The Immune System and The Lymphatic System
The organs involved in the immune system include bone marrow, the thymus, and lymphoid tissue. The immune system are complex actions that protect the body from pathogenic organisms and foreign invaders. There are two basic types of immune responses that are involved,they are:
Anti-body mediated or Humoral response chiefly acts through B cells (a lymphocyte-a type of white blood cell) and the productions of anti-bodies. An anti-body is complex molecule that neutralizes the effect of an antigen (foreign substance). The humoral response mostly neutralizes bacteria invasion of the body.
Anti-bodies or immunoglobulin (Ig) are produced in the lymph tissue, and respond to the invasion of an antigens or foreign substances.
There are five classes of structurally distinct anti-bodies:
Abnormal conditions of body’s normal immune system that may be considered inadequate are called, immunodeficiencies. They may be acquired or congenital as in Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), Agammaglobulinemia; and Hypogammaglobulinemiza. Sometimes a normal immune system may be lowered or suppressed incidentally as a result of cancer treatment such as, chemotherapy or deliberately to prevent the rejection of transplant organs or tissues.
It is critical to assess that the immune system is of optimum function, by the intake of vitamin C, folic acid, beta carotene and minerals such as manganese, selenium and zinc. Adequate intake of protein is advisable as protein is one of the building blocks of an antibody that defends against antigen invasion.
The lymphatic system is one of the defense systems of the body. The lymphatic system is made up of a network of vessels, capillaries, ducts, nodes, and organs that help circulate the body fluids. It’s function is to filter out blood and organisms that cause disease, produces white blood cells that generates disease-fighting antibodies.
The lymphatics originate in the same villi as the small intestine. They are called Lacteal (intestinal lymph vessel). When digestion is in process in the small intestine, the lacteal are filled a milky color substance called “chyle”. The milky appearance is caused by the fatty matter being absorbed from the food. The tiny spaces between cells are known as lymph spaces. Filled with lymph this is here the lymphatic capillaries unite to form lymph vessels. The lymph vessel have valves to control lymph flow and nodes (glands) to filter it.
These vessels lead to two larger vessels: the thoracic duct and the right lymphatic duct. Both are located in the neck, the larger one being the thoracic duct. These vessels transport excess fluids and proteins that have been digested; away from the spaces between tissues and organs and returns them into the bloodstream; that will be eventually carried away by the systemic circulation. The lymphatic system also transports fats from the gastrointestinal tract to the cardiovascular system. This system provides proper drainage of excess fluids so that tissues do not swell.
Some health concerns of the lymphatic system are: lymphedema (lymphatic fluid buildup from a blocked lymph passage), lymphoma (usually malignant cancer e.g. Hodgkin’s disease or Burkitt’s lymphoma).
A healthy lymph system is closely tied to a healthy immune system. It is vital that nutrients essential for optimum performance of the lymphatic system be considered, to ensure that it is clean of debris.