Why Do Human Immune Defenses Become Weaker with Age?

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Function of Your Innate Immune System

Immunity systems in the human body protect the body of diseases, illnesses, and toxins found in the environment.

Your innate immune system provides two types of protective barriers which can distinguish and protect your body from a broad range of toxins like viruses, parasites, harmful bacteria, and much more.

This same immune system knows what is natural to your body and what toxins are not good for your body.

The first barrier is known as innate immunity. This wall keeps harmful toxins from entering your body. The skin is one of the largest cell structures in the human body and is part of this first line of defense, in addition to three others.

If toxins get past these three defense walls, these toxins meet up with another line of defense, a group of cells that alert the body of impending danger.

Researchers are finding that there is a complex communication network between these security walls, and it seems that as you age this communication decreases making it impossible for the second line of defense to react with normal speed and accuracy to defend your body.

The immune system breaks down into other branches with each system protecting various vital organs such as the heart and brain providing different healing enzymes and cells.

If your body’s immune system is lacking in its job, autoimmune diseases filter in, which include inflammatory processes like lupus, cancer, HIV and AIDS, severe infections, and more?

When your autoimmune systems go array, becomes hyperactive. If this happens, your immune systems start to attack healthy tissue in the body as though these normal cells were dangerous toxins.

Some autoimmune disorders include, but certainly not limited to these few listed.

  • Lupus
  • HIV
  • AIDS
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Diabetes Type I and Type II

Adaptive Immune System

This part of the immune system is more complicated. This immune system includes the spleen, bone marrow, thymus, lymphatic system, tonsils, and circulatory systems.

These vital organs help to move healthy cells and fluids through the body to combat threats to your health. The ability to transport disease-fighting cells throughout the body seems to decrease with age.

Does Aging Decrease Your Natural Immunity?

As you age, it takes longer to recuperate from even the simplest illnesses like the common cold. It seems like it takes the immune system longer to kick in and fight off that cold.

Many researchers are trying to figure out why this decreased activity in the immune systems of older people occurs and why.

There is no doubt about the fact that as you age, every part of your body changes, including your immune system.

While a young person can fight off an inflammation process, an older person has difficulty. This challenge is seen in chronic inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, diabetes, dementia, and an increasingly fragile body as age progresses.

Older people produce fewer disease-fighting cells to combat health threats. Research finds that older people respond less to certain vaccines, which is blamed on the fewer production of specific cells that help to fight disease.

Science is trying to understand why this decline in immunity affects the older populace and find ways to boost immune systems in older people.

In Conclusion

Research has not yet been able to fully answer the question of why the immune system of seniors shows a decrease with age.

To a small degree, researchers understand what makes the immune system work more efficiently and what makes the immune system less active, especially as you age.

More research being conducted may shortly be able to answer all these questions.


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