Nutrition and Immunity in Man, 2nd Edition

ILSI Europe Concise Monograph Series. 2011:1-30

Optimal immune function requires a delicate balance between destruction of invading pathogens and avoidance of self-destruction. To maintain this balance, the immune system is very sensitive to deficiencies in nutrients, explaining the long-known association of undernutrition with impaired immune function and increased susceptibility to infection. More recently, it has become evident that immune function is also sensitive to microorganisms and food constituents that interact with specific receptors and cells of the immune system and thereby modulate its functions. It is therefore timely to update the previous ILSI Europe Concise Monograph “Nutrition and Immunity in Man” that was published in 1999. The present monograph provides an updated overview of immune function, includes newly discovered elements such as Treg and Th17 cells, summarises the effects of specific dietary components on immune function, and highlights the resulting impact on health.

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