What is immunity?
Immunity is our body’s ability to prevent and fight pathogens. Pathogens are foreign disease-causing bacteria and viruses that people are exposed to every day. Antigens are attached to the surfaces of pathogens and stimulate an immune response in the body. In simpler terms, when there is a symptom of flu in the body, the body gets a signal to act with the help of the antigen, and the body’s immunity fights the pathogen to prevent the flu from occurring.
This fight between the body’s defense system and the pathogen is called the body’s immune response. When immunity is spoken of, there are multiple kinds. The types of immunity include innate immunity, passive immunity, and acquired/active immunity. Let’s all understand in detail what it means and what its functions are.
The different kinds of immunity
Despite having multiple kinds of immunity that are identified in the human body, there are three main types of immunity. There are three types of immunity: active immunity, passive immunity, and acquired immunity.
When speaking of active immunity, there is always the observation of dynamic exposure to an antigen, helping the body to have an adaptive immune response.
Passive immunity, on the other hand, "borrows" antibodies from another person. For better understanding, passive immunity can be immunity that is passed down to or inherited from external resources. For example, antibodies can be transferred to a baby from a mother’s breast milk, or through blood products that can be transfused from one person to another. The most common form of passive immunity is that which an infant receives from its mother.
Innate immunity is general protection that a person is born with, including physical barriers (skin, body hair), defense mechanisms (saliva, gastric acid), and general immune responses (inflammation). This type of immunity is considered non-specific. Although the immune system does not know exactly what kind of antigen is invading the body, it responds quickly to defend against any pathogen.
Acquired (adaptive) immunity is a type of immunity that develops from immunological memory. The body is exposed to a specific antigen (which is attached to a pathogen) and develops antibodies to that specific antigen. The next time the said antigen invades, the body has a memory of the specific antigen and already has antibodies to fight it off. Acquired immunity can occur from exposure to an infection, wherein a person gets a disease and develops immunity as a result. Acquired immunity also occurs from vaccination, wherein the vaccine mimics a particular disease, causing an immune response in the vaccinated individual without getting them ill.
Immunity in children.
For an infant, Immunity is initially acquired by the placenta. Thus, when the child is in the mother’s womb, it is often seen that the mother and the baby share the same kind of immunity, shared via the placenta. This immunity inherited by the baby will be passive immunity as it is passed down from the mother. It is also found that their immunity levels tend to decrease for the initial few weeks or even months. Breast milk is vital for the newborn to ensure the baby's healthy growth. It is the food naturally designed to best meet the needs of human babies. It has all the necessary nutrients, in just the right amounts, and is easy to digest. Beyond the nutritional benefits, here's a great bonus: breast milk also helps build and support your baby's immune system.
Breast milk protects babies from the initial stages of sickness or infections they might have. This is possible only due to the high amounts of colostrum ( the yellowish thick breast milk), which is filled with antibodies, mothers acquire while nursing. Breast milk can literally give babies an advantage when it comes to preventing and fighting infections.
Another way in which babies are kept immune to diseases is by vaccination, which a pediatrician starts at 2 months of age. The first vaccinations include whooping cough and Hib (Haemophilus influenza type b), as immunity to these conditions decreases the fastest. Passive immunity for measles, mumps, and rubella can last for up to a year, which is why the MMR vaccine is given just after your baby's first birthday (although there may be some circumstances in which earlier MMR vaccination is recommended).
These factors need to be taken into account and followed as per your doctor's advice. If these factors are not factored in, it might lead to premature immunodeficiency disorders. This weakens the immune system, allowing infections and other health problems to occur more easily. Some of the disorders that might occur are
- Frequent and recurrent pneumonia, bronchitis, sinus infections, ear infections, meningitis, or skin infections.
- Inflammation and infection.
- Digestive problems include cramping, loss of appetite, nausea, and diarrhea.
- Delayed growth and development
While most disorders can be passed down with genes, there are more than 300 types of primary immunodeficiency disorders, and researchers continue to identify more. You should consult your doctor for appropriate treatments, medications, and diet changes if the child is not responding to the current prescription. Taking appropriate preventive measures to reduce the effects of infection or flu is also advised.
Immune System In Adults
As you gracefully age, the defense mechanisms in your body deplete and you are much more prone to diseases. You may also notice that you are unable to run as fast as you could in your earlier stages of life. But what is happening to your immunity? There is still constant research being done to understand what happens when a man ages and what the response of the immunity system is to aging.
Diet and lifestyle also play a bigger role in keeping you healthy and away from illness. Since the body is not able to absorb as many nutrients, supplements can be handy in helping the body have the required nutrients and can help with easier and faster recovery from nutritional deficiencies. These supplements help with vital nutrients like vitamin B12, vitamin C, D, and E, to name a few. These supplements, though a form of acquired immunity, can help you keep a check on your levels of nutrition, leading you to a healthier lifestyle.
Supplements can be safely taken by kids and adults in various dosages for their requirements. There is information available regarding supplements, dosage, and uses. But we, at thecobeing.com, make sure your nutrient deficiencies are addressed and have supplements designed for all age groups. We look at holistically helping you stay away from deficiencies, ailments, and giving you overall wellness. Our products like Elderberry Gummyhugs, Apple Potion, and Berry Merry are enriched with natural ingredients like ACV, ginger, vitamin C, and zinc that not only keep the immune system in check but also help manage other health issues like weight management, improvement of metabolism, and detoxification while replenishing your gut with good bacteria. Do you want to get your immunity boosted? Check out our one-stop shop right here.