Sanitation crew of the body? (3)

Sometimes we inhale particles that excite sensitive receptors in the nose, triggering a sneeze, or in the air passages beyond the nose, provoking a cough.  The rush of air produced by a cough moves at a speed approaching 600 miles per hour, propelling debris and mucus up and out of the respiratory tract.

Microbes that enter the body by way of the mouth confront waves of saliva loaded with the enzyme, lysozyme and other microbe-killing substances.  Lysozyme, which also occurs in tears and nasal secretions, destroys bacteria by digesting their cell walls.

Microbes that avoid the protective agents in the mouth find their way to the stomach.  There, most succumb to the powerful acid secreted by the cells in the stomach lining.  Others get caught in the sticky mucus that coats stomach and intestines.  The wavelike motion know as peristalsis, which moves food through the digestive tract, pushes the mucus and microbes from the body under the direction of the innate intelligence of the body.



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