Immunity is the ability to fight-off or prevent infections and disease. It is like a super power each one of us possesses but its degree of effectiveness depends on how well we have equipped and trained it to fulfill its purpose.
Sounds like a combat system, right?! Indeed it is
– Dr. Pooja, Senior Nutritionist @eKincare.com
Every day our immune system is under attack by several toxins from the environment and also within the body. These toxins can be in the form of allergens, dust, particulate matter, pollens, free radicals, etc. Often the body reacts by developing a defense mechanism manifested in the form of an allergic reaction, fever, cough, etc.
There are three types of Immunity :
Everyone is born with innate (or natural) immunity, a type of general protection. Many of the germs that affect other species don’t harm us. For example, the viruses that cause leukemia in cats don’t affect humans and vice-versa.
Innate immunity also includes the external barriers of the body, like the skin and mucous membranes (like those that line the nose, throat, and gastrointestinal tract), which are the first line of defense in preventing diseases from entering the body. If this outer defensive wall is broken (as through a cut), the skin attempts to heal the break quickly and special immune cells on the skin attack invading germs.
The second kind of protection is adaptive (or active) immunity, which develops throughout our lives. Adaptive immunity develops as people are exposed to diseases or immunized against diseases through vaccination.
Passive immunity is “borrowed” from another source and it lasts for a short time. For example, antibodies in a mother’s breast milk provide a baby with temporary immunity to diseases the mother has been exposed to. This can help protect the baby against infection during the early years of childhood.
Now that we have understood the basics, in our next blog we will explore ways to boost immunity.
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Dr Pooja Chhawcharia is the Senior Nutritionist at eKincare with over 7 years of experience in Nutrition education, diet counseling and research. She is a Registered Dietician with the Indian Dietetic Association and Certified Diabetes Educator recognized by the International Diabetes federation . She is also interested in ancillary sciences such as Yoga and Naturopathy.