What Is the Importance of the Immune System?

Helen Akers

The importance of the immune system primarily lies in its ability to help rid the body of harmful viruses and prevent the multiplication of abnormal cells. One of the common responses from the immune system is to use white blood cells to gradually destroy bacteria and viruses. Since the immune system is responsible for protecting the body from diseases and viral infections, a person with compromised immunity may be more likely to develop illnesses. Another vital function of the immune response is its ability to flush toxins from a person's body.

The immune system detects and destroys harmful substances in the body.
The immune system detects and destroys harmful substances in the body.

Various types of cells help identify and destroy cellular material that is determined to be intrusive. The importance of the immune system in quickly detecting harmful bacteria and viruses is well known. T-cells and other types of immune response cells can be activated to get rid of bacteria and viruses before they develop into full-blown diseases. This can prevent an individual from suffering from serious consequences, such as organ damage or failure.

A syringe used to administer vaccines, which increase immunity.
A syringe used to administer vaccines, which increase immunity.

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Some diseases and harmful growths, such as cysts, can originate from abnormal cell growth. A secondary function that demonstrates the importance of the immune system is to intervene in the early development of these types of cells. In some cases, a proper immune response can effectively destroy small amounts of these cells as they start to become cohesive. A person's immune system often develops antibodies in order to build up immunity to diseases, viruses, and bacteria.

Doctors will usually explain the importance of the immune system as an initial defense mechanism against a variety of medical conditions. Preventative care and the development of a strong immune system can be more valuable than medications to a person's long-term health outlook. In addition to keeping the body functioning at optimal levels, adequate nutrition, physical exercise, and rest can support the natural functions of the immune system. When the immune system is weakened by high levels of stress and inadequate nutrition, a person may experience a higher amount of viral infections.

The importance of the immune system extends beyond its ability to destroy viral infections, bacteria, and abnormal cell growths. One of its functions is to help the body's lymph nodes eliminate toxic fluids and unnecessary cellular materials. If these types of fluids build up in a person's system, it can lead to fatigue, unexplained illnesses, and disease. A strong immune system also helps eliminate toxins from bodily fluids, such as blood, that support the function of numerous organs.

A diagram showing different types of white blood cells, an important part of the immune system.
A diagram showing different types of white blood cells, an important part of the immune system.

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