What Is Your Immune System And How Does It Work?

It’s an unfortunate fact of life that some people seem to pick up every bug, cough and cold going while others breeze through the weeks without even a sniffle. There are many different reasons for this happening, but the way your body responds when you come into contact with a germ of bacteria can make a huge amount of difference to how sick you get.


The immune system is immensely complex, and is made up of cells, tissues and organs which all work to identify threats to the body and fight them off. The immune system has a memory, so the body can recognise germs and viruses which it has come into contact with before and can attack them more easily. Humans are not the only creatures to have an immune system, as it is something common to all animals and especially mammals. For example, horse owners will give their pets equine immune system supplements to help them fight off diseases which affect only horses. Without an immune system we would be susceptible to every tiny germ and virus and something as simple as the common cold could kill us.

Boosting Your Immunity

There are many steps we can take to ensure that our immune system is doing a great job of protecting us. Just as there are equine immune system supplements to help horses, there are similar products for humans which are commonly sold through health food shops. These specialist products may work well, but it is probably just as effective and easy to eat a healthy, balanced diet which will keep your immune system at its prime. Some of the best things to eat to boost immunity are sweet potatoes, oranges, nuts, seeds and green leafy vegetables.

Reducing Stress and Drinking

Many of us find we are far more likely to pick up a cold while we are stressed about work or moving house and there is a concrete scientific link between stress and the effectiveness of your immunity. Taking steps to reduce stress levels in your everyday life will not only help you relax, it may well keep you a lot healthier too. Although alcohol is commonly thought of as an aid to relaxation, more than a couple of glasses of alcohol per day have also been shown to have an adverse effect on the immune system. There is nothing wrong with having a glass of wine with your meal to unwind, but limit it to no more than one.


There are many benefits to exercise, and most people who go to the gym do so to get fit and healthy, not to boost their immune system. However, keeping active does help you to fight off germs and viruses when you come into contact with them. Going to the gym, swimming or an aerobics class is the perfect way to keep active, but something as simple as walking to the shops rather than taking the car or bus can have the same effect.

  • Image courtesy of Jeanne Kelly

The Equine Warehouse offer equine immune system supplements to help your horse’s immune system cope with the stresses and strains of life.