Our body’s immune system and processes are defences against pathogens; our immune system is the structures and processes within an organism that protects against disease, basically our front line defences against infectious organisms and other unwelcome invaders that may be health compromising.
It is very important to understand that a balanced immune system attacks that which is a health risk but our immune system may become overactive and attack healthy structures including ligaments, cartilage, bone and muscle, even organs. An overactive immune system may be health compromising for joints, bone, eyes and other organs. An overactive immune system may even accelerate the aging process, this may become apparent through wrinkles, dry saggy skin and structural conditions including joint health and bone density.
We hear much about gut bacteria and our body’s immune system, it is widely accepted that humans have more bacterial cells than human cells and there is a significant amount of interaction between gut bacteria and our immune system. Our digestive processes rely on bacteria to function and a significant portion of our immune system is dependent on gut bacteria; we are host to many types of bacteria apart from our gut, our ears, eyes, nose and skin generally are all hosts to various types of bacteria, some good and some bad for our general health.
It has become widely accepted that children who grow up with 3 or more animals through their childhood are less inclined to suffer from allergic reaction type conditions eczema, psoriasis, hay fever, allergic asthma, food allergies and atopic dermatitis; this is very often due to an oversensitive immune system.
In summary exposure to that which is natural during our childhood may be how our immune system acclimatises itself for the future, rather like an inoculation for the likes of polio, mumps, measles, chickenpox and tetanus.
It is interesting to note at this point that farmers exposed to cowpox are less susceptible to the ravages of smallpox.