Vitali Health Centre in Wilderness, South Africa Vitali Health Centre in Wilderness, South Africa
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 Dr Jon's Blog : 

Dr Jon Morley

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Dr Jon 
VITALI Health Centre

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The Basic Building Blocks of our Immune System

Our Immune System isn’t a “thing” that can be increased or decreased, added to, or subtracted from. It is a Function. This function is a miraculous balance that involves an orchestra of players and actions that allow the body to recognise that which is of itself and that which is not.

Natural barriers, such as skin, eyes, lung surface or intestinal surface are the first level at which we encounter substances (bacteria, fungus, virus, allergens, toxic compounds). When substances move beyond these barriers, these substances trigger a response by our “innate” (non-specific) or “adaptive” (specific) immune systems.

The innate aspect of the immune system, is that which is a pre-programmed reaction, involving swallowing of foreign substances by unique cells designed for this purpose (think “Pacman”) and an inflammatory reaction. These responses are regarded as “first-line” responses and don’t require previous exposure to or memory of any specific foreign substance.

The adaptive aspect of our immune response is more complex, expansive, and diverse. Responses by this aspect of our immune system are specific and involve cell memory (from previous encounters) and the production of cytokines and cell-to-cell interactions (T-cells), as well as antibodies (B-cells).

So, as you can see from this basic overview, our immune systems have multiple elements, inter-relations, and functions. It is an interplay between barrier surfaces, immune reactions within body fluids, the production of these various compounds in the bone marrow as well peripheral tissues such as the spleen and lymph glands.

And this is just the tip of the iceberg! I will explain more about immune function in my next post as it is such an extensive topic.


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