Immunity is the adaptive capacity of our organism to have an adequate response to fight an aggression from external pathogens, fight an infection or a disease with the purpose to maintain optimum health.
We are born with an immunity “capital” that is very much linked to the one of our mother, as our first exposure to external pathogens is in the womb, and colonization of the baby microbiome happens as soon as the water bag (fetal membranes) breaks, and natural delivery allows the baby to come in contact with the mother’s microbiome to seed its own.
The microbiome is the mirror of our health.
It is composed of beneficial flora -friendly microbes – but also pathogenic microorganisms, and maintaining a balance of these two flora is essential.
Pathogenic bacteria cause disease.
Commensal bacteria are friendly organisms and our first line of defence against pathogens. They are capable of triggering immune response signals to indicate there is an aggression. Maintaining their healthy function is essential.
This “Innate” immunity – or the immunity we were born with – is individual to each and everyone of us. It evolves, adapts and becomes “acquired” throughout our life according to our lifestyle (environment, stress, nutrition, medication and antigens we are exposed to), but it is also related to our age.
Symptoms of a disease are not caused by the infectious agent we are exposed to, but by the defence mechanism triggered by our immune system to fight the external aggression. It can manifest as inflammation, fever, aches and pains.
Our cells keep in memory these protective mechanisms, in order to repeat them to fight in case of future aggression.
Unfortunately, at times, this autoregulation capacity of the body to maintain optimum health, can malfunction or be weakened and our protective barriers – such as the oral, digestive, vaginal flora – entry points of possible infectious pathogens such as viruses, bacteria, fungus – are no longer effective. In other cases, an imbalance in the immune response of the body could attack our own cells and system, resulting in what we call an auto-immune response.
The use of antibiotics and other medication such as NSAID, the food we eat and our lifestyle and environment play a major role in safeguarding the integrity of our first line of defence in the intestinal flora. When the conductor of the immune system experiences a major imbalance that is called “dysbiosis”. This is how our organism becomes a prey to viral infections and diseases.