Determining reliable markers for nutritional modulation of immune functions and inflammation

Strategic vision

The task force is supporting researchers to scientifically substantiate health effects associated with immune functions modulation.

Background

A well-functioning immune system is essential for human health and well-being. Nutrition plays a major role in shaping and optimising immune functions.

Objectives

  • 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.

Achieved Results

  • The work of Calder et al., 2017 on the modification of low-grade inflammation (LGI) in ageing is presented at the 13th European Congress of Nutrition (FENS2019) in Dublin, IE, on 16 October 2019.
  • The conclusions of the expert group ‘Immune competence across lifespan focussing on IgE-mediated allergy’ will be presented at Food Matters Live 2019 in London, UK, in November 2019.

Scientific Impact

  • The comprehensive guidance document by Albers et al., 2013 provides a framework applied by researchers and clinicians to identify and select suitable markers, for the investigation and interpretation of immune benefits, and has over 65 citations.
  • Calder et al., 2013 recommend using multiple markers and the application of standardised methods to monitor inflammatory conditions and has reached 166 citations.
  • Calder et al., 2017 conclude that specific dietary interventions seem to be a promising strategy to control inflammageing and has currently 43 citations.

For more detailed information, please contact Dr Tobias Recker at trecker@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

While the importance of a well-functioning immune system is recognised, the 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 early in life.

Two manuscripts are foreseen, focusing on the modulation of pathways and markers reflecting the avoidance or mitigation of IgE-mediated food allergy and on additional aspects such as defense against pathogens.

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

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 and more specifically to:

  • focus on translational aspects from pre-clinical to clinical studies;
  • focus on lifespan-related changes (but not disease-related) 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 will bring together key experts from different fields of expertise to debate and discuss on the current knowledge and data gaps, followed by a live-streamed debate leading to the publication of a report/position paper. A series of webinars will then be organised 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

All Publications

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