ATLANTA (CBS Atlanta) - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta states that the human immune system, also referred to as the Lymphatic system, is the body’s first line of defense against infections and disease.
“It’s made up of the tissues and organs that produce, store, and carry white blood cells that fight infections and other diseases,” researchers wrote on the CDC official website. “This system includes the bone marrow, spleen, tonsils, thymus, lymph nodes, and lymphatic vessels.”
A new study indicates that the immune systems of women may actually help them live longer than men do, United Press International is reporting.
Researchers at the Tokyo Medical & Dental University Open Laboratory looked at the disparity between the sexes by examining volunteers who were in good health. The pool of study participants ranged in age from 20 to 90.
“The process of aging is different for men and women for many reasons. Women have more estrogen than men which seems to protect them from cardiovascular disease until menopause,” researcher Katsuiku Hirokawa said in a statement obtained by UPI.
With age, both women and men experienced a decrease in white blood cell count for the most part, researchers found. However, when it came to one type of blood cell called a lymphocyte, women were reportedly found to have more as time went on, while men experienced the same decrease as previously seen with other types of white blood cells.
This led researchers to believe that a woman’s immune system essentially stays younger longer, helping them lead longer lives in turn.
Hirokawa noted, “Sex hormones also affect the immune system, especially certain types of lymphocytes. Because people age at different rates a person’s immunological parameters could be used to provide an indication of their true biological age.”
The study was published in the journal Immunity & Ageing, UPI learned.