Immunity is the ability of human body to protect from infections and other genetically alien substances. It is the system of organs, cells and biologically active substances, the function of which is to protect body from everything genetically alien. Organs of the immune system are classified as primary (bone marrows and thymus gland, where the immune system cells are grown and differentiated) or secondary (adenoids, tonsils, lymph nodes, spleen, Peyer’s patches of the small intestine and appendix which fight alien agents).
Immune system can also be either natural or acquired.
The natural (non-specific) immunity means the self-defence mechanisms available in human body before any contact with disease agents or other alien substances. The system includes physical and chemical barriers (skin, mucus and fatty acids), immune system cells (phagocytes and other), and various biologically active substances.
The acquired (specific) immunity is the self-defence mechanisms switched on by a contact with infections or genetically alien substances and specific to the infections or the substances. Various immune system cells (T and B lymphocytes, APL) belong to the system.
Full-rate human immunity depends on good functioning of and interaction between the organs, cells and substances mentioned above. It is a complex self-regulating system. If one link fails, it might disconcert the entire system.
Immune response is an elaborate process involving many links of the immune system. When a pathogen enters human body, it has to pass the barriers of the skin, airways and digestive system. If it succeeds, infection is further attacked by neutrophils, macrophages and other cells in the way of phagocytosis. Macrophages are one of the most important cells participating in the immune response mechanism, activity of which is highly significant for development of a disease.
According to World Health Organization, frequently ill children growing in their families isolated from children groups are those, who become ill over 4 times a year. In the case of children growing in children groups, the ones frequently ill are those, who become ill over 10-11 times a year. Respiratory diseases make 80-85 % of all paediatric diseases; 90-93 % of them are respiratory infections and flu.
Morbidity numbers grow in September through December, when children begin attending kindergartens and schools; extra emotional and physical stress is also important. Children often have respiratory infection until May. Team-players have the diseases more often because of regular contact with ill persons and immature immunity. Mothers, who grow small babies, should protect their smallest ones from close relatives and kindergarten-age brothers and sisters with rhinitis and cough. The task is difficult because full protection from the ill or infection carriers is impossible. However, smart mothers interested in family health issues can help their babies. The main aids are breast milk, fresh air, conditioning and baby hygiene. Alas, small babies cannot escape from respiratory infections. Basic protective measures in the early days should be high-quality, reliable and well-tested immunomodulators (medicinal products meant to improve function of the immune system), which strengthen immunity of the little body.
There are various types of immunomodulators. The well-known and reliable ones are plant adaptogens, including Echinacea and glucan products.
Glucan is natural polysaccharide found in yeast, grain crops and seaweed. Purified glucan (especially beta-1,3-glucan) is a strong stimulator of the immune system. The immunity activation potential of beta glucan was noticed by scientists in 1940, when the simple substance protecting from wounds, infections, trauma and cancer was found in the yeast used for baking bread. The glucan adheres to macrophages, some of the most important cells of the immune system, and activates them. The activated cells become more active and attacks alien disease agents heavier thus improving function of the immune system. This is how children become ill less often and the diseases pass easier.