Innate and acquired immunity

Immunity is a series of defense mechanisms that protect the body from disease-causing microorganisms and pathogens. It is thanks to immunity that diseases do not develop or quickly pass in our body. The main tool responsible for immunity is the immune system.

Features of the immune system

Without adequate immunity, the human body would not be able to function and develop normally. The immune system is responsible for the effective protection of our body from the first days of life. Our body is exposed to various pathogens that it fights every day.

The immune system is an extremely complex and complex system designed to protect the body from germs, pathogens and foreign particles. It is equipped with mechanisms that allow it to quickly recognize a threat and respond accordingly. This can happen artificially (through the administration of a vaccine) or naturally (as a result of suffering from a certain disease).

Additional Information! The main task of the immune system is to distinguish the enemy from its own cells. After the first year of life, your own immunity is formed. When infected with a pathogenic microorganism, our body produces immune memory cells. When this microorganism attacks again, it will be recognized and destroyed by the immune system.

Knowing the mechanism of action of immunity allows you to intelligently support it. Every day we can continually support our immune system, preventing the development of chronic inflammation.

Includes consumption of foods that stimulate the immune system

Proper nutrition, rest, good mood and physical activity can improve immunity. There are many factors that weaken it, including: stress, poor diet, stimulants, and a sedentary lifestyle.

Innate immunity

The body has two defense systems – innate and acquired immunity. Innate immunity is also called nonspecific immunity. Nonspecific immunity is the one that we are provided with from the very beginning of life.

Passive immunity is created by the administration of serum containing antibodies. To obtain passive immunity, ready-made antibodies are needed, delivered to the body from the outside, for example, by introducing serum. In this way, artificial passive immunity is acquired.

Natural is formed during intrauterine life and is based on the mother’s antibodies (remains in the child even for several months after birth).

Immunity from the very beginning of life

These different types of processes complement each other and only their combination ensures the full functionality of the entire immune system. It is worth noting that innate immunity works independently of acquired immunity, although, of course, it may need its support.

Congenital (hereditary) – the main type of immunity from the very beginning of life, protects our body from the penetration of pathogenic agents. An example of innate immunity is the body’s defensive reflexes, such as sneezing, coughing, or watery eyes.

The mechanisms of innate immunity allow us to avoid the activity of foreign molecules in our body before they enter the body. It has different types of antimicrobial activity – these are primarily physical barriers. These include the skin, mucous membranes of the respiratory and digestive organs, as well as the genitourinary system. We have no influence on it and cannot shape it through our actions or external factors.

Acquired, during a long evolution, they are inherited from generation to generation. The mechanisms of innate immunity are characterized by very rapid action, but they are not as precise as acquired immunity. The action occurs immediately after contact with the antigen, and most often leads to a sudden inflammatory reaction,

This type of immunity is individual for each person and develops throughout life, designed to activate the body to spontaneously produce antibodies.

Acquired immunity

This type of immunity is also known as specific immunity, which is adapted only to a specific pathogen. It is not inherited from generation to generation and is created anew every time it comes into contact with a given antigen, i.e., a pathogen molecule, although it targets a given pathogen, it develops quite slowly, even up to several days after contact with the pathogen. An example of the effect of acquired immunity is the use of vaccines.

Innate and acquired immunity: similarities and differences

There are some fundamental differences between innate and adaptive immunity. Reaction speed: innate immunity develops very quickly, this time is calculated even in minutes and does not require initial activation. And acquired immunity is a more complex process that takes time. In order for the mechanisms of acquired immunity to work correctly, the human body often requires up to 6 days after contact with the antigen.

A very characteristic difference is the origin of the receptors. In innate immunity, receptors are inherited from generation to generation. These receptors are capable of recognizing a wide range of pathogens.

Acquired immunity receptors are formed in the human body only after each contact with a pathogen. We can say that they work more accurately and efficiently, although slower. It is also important that adaptive immune receptors have permanent immunological memory, while innate (nonspecific) immunity lacks it. In innate immunity, although it is passed on from generation to generation, there are no memory mechanisms.

Additional Information! Innate immunity develops independently of acquired immunity, but it can be supported by it. Acquired immunity requires activation of developed innate immunity.

The functioning of these two types of immunity protects against the harmful effects of various pathogens, of which there are countless in our environment.

Immunity and inflammation

Inflammation is one of the mechanisms of innate immunity. When our body begins to be attacked by a particular pathogen, the cells of the immune system recognize the threat and respond with a defensive reaction. This is the body’s primary reaction to various types of damage. It triggers an alarm about the presence of a threat and then eliminates its cause through specialized cells. Under normal conditions, inflammation goes away on its own, after which healing and complete tissue restoration occurs.

However, sometimes the inflammation does not go away completely and becomes chronic. Chronic inflammation occurs, for example, when the immune system is unable to fully fight the tissue-damaging agent despite the immune system responding. It is secret, insidious and secretive and can lead to the development of various diseases. We need to learn to skillfully recognize the warning signals that our body sends.

Natural Ways to Boost Immunity

How can we naturally support our immune system so that it becomes stronger and stays healthy? Diet directly affects the body’s defense mechanisms. During the infection season, the diet should contain as many local, organic products as possible.

The immune system is our body’s powerful weapon in the fight against disease

It is impossible to live without foods that contain essential minerals, including the all-important zinc. This includes eating foods that stimulate the immune system, such as honey, garlic or ginger. It is also worth including vegetables rich in vitamins (A, B6, C, K, D) in the menu.

Note! Herbs that support a strong immune system are worth including in your daily diet. These include cistus, dandelion, horsetail, plantain, nettle, calendula, aloe and linden blossom. Preparations for immunity based on Echinacea purpurea, linden or elderberry are also extremely effective.

Disturbances in the functioning of the protective system also arise due to a constant lack of sleep, as the production of lymphocytes and their ability to destroy microorganisms decreases. In order for immune cells to be able to regenerate effectively, we must provide our body with restful sleep of about 7-8 hours every day.

In addition, you can begin to harden your body. A cool shower works great here. Regular exercise and optimal rest also bring good results. It is also important to avoid stress, since in this case it has a destructive effect.

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