Our Immune System: Friend or Foe

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It all depends on how we treat our immune system. Granted that immunology is very complex and beyond the scope limits of the blog, but certainly several main points need to be expressed and possibilities, based on these points, considered for thought.

Our immune system provides protection from the outside world. It is made up of many different cells that live in many different parts of our body. It responds to antigens (any substance that arouses sensation and recognition) and produces antibodies (specific guards that limit the infiltration and inflammation of  the substances). The external attacks on our bodies are held in check and destroyed by inflammation set up by our immune system. Building up our immunity is based on our exposure to antigens, allowing the immune system to set up resistance.

The immune system is initially very strong and active. It needs to be constantly stimulated via the environment. When there is little or no contact with the outside world, our immune system weakens through inactivity, or in some case turns against the host body in order to stay active. This leads to the possibility of auto-immune diseases, allergies and possibly cancers as well. There has been recent speculation that autism may have some origins in the immune system.

The incidence of allergies, autism, certain cancers, auto-immune problems are significantly less in other countries, particularly among emerging and third world nations. WHY IS THAT?

We, in the U.S., have sanitized, removed ourselves from normal contact with the world around us. We live in a super cleansed world ; air conditioned and washed with “anti-bacterial soap”. Few of our children play in dirt and run in the woods.

Is there a correlation with the immune system? I think so, but its just my observation. We are turning our reliable friend unwittingly into our foe.