Showing posts from December, 2009

Common Sense for the Common Cold: Keep your Immune System Strong and Kicking

By: Sonja N. Fung, ND

The immune system is a complex network in our body that works to fight off harmful substances and disease-causing microorganisms called pathogens. Our immune system includes the lymph nodes, spleen, thymus, bone marrow, and white blood cells.

There are two major parts of the immune system; innate immunity and adaptive immunity. We are born with our innate (natural) immunity. Our innate immune system is our first line of defense in our body and is programmed to recognize what is “self” and “foreign.” Anything in our body that is “foreign” triggers this part of our immune system to attack in general. Our adaptive immune system develops throughout our lifetime. It is the part of our system that creates specific “memory,” or antibodies, of all the different pathogens we encounter; such that the pathogen will be easily recognized the next time our body sees it.

When our immune system encounters a virus or bacteria, both these systems go into action to kill off and …