Quickly, can you identify where your thymus gland is?
If you gestured towards the center of your upper chest, you’re on the mark! Nestled behind the upper segment of your sternum, the thymus gland is sandwiched between the lung apexes and positioned in front of the heart. In its early stages, particularly in newborns, the thymus can measure up to 2.5 inches and weigh about an ounce. However, it begins to diminish in size from the first year of life onwards.
If you weren’t sure or pointed elsewhere, don’t fret. Many are unfamiliar with the thymus and its precise location. It’s easy to overlook, especially since in numerous adults, it’s a minuscule gland largely replaced by adipose tissue over time. But it hasn’t always been so inconspicuous.
How does the thymus bolster our immunity?
In the stages of fetal growth, infancy, and early youth, the thymus plays a pivotal role for the burgeoning immune system. During this period, the gland produces a distinct kind of immune cells termed T-cells, named after the thymus itself.
T-cells are vital for robust immune responses, targeting and eliminating cells compromised by pathogens or even targeting cancerous cells. Furthermore, they play a part in modulating other immune system components.
Members Only Content
To continue reading please subscribe to WellnessPlus by Dr. Jess MD
Be your own best doctor with our comprehensive suite of online health coaching tools.