The immune system is a complex network of specialized cells and organs highly integrated in all body systems. Its function is to differentiate between friends and foes, therefore ignoring harmless microbes and substances while protecting the body against harmful microorganisms and cancer cells. The immune system is also involved in tissue healing and homeostasis, even in the absence of infection. In other words, it maintains or restores many of the stable physiological conditions necessary for survival. It continuously undergoes changes and adjustments throughout life, adapting to different physiological conditions dictated by age and hormonal shifts, to interactions with the environment, to stress and lifestyle transitions, to dietary habits, and to the presence of systemic and localized diseases and disorders—and it does so by interacting with ...

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