The immune system protects the body against infection. It works to identify and destroy the millions of microbes (i.e. bacteria, viruses, parasites, fungi) that penetrate our bodies every day. Enhancement of the immune system is perhaps the most important step in achieving resistance to disease and reducing susceptibility to cough, colds, flu etc.
If the immune system hits the wrong target, however, it can unleash a torrent of disorders, including allergic diseases, arthritis, and a form of diabetes. If the immune system is crippled, other kinds of diseases result.
The immune system is amazingly complex. It can recognize and remember millions of different enemies, and it can produce secretions (release of fluids) and cells to match up with and wipe out nearly all of them. Immunity refers to the ability of the immune system, the body’s biological structures, processes and organs that are specially developed for fighting off infections and hence preventing illnesses.
Powered by an elaborate and dynamic communications network, millions of cells, organized into sets and subsets, gather like clouds of bees swarming around a hive and pass information back and forth in response to an infection. Once the alarm is on, they become activated and begin to produce powerful chemicals. These substances allow the cells to regulate their own growth and behavior, enlist other immune cells, and direct the new recruits to trouble spots.