What is the immune system?
The immune system is a huge dynamic network of cells, tissues and organs that work together to defend the body against attacks by pathogens. It is extremely complex and can recognise and remember millions of different attackers and produce cells and other compounds to kill specific identified germs.
One of the key elements of a healthy immune system is the ability to distinguish between the body’s own cells (self) and foreign cells (non-self) and to attack organisms marked as non-self.
The gastro-intestinal immune cells are known as Peyer’s patches and they protect the mucous membranes of the small intestines against infection by releasing white blood cells (T-cells and B-cells). The gut microbiota help to boost the action of these immune cells and to maintain the integrity of the gut wall.