Your Immune System – What is it and How Does it Work?

Very simply, your immune system is your front line of defense against all invaders to keep you healthy. “Invaders” include pathogens, bacteria, fungi, parasites, and viruses. Collectively, these make up a group of antigens. The response to these is invaders is called the antigen response. The word comes from the generation of antibodies to fight them off.

This sophisticated system is made up of proteins, cells, organs, and tissues. These all interact in a very sophisticated network of partnership towards one goal – keeping you healthy.


To make it simpler, we will refer to all invaders as “the bad guys.” The cells and tissues that are normal and healthy, part of your “self”, are “the good guys.” At any given time, we have lots of these foreign invaders in our body. And we are constantly taking new “bad guys” in through our food, air and water. This defensive system has a tall order to fill, and a healthy immune system never takes a break.

To function properly, it must be able to decide whether or not what enters the body is a good guy or a bad guy. In a properly functioning immune system, the friends and foes are identified correctly. To make matters more complicated, pathogens or “bad guys” can adapt and change quickly, fooling or tricking this system into accepting them, and then you can become sick. So it’s war between the good guys and the bad guys!

When a pathogen enters the bloodstream, there is an immune response. The large white blood cells engulf the pathogens and eat them up. The smaller lymphocytes have to be a little more clever – they have to adapt a specific defense to them. The B Cells identify pathogens as bad guys, then the Killer-T cells kill them. Helper-T cells help out, and when the carnage is over, suppressor T-Cells turn off the immune response.

When it comes to immunity, there is a delicate balance to be maintained. If the immune system is too weak, referred to as Immunodeficiency, or too strong, as in auto-immune disorders, problems can result. Immunodeficiency occurs when a person’s immune system is not strong enough to fight off infection. One of the best known examples of immunodeficiency is HIV.

By contrast, an overactive system is referred to as an auto immune disorder or autoimmunity. Here, the normal cells and tissues are identified as enemies, and then the killers (T-cells) and eaters ( White Blood Cells) go in and destroy this healthy tissue. Some examples of autoimmune disorders are Rheumatoid Arthritis, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Lou Gehrig’s Disease, and Lupus.

The immune system you are born with is called your innate immune system. The things that we do to increase our resistance to disease, is part of what is called our adaptive immune system. An example of adaptive immunity is receiving a vaccination, so that your body builds up a defense or antibodies to the vaccine. As a result, if and when you are exposed to the virus that was in the vaccine, your immune system will fight it off and you won’t get sick. In this way your immune system has memory.

The study of all aspects of this and how it relates to human health is called immunology. This is an ever growing field, and with complexities that are continually uncovered each day, we learn more about how we can protect ourselves and our health through better understanding of our immune system, both innate and adaptive.

Genes play their part, and we can do the rest. This is our front line of defense against all foreign invaders, so we can certainly strengthen our army of good guys to keep out the bad guys.

In order to do this, it is important to exercise regularly, eat well, get regular rest, maintain a healthy body weight, and supplement with what is missing. It is also important to avoid ingesting toxins wherever possible, and where it is not possible, to eliminate them as soon as they are ingested. And it goes without saying that smoking, alcohol abuse, and inappropriate drug use will do harm to this complex system as well.

Often, when our immunity is down and we get sick, we go to the doctor. At this point the approach is reactive. We are finding more and better ways now to be pro-active, and to prevent this in the first place by stopping the invaders in their tracks. This is done by building a very strong defense – a healthy immune system.

Glutathione has been shown to optimize the adaptive immune system, and so it is very important to boost glutathione levels in order to stay healthy and ward off illness. Glutathione is a balancer, so if you are immuno-deficient, you will get stronger. If you have an autoimmune disorder, glutathione will re-balance it.

It “knows” what to do, and gets busy doing it.

Our immune system is very complex, and requires very precise interaction and raw materials to do its’ job well. We can do our part to keep ours strong by eating well, resting, exercising, and optimizing it by raising our glutathione levels.


So keep your immune system strong by preventing disease before it strikes. You will be happy and healthy as a result!


Copyright 2009-2016 Immune Health Solutions: You may freely republish this article, provided the text, author credit, the active links and this copyright notice remain intact.

Laura McCallum is the owner of Immune Health Solutions and enjoys writing helpful information about the immune system and glutathione. She regularly consults with medical professionals and published research, and believes in giving her readers the information they need to optimize their immune system and wellbeing.

Visit Immune Health Solutions [] for more information about how glutathione can optimize your health today!


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