What is our immune system?

Our immune system is essential for our survival.  Its role is to stop our bodies being open to attack from bacteria, viruses, parasites, etc.

Our immune system is spread throughout our bodies and involves many types of cells, organs, proteins, and tissues. It can recognise our own tissue from outsider tissue. Its job is to clear away dead and faulty cells.

Leukocytes and Phagocytes

White blood cells are also called leukocytes. They circulate in our blood and the lymphatic system. They patrol the body looking for pathogens like parasites and viruses.

Leukocytes are made up of 2 main types, Phagocytes and Lymphocytes.

Phagocytes surround and absorb pathogens breaking them down. Neutrophils are the most common type and tend to attack bacteria.

Monocytes the largest type have many roles. Macrophages, police for pathogens and remove dead cells. Mast cells help heal wounds and defend against invaders.

Lymphocytes are the clever one’s as they remember previous invaders recognising them if they return to attack us again.

Beginning their life in bone marrow, some Lymphocytes stay in bone marrow (B cells) others head to the thymus (t cells)
B cells produce antibodies and alert the T lymphocytes.

T cells alert other leukocytes and destroy weak cells in the body.

Boosting our Immune Systems

We are all aware that a healthy diet is key in the creating a strong immune system. Research shows that boosting our immune system may also give us an edge in fending off viruses and staying healthy.

I know we may seem biased here, but research also shows that exercise is the single best way to boost your immune system. You may be tempted to avoid the gym right now but understand exercise causes your body’s antibodies and white blood cells to circulate more rapidly, which means they may be able to detect pathogens and viruses a lot quicker.