two main types: cytotoxic T cells, which recognise and destroy cells infected by pathogens, and helper T cells, which coordinate and regulate the immune response.Phagocytes. These cells, such as macrophages and neutrophils, can engulf and destroy pathogens through a process called phagocytosis.
- NK lymphocytes. They are responsible for the detection and destruction of abnormal cells, such as cancer cells.
- Antibodies. Antibodies, also known as immunoglobulins, are proteins produced by B lymphocytes. Each antibody has a specific structure that allows it to bind to a particular antigen present in pathogens. This binding can either directly neutralise the pathogen or mark it for destruction by other components of the immune system.
- Lymphoid organs. These organs play a crucial role in the production and maturation of immune cells. The main lymphoid organs are:
- Bone marrow. This is where blood cells, including lymphocytes, are produced.Thymus. This is an organ located in the upper chest, where T-lymphocytes mature and acquire their specialised functions.
- Lymph nodes. These are small bean-shaped structures that filter body fluids and contain immune cells to fight infection.
- Spleen. It is the organ responsible for filtering the blood and removing pathogens and abnormal blood cells.
- Tonsils and adenoids. These structures in the throat help detect and fight mucosal infections.
The first line of defence comprises physical and chemical barriers, such as the skin, mucous membranes and body fluids, which act as effective protection against the entry of pathogens. If these defence mechanisms are not sufficient, the immune system activates a more specific and complex immune response.
The adaptive immune system, also known as the acquired immune response, is highly specialised and can recognise and remember pathogens with which it has previously come into contact. This is achieved through the production of specific cells and molecules, such as B and T lymphocytes, which have receptors capable of recognising and binding to specific molecules present in pathogens. Once the pathogen has been recognised, the immune system can generate a more rapid and effective defensive response.
A healthy lifestyle and its impact on the body’s natural defences
The importance of the immune system lies in its ability to prevent and fight infectious diseases. When the immune system is functioning optimally, it can recognise and eliminate invading pathogens before they cause serious illness. However, if the immune system is weakened or not functioning properly, there may be an increased susceptibility to infection and disease.
Strengthening the body’s natural defences is therefore fundamental to maintaining good health. There are several ways to achieve this. One is by incorporating habits such as a balanced diet, regular exercise, adequate rest and stress management. Let’s take a look at why:
- Food and nutrition: it provides some of the essential nutrients for a strong immune system, such as vitamins (C, D, E, A), minerals (zinc, iron, selenium), proteins and healthy fatty acids. These are delivered to the body by consuming foods such as citrus fruits, berries, green leafy vegetables, fish, nuts and seeds. It is important not to forget those with immunomodulatory and antioxidant properties, such as echinacea, garlic, ginger and astragalus. As they should not be missing from the diet, one way to ensure the necessary daily intake is through supplementation.
- Sleep and rest. Both are essential for strengthening the immune system. During sleep, the body repairs and regenerates tissues, and the body’s natural defences are strengthened.
- Regular physical activity. Regular exercise not only improves cardiovascular and muscular health but can also strengthen the immune system. Regular physical activity promotes blood circulation, reduces stress and helps maintain a healthy weight, all of which contribute to a stronger immune system.
- Stress management. Chronic stress can weaken the immune system and increase the risk of disease. Stress management techniques such as meditation, deep breathing, exercise and relaxation therapy are an ally to our health.
In short, the immune system plays a vital role in protecting the body against diseases and pathogens. Strengthening the body’s natural defences through a healthy lifestyle and preventive measures is essential for maintaining a strong immune system and overall good health.
How to live a longer life with fewer ups and downs
The first step is to avoid harmful habits. The negative impact of habits such as smoking, excessive alcohol consumption and lack of sun protection must be taken into consideration.
In addition, it is important to keep in mind the importance of strengthening the body’s natural defences through some healthy approaches, including a balanced diet and the appropriate use of supplements.
A healthy, balanced diet is essential for strengthening the immune system. This involves eating a variety of foods that provide necessary nutrients, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and healthy fats. These foods provide vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other beneficial compounds that support optimal immune system function.
In some cases, supplements may be useful to complement a balanced diet and strengthen the body’s defences. Some of those shown to support immune function include vitamin C, vitamin D, zinc, probiotics and omega-3 fatty acids. Special mention should be made of products such as Orgono Articomplex, which contains them and therefore helps to protect joints, improve muscle function, reduce fatigue and strengthen the immune system; or Orgonocol, which contains omega-3 and also contributes to cardiovascular health and has an antioxidant effect.
In addition to these benefits, it plays an active role in the prevention of pathologies of the nervous system. There is a clear connection between Alzheimer’s disease and high concentrations of aluminium in the body, and the only way to eliminate this heavy metal and its increasing concentration in the body is through silica.
It is important to note that strengthening the immune system does not guarantee a life free of disease and ups and downs, as multiple factors influence health. However, adopting these healthy approaches can help improve the quality of life and reduce the risk of disease, providing a solid foundation for a longer and more balanced life.