The immune system
is a system by which an organism protects against and fights against disease
by identifying and killing harmful agents. The task here is made more complex by the need
to differentiate harmful agents from the organisms own healthy cells and
The immune system protects organisms from infection with a series of layered defenses.
The first simple defense is to prevent the harmful agents from
entering the body via physical barriers between the inside and the outside
world. The most obvious barrier is the
skin. However a far more important route
for infection to enter the body is through food and drink. The gastrointestinal tract has 150 times the
surface area of the skin and comes into contact with far more molecules and
organisms so is the most important barrier protecting us from harmful
If a pathogen does breach this first line of defense then there
are systems to attack the intruder.
B Cells – These produce molecules called antibodies that attach to the surface of the infectious agent. These antibodies either kill the invader or make it prone to attack by other white blood cells
T Cells - There are a number of different types of T-cells that act in different ways Cytotoxic T cells – directly attacks the problem; Helper T cells which trigger the production of antibodies by B cells, and Suppressor T cells which suppress the response of B cells and other T cells – turning off the attack
Phagocytic cells – these clean up after the battle removing the debris
Show can diet help support the immune system.
Foods high in phosphatidylcholine can help. Phosphatidylcholine is a key element of the mucosa that lines the intestinal tract providing the first line of defense – the barrier against the outside world. Beef and Fish are particularly rich in phosphatidylcholine.
It’s important to get enough Vitamin B1 (Thiamin) and B2 Riboflavin as deficiency of these inhibits the function of the Phagocytic and T cells. These B vitamins are found in Brewer's yeast, wheat germ, oatmeal, whole wheat, bran, whole brown rice, black strap molasses, soybeans.
Vitamin A is important for the functioning of T cells and antibodies. Vitamin A can be found in red fish, such as salmon, and meat such as liver.
Omega 3 – An overactive immune system is every bit as harmful as an underactive one as the immune system attacks healthy tissues. Inflammation is one of the body’s responses to infection and Omega 3 helps by reducing this harmful inflammation – The powerful anti inflammatory properties of Omega 3 help reduce this unwanted inflammation.