Health Glossary - For Everyone

Thymus gland
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What is the thymus gland?

The thymus gland acts as both an endocrine tissue and as part of the lympatic system (and the immune system).

The thymus gland is located in the upper chest area just behind the sternum (breast bone), above the heart, so it is well protected.

The thymus functions as a endocrine tissue and secretes the following hormone:

In addition to this, the thymus also functions as lymphatic tissue and has the following action:

The thymus is quite large in new-born babies, as it provides a lot of their immunity, but decreases in size as people age. By the time most people are in their 40's and 50's, the thymus is quite reduced in size and may not even function much.


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Important thymus gland facts

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Why the thymus gland is important

The thymus gland is essential for a proper functioning immune system, both in babies and children, as well as in adults as it is in the thymus gland that the T cells, the important cells of the immune system are matured to fully functional ability.

Research suggests that antioxidants may play a part in stimulating the thymus gland well into old age, to keep on maturing the T cells and ensure immunity works well against foreign pathogens.


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Last reviewed: 30 September 2007 || Last updated: 14 March 2010


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More information

To learn more, go to the the following web sites:


NOTE: Mega doses of any type of vitamin, mineral, amino acid or herbal supplement cannot cure illnesses and in fact can be very dangerous and produce toxic side effects and interfere with medicine you are taking. Always ensure you consult your doctor before taking any type of complementary supplements.
Disclaimer: This guide is not intended to be used for diagnostic or prescriptive purposes. For any treatment or diagnosis of illness, please see your doctor.


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