News – “Does Eating Dirty Food Make Your Immune System Stronger?”

forbes.com – Does eating dirty food and being exposed to the elements strengthen your immune system? originally appeared on Quora: the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.

Answer by Tirumalai Kamala, Immunologist, Ph.D. Mycobacteriology, on Quora:

The question ‘Does eating dirty food and being exposed to the elements strengthen your immune system?’ exemplifies an all-too common flawed premise that strength is or should be a vaunted attribute of the immune system. For muscle function to range from strong to weak sounds reasonable. However, using the same analogy to envision immune system function as strong or weak is a mischaracterization. A strong immune response doesn’t necessarily indicate health. Consider autoimmunity and allergy, both examples of strong but inappropriate immune responses.

 With different tissues, organs and even organ systems of their own bodies the targets of damaging immune attack, the immune systems of those with autoimmune diseases are clearly not weak but instead represent misdirected strength.

Damaging immune responses in allergies offers another example of misdirected strength where their triggers in the allergic are so-called ‘allergens’ that are nevertheless perceived as largely innocuous environmental antigens by the immune systems of the non-allergic.

 Rather than strength that waxes or wanes in a monotone, appropriately discerning when to respond or not and responding effectively against appropriate targets better describes a properly functioning immune system.

I’ll tell you one thing..i’ll sure as hell never find the hell out. There is some interesting tidbits in this article though, like just because you have a strong immune system doesn’t mean you’re healthy. Some people definitely swear that isn’t the case.

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