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Immunity.The benefits and harm of immunostimulants and immunomodulators

Image 2554 Immunity means the ability of an organism to be freed from genetically alien agents.The protective system of higher animals and humans includes a huge number of various protein compounds, cells, tissues and organs, the dynamic and close interaction of which ensures the strength of immunity.

The immune system ensures the constancy of the internal environment of the body at the molecular and cellular level.

Contents Immunity types Immunological disorders Immunization normalization methods Immunostimulants and immunomodulators

Immunity types

The following immunity types are recognized: :

  • nonspecific( congenital);
  • purchased( adaptive).

In turn, adaptive immunity can be passive and active.

Thanks to innate immunity, objects that have common( nonspecific) foreign body signs are rendered harmless.

Specific immunity recognizes individual antigens.It is characterized by involvement in the process of neutralizing the object of lymphoid cells and the formation of the so-called.Immunological memory.With some failures, an aggressive reaction of the immune system to the body's own cells is possible, resulting in the development of autoimmune diseases.

An active response form is formed after exposure to antigens of infectious agents when the vaccine is administered or after a once-suffered disease.Passive immunity is due to the preparation of ready antibodies to the pathogen( with the introduction of serum or mother-to-child transmission during fetal development or with breast milk).

Innate immunity is characterized by an immediate active response to the invasion of the pathogen, and with the acquired form between the contact with the infectious agent and the response, there is a latent( latent) period.

Note: is normally the immune system capable of recognizing and blocking tumor cells, viruses, pathogenic bacteria and even destroying parasitic organisms( helminths).

Antigens are foreign biomolecules that evoke a response.

Antibodies are substances that are synthesized by the immune system in response to contact with the antigen.


Due to the unique mechanism of formation of immunological memory, a stable immunity is formed, which prevents the development of the disease when the body contacts the infectious agent again.This mechanism is the basis of such a preventive measure for infectious diseases, such as vaccination( vaccination).When vaccinated, a person gets a weakened pathogen, and in response to his intrusion, which independently produces antibodies.


Serums containing ready-made antibodies are administered for medicinal purposes to kill an already infected infection.

The organs of the immune system are divided into central and peripheral.

The central organs include:

  • thymus gland( thymus);
  • red bone marrow.

The peripheral organs providing protection are:

  • lymph nodes;
  • is a locally associated lymphoid tissue;
  • spleen.

The immune response is triggered and developed by immunocompetent cells, which include lymphocytes and macrophages.

The following populations of lymphocytes are distinguished:

  • T-lymphocytes( killers and helpers);
  • B-lymphocytes;
  • neutrophils;
  • eosinophils;
  • basophils;
  • natural killer cells;
  • monocytes.

Natural killers have the ability to produce protein compounds that are toxic to foreign cells, and to recognize and destroy cells infected by viruses.

Neutrophils can move independently to antigens due to motor reaction to certain chemical compounds of infectious agents.In the granules of these cells there is a large number of proteins with antibacterial action.

Eosinophils can absorb and destroy bacteria and show pronounced activity against helminth parasites.

Basophils( in particular - tissue mast cells) stimulate vascular and muscle responses and interact with immunoglobulin E.

Monocytes migrating from the bloodstream into tissues are transformed into macrophages that in turn absorb and destroy other cells or "represent"Their killer cells.In addition, they support a protective inflammatory process, provide a restorative function and are involved in the regulation of blood clotting.

Note : in individual human organs, the immune response does not develop when other antigens appear.Such "immune privileges" are characteristic for the eyes, brain, seminal glands and placenta.

Grinded vinegar5 The greatest number of immunocompetent cells develops in the bone marrow.The exception is T-lymphocytes, differentiating in the thymus gland.Ripe protective cells are concentrated in the lymph nodes, as well as in those areas of the body that come into contact with the environment( skin and mucous membranes).

Important : one of the mechanisms of nonspecific protection is hyperthermia, i.e., a rise in body temperature in response to the introduction of a viral or bacterial infectious agent.The effectiveness of the mechanism is due to the fact that for a large number of pathogens a harmful temperature exceeding the normal for the human body indicators.

Immunological disorders

If there are violations of normal immunological tolerance to their own cells, they begin to be perceived as alien, resulting in the development of autoimmune diseases.

In case of damage to the proliferation of one or more links of the immune response, develops the immunodeficiency status of .In this case, the body loses adequate reactivity and is not able to resist the introduction of infection.A vivid example is AIDS.The virus of immunodeficiency affects the population of lymphocytes( T4-helper cells), as a result of which the body remains practically defenseless.

Under hypersensitivity( delayed or immediate type) is understood an inadequate and too pronounced immune response.A vivid example of immediate type hypersensitivity is allergy.

Methods for the normalization of immunity

Photo_1054 The following exposure methods are used to strengthen and stabilize immunity:

  • immunorehabilitation;
  • immunostimulation;
  • immunocorrection.

Under immunorehabilitation, is understood as a set of measures aimed at restoring normal qualitative and quantitative indices of immunity.

Immunostimulation is required to improve and speed up the response of the body.

Immunocorrection is used for preventive purposes, in particular - for general strengthening of the body during seasonal outbreaks of colds or in the postoperative period.

Important: for autoimmune diseases and after organ transplantation, artificial suppression of the normal response is performed - immunosuppression.

Immunostimulants and immunomodulators

Currently, there is an excessive passion for various immunostimulants and immunomodulators.These terms are almost synonymous, but there are a number of important differences.

20060614072838_247 Immunostimulants are called compounds that are able to strengthen immunity regardless of the state of the body.As a rule, they are of a natural nature and are used to prevent the development of diseases.One of the most famous immunostimulants is honey.

Exogenous, endogenous and chemical immunomodulators serve to regulate protective forces.They are necessary not only to bring immunity back to normal, but also used in the treatment of viral diseases and their complications( secondary bacterial infections).Most of the currently used drugs in this category are synthetic.

Note: seasonal outbreaks of diseases( ARI) are not caused by a decrease in immunity at once in a huge number of people.It makes no sense to try to strengthen protection by taking synthetic drugs.It is advisable to spend more time in the fresh air, normalize the work and rest regime( in particular, just get enough sleep) and consume foods containing a large number of vitamins - then the immunity will regulate independently.


Each of the immunomodulators serves to enhance the protection at a certain level, that is, none of the drugs is universal.Thus, before you start taking a drug, you need to clearly imagine what part of the body is currently the most vulnerable to infectious agents.

It is recommended to vaccinate during flu outbreaks.The effectiveness of vaccination is unquestionable, but the drug that forms an adequate response against one strain of the pathogen is usually ineffective against its "close relative", i.e., another kind of virus.

Artificial immunostimulants and immunomodulators in spite of the established opinion are by no means devoid of side effects of .Important: abuse( long-term use) synthetically with drugs is able to weaken its own immunity, because the body partially loses the ability to independently produce the necessary antigens.Instead, he seems to begin to rely on receiving a regular dose of an exogenous( external) stimulant.Thus, a peculiar drug dependence can be formed.Uncontrolled use of immunomodulators can adversely affect the development of an inflammatory response, which is one of the most important mechanisms of protection.The consequence of weakening the response may be the active reproduction of pathogenic( in particular - fungal) microflora, which in norm is not dangerous.

An independent increase in the prescribed dosages often leads to the hyperreactivity of the body, in which after the destruction of infectious agents the immune system begins to perceive and some other substances as dangerous foreign ones.As a consequence, food and( or) medicinal allergy develops.It is especially dangerous when one's own cells begin to be perceived as strangers.In such cases, skin integument, heart muscle, bone tissue and other organs and systems can be affected. Important : there is a possibility of a fatal complication - an infectious-toxic shock.

The number of immunomodulators include suppressor drugs, whose action is aimed at reducing the reactivity of the body.They are necessary for the hyperactivity of the immune system, which in some cases is no less dangerous to humans than the weakening of protective forces.Drugs of this category can be used exclusively for the purpose of an immunologist.


There is an opinion that only synthetic immunostimulants are dangerous, and phytopreparations( biologically active substances obtained from medicinal plants) are completely harmless.This is fundamentally wrong!Many components of plants can provoke a hypersensitivity reaction( allergy), which is fraught with serious complications.Nevertheless, if there is no allergy, natural remedies such as ginseng extract, broth of wild rose, onion, garlic, as well as beekeeping products - honey and propolis, can be used and needed!

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