Determining reliable markers for nutritional modulation of immune functions and inflammation

Background

Now, at the time of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s more than ever obvious that approaches to ensure that
individuals’ immune systems are well supported, should be investigated and taken. Nutrition should be at the
forefront of these approaches.

Objectives

The Task Force is supporting researchers to scientifically substantiate health effects associated with immune functions modulation. To that end, the objectives of the task force are:

  • Understand the impact of nutrition on immune functions.
  • Determine reliable markers of immuno-modulation and inflammation relevant to health and well-being.
  • Provide guidance for the design, assessment and interpretation of nutritional intervention studies related
    to immune function.

Impact

According to Calder et al. (2017) findings, specific dietary interventions seem to be a promising strategy to control the “low grade inflammation”, associated with agerelated decline of many functional systems and with increased risk of ill-health, poor well-being and mortality.
This work has been cited more than 100 times.

Experts of the activity “Immune Competence Across Lifespan” presented their findings at Food Matters, in November 2019 during a session entitled “Boosting your immune system: latest insights”.

For more detailed information, please contact Dr Simeon Bourdoux at sbourdoux@ilsieurope.be or Adam Coventry at acoventry@ilsieurope.be

Task Force Members

Expert Groups

Immune Competence Across Lifespan: Impact of Nutrition on Immune Competence and its Consequences Later in Life

Background & Objectives

The importance of a well-functioning immune system is well recognised. However, the role of critical nutrients
supporting optimal immune development in the first years of life, as well as the impact of early life nutrition on later life immune competence, are still under debate.

This activity aims:

  • to identify key pathways and markers relevant for immune competence and health across lifespan;
  • to review the interaction between nutrition and immune competence in early life;
  • to explore the impact of early life immune competence on immunity and health trajectory later in life.

Output

The overall outcomes will provide healthcare professionals with recommendations of readouts for immune
competence, and nutritional recommendations for an optimal performing immune system in early in life.
A manuscript is foreseen in Q4 2020 and will explore relevant determinants and biomarkers of IgE-mediated
food allergy in childhood.

Joint Nutrition Cluster Activity on ‘Mechanistic Insights into the Gut-Brain Axis’ – In collaboration with Early Nutrition and Long-Term Health; Health Benefits Assessment of Foods; Nutrition & Brain Health; Prebiotics and Probiotics Task Forces  New

Background & Objectives
Currently, half of the literature available on the gut-brain axis is state-of-the-art reviews or correlative studies and comprehensive mechanistic insights underlining the bidirectional communication between the gut and the brain are lacking.
In this context, several Nutrition Task Forces decided to join forces to understand where we stand today regarding the mechanisms. Together the Task Forces will:

  • focus on translational aspects from pre-clinical to clinical studies;
  • focus on lifespan-related changes (but not diseaserelated) in gut structure and function which play a role in long-term immune and brain health;
  • discuss the nutritional and lifestyle interventions with positive impact on the lifespan gut structure/function and thus on immune and brain health.

Output
A workshop held in December 2019 brought together key experts from different fields of expertise to debate and discuss on the current knowledge and data gaps.
A perspective paper on this gap analysis is under construction. This publication will be followed by a series of web-seminars to discuss the identified gaps in more details.

Expert Group Members

Immune Competence Across Lifespan: Impact of Nutrition on Immune Competence and its Consequences Later in Life

Joint Nutrition Cluster Activity on ‘Mechanistic Insights into the Gut-Brain Axis’ – In collaboration with Early-Life and Long-Term Health; Health Benefits Assessment of Foods; Nutrition & Mental Performance; Prebiotics and Probiotics Task Forces  New

Poster

Monitoring Immune Modulation by Nutrition in the General Population: Identifying and Substantiating Health Effects

Publications

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