Observations placeholder

Tears, sweat and saliva and the fight against antigens

Identifier

010332

Type of Spiritual Experience

Background

This is an extract from a medical text book, but I thought it summarised extremely well what the role of all our bodily secretions are in fighting bacteria, fungi, toxins etc.

I have only put in chilli peppers because they make you sweat.

A description of the experience

Antibody and Antigen from the World of Microbiology and Immunology | 2003

Antibodies, or Y-shaped immunoglobulins , are proteins found in the blood that help to fight against foreign substances called antigens. Antigens, which are usually proteins or polysaccharides, stimulate the immune system to produce antibodies. The antibodies inactivate the antigen and help to remove it from the body. While antigens can be the source of infections from pathogenic bacteria and viruses , organic molecules detrimental to the body from internal or environmental sources also act as antigens…..

Specific genes for antibodies direct the construction of antigen specific regions of the antibody molecule. Such antigen-specific regions are located at the extremes of the Y-shaped immunglobulin-molecule.

Once the immune system has created an antibody for an antigen whose attack it has survived, it continues to produce antibodies for subsequent attacks from that antigen. This long-term memory of the immune system provides the basis for the practice of vaccination against disease. The immune system, with its production of antibodies, has the ability to recognize, remember, and destroy well over a million different antigens.

There are several types of simple proteins known as globulins in the blood: alpha, beta, and gamma. Antibodies are gamma globulins produced by B lymphocytes when antigens enter the body. The gamma globulins are referred to as immunoglobulins. In medical literature they appear in the abbreviated form as Ig. Each antigen stimulates the production of a specific antibody (Ig).

Antibodies are all in a Y-shape with differences in the upper branch of the Y. These structural differences of amino acids in each of the antibodies enable the individual antibody to recognize an antigen. An antigen has on its surface a combining site that the antibody recognizes from the combining sites on the arms of its Y-shaped structure. In response to the antigen that has called it forth, the antibody wraps its two combining sites like a "lock" around the "key" of the antigen combining sites to destroy it.

An antibody's mode of action varies with different types of antigens. With its two-armed Y-shaped structure, the antibody can attack two antigens at the same time with each arm. If the antigen is a toxin produced by pathogenic bacteria that cause an infection like diphtheria or tetanus , the binding process of the antibody will nullify the antigen's toxin. When an antibody surrounds a virus, such as one that causes influenza , it prevents it from entering other body cells. Another mode of action by the antibodies is to call forth the assistance of a group of immune agents that operate in what is known as the plasma complement system. First, the antibodies will coat infectious bacteria and then white blood cells will complete the job by engulfing the bacteria, destroying them, and then removing them from the body.

There are five different antibody types, each one having a different Y-shaped configuration and function. They are the Ig G, A, M, D, and E antibodies.

IgG is the most common type of antibody. It is the chief Ig against microbes. It acts by coating the microbe to hasten its removal by other immune system cells. It gives lifetime or long-standing immunity against infectious diseases. It is highly mobile, passing out of the blood stream and between cells, going from organs to the skin where it neutralizes surface bacteria and other invading microorganisms . This mobility allows the antibody to pass through the placenta of the mother to her fetus, thus conferring a temporary defense to the unborn child.

After birth, IgG is passed along to the child through the mother's milk, assuming that she nurses the baby. But some of the Ig will still be retained in the baby from the placental transmission until it has time to develop its own antibodies. Placental transfer of antibodies does not occur in horses, pigs, cows, and sheep. They pass their antibodies to their offspring only through their milk.

This antibody is found in body fluids such as tears, saliva, sweat and other bodily secretions. It is an antibody that provides a first line of defense against invading pathogens and allergens, and is the body's major defense against viruses.

It is found in large quantities in the bloodstream and protects other wet surfaces of the body. While they have basic similarities, each IgA is further differentiated to deal with the specific types of invaders that are present at different openings of the body.

Since this is the largest of the antibodies, it is effective against larger microorganisms. Because of its large size (it combines five Y-shaped units), it remains in the bloodstream where it provides an early and diffuse protection against invading antigens, while the more specific and effective IgG antibodies are being produced by the plasma cells.

The ratio of IgM and IgG cells can indicate the various stages of a disease. In an early stage of a disease there are more IgM antibodies. The presence of a greater number of IgG antibodies would indicate a later stage of the disease. IgM antibodies usually form clusters that are in the shape of a star.

This antibody appears to act in conjunction with B and T-cells to help them in location of antigens. Research continues on establishing more precise functions of this antibody.

The source of the experience

Healer other

Concepts, symbols and science items

Concepts

Symbols

Science Items

Activities and commonsteps

Commonsteps

Crying
Sauna

References