Friday, May 20, 2011

Fun facts about your immune system!

Here are some fun facts about your immune system that you might not know. Immunity, like many aspects of health, is always clouded by old wives tales and myths.

On the most basic level, the immune system is a complex system of organs, tissues, cells, and cell products that neutralize potentially pathogenic organisms or substances. But enough of the textbook stuff, lets go on to the fun facts.

The simple things can make or break it - A study of 100 men conducted by researchers at the medical school of the State University of New York at Stony Brook finds that "positive events of the day seem to have a stronger helpful impact on immune function than upsetting events do a negative one." Furthermore, the study revealed "having a good time on Monday still had a positive effect on the immune system by Wednesday"; the negative immune effect from undesirable events, however, lasts only one day.

The immune system and sex - A study conducted by researchers at Wilkes University in Pennsylvania suggest that having sex can shore up supplies of IGA a protein from the immune system that plays a critical role in keeping pathogens from entering the body and helps them mount an attack in the event that they enter.

Our love for all things antibacterial – If you thought slathering on tons of antibacterial soap will help protect you, think again. The frequent hand washing can break down the natural oils on the skin that serve as the first line (or layer) of defense for the immune system. In addition, overuse of these products opens the door for strains of common viruses and bacteria that have adapted and grown stronger against our antibacterial-agenda, that can prove detrimental to our health and immunity.

Chicken soup anyone? – This old wives tale may actually have some science to it. According to this study chicken soup can help mitigate the inflammatory response associated with colds and other upper-respiratory infections. Under further examination, the researchers determined that the vegetables and chicken included in the soup each individually had inhibitory activity, although they note that the potency of the effects determined very much on how the soup was made, with commercial soups differing the most in their inhibitory activity.

Take it easy – Finally, once again, stress plays havoc to your immune system in a number of ways. In the words of the Director of Integrative Medicine at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City, "the most important thing you can do for your immune system is to achieve lifestyle balance and adopt the fundamentals of healthy living. This will give your immune system what it needs to function at optimal capacity.

Source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com

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