Special Issue "Application of Immunonutrient in Human Health and Disease"

A special issue of Nutrients (ISSN 2072-6643). This special issue belongs to the section "Nutritional Immunology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 November 2019).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Ascensión Marcos
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Immunonutrition Group, Department of Metabolism and Nutrition, Institute of Food Science, Technology and Nutrition (ICTAN), Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), C/Jose Antonio Novais, 28040 Madrid, Spain
Interests: immunonutrients; bioactive compounds; probiotics; microbiota–nutrition axis and lifestyle; health; disease; humans
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The study of Immunonutrition, which focuses on the interactions between nutrition and immunity, has significantly intensified during the last decades. This is a relevant field that has raised the interest of many health professionals. Indeed, there is a relevant number of papers showing different effects of diverse nutrients and bioactive compounds on immunological biomarkers.

This Special Issue deals with several examples of nutrients and food ingredients that have shown benefits for human health. Nowadays, there is a big concern about non-communicable diseases, mainly in industrialized countries. On the basis of the extremely high global burden of obesity around the world, the incidence of illnesses in humans might dramatically change with respect to the 2000s, from around 900 million overweight people and 400 million obese people, to an estimation of more than twice these figures for the next decade. This outcome means that a great number of subjects will be more prone to suffer from different health problems related to organs that are essential for life. Thus, it is necessary to promote research, innovation, and development in this area, acquiring more knowledge to improve human health.

Prof. Dr. Ascensión Marcos
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Nutrients is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • nutrients
  • bioactive compounds
  • probiotics
  • health
  • disease
  • microbiota–nutrition axis
  • lifestyle
  • humans

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial
Micronutrients and the Immune System: Some Is Good but We Need to Know More
Nutrients 2021, 13(2), 285; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13020285 - 20 Jan 2021
Viewed by 621
Abstract
Defining the role of nutrients in disease prevention and control has entered a renaissance because of both breakthroughs in studying the gut associated microbiome [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Application of Immunonutrient in Human Health and Disease)

Research

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Open AccessArticle
Lack of Differences in Inflammation and T Cell-Mediated Function between Young and Older Women with Obesity
Nutrients 2020, 12(1), 237; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12010237 - 16 Jan 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1308
Abstract
Both obesity and aging are associated with dysregulated immune and inflammatory responses. There is limited knowledge, however, on differences in the immune system between young and older adults with obesity. The goal of this study was to compare circulating inflammatory cytokines and T [...] Read more.
Both obesity and aging are associated with dysregulated immune and inflammatory responses. There is limited knowledge, however, on differences in the immune system between young and older adults with obesity. The goal of this study was to compare circulating inflammatory cytokines and T cell-mediated immune response between young and older women with obesity. Twenty-three young (23–43 years) and 21 older (60–83 years) women with obesity were recruited at the Weight and Wellness Center at Tufts Medical Center. Circulating inflammatory cytokines (CRP, IL-6, and IL-1β) and ex vivo indicators of T cell-mediated immune function were compared between the groups. Older women with obesity had significantly fewer circulating CD3+, CD8+, CD19+, and natural killer T (NKT) cells compared to young women with obesity (p = 0.016, p < 0.0001, p = 0.0003, and p < 0.0001, respectively). However, with few exceptions, there was no significant difference in inflammation markers or stimulated lymphocyte proliferation and cytokine production by peripheral blood mononuclear cells between young and older participants. These findings are in contrast to those previously reported in young and old subjects with healthy weight and call for further investigation into the impact of obesity on premature aging of the immune system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Application of Immunonutrient in Human Health and Disease)
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Open AccessArticle
Age-Associated Changes in Gut Microbiota and Dietary Components Related with the Immune System in Adulthood and Old Age: A Cross-Sectional Study
Nutrients 2019, 11(8), 1765; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11081765 - 31 Jul 2019
Cited by 19 | Viewed by 2627
Abstract
The fecal microbiota plays an important role in human health, and alterations in the microbiota–host interaction seem to be involved in the ageing process. Therefore, it is of interest to develop strategies for promoting a balanced microbiota in old age in order to [...] Read more.
The fecal microbiota plays an important role in human health, and alterations in the microbiota–host interaction seem to be involved in the ageing process. Therefore, it is of interest to develop strategies for promoting a balanced microbiota in old age in order to prevent the physiological and immune decline associated with age. However, the specific microbiota changes in the transition from adulthood to senescence are not yet well understood. Here we assessed the levels of some intestinal microorganisms and short chain fatty acids (SCFAs) across different age-groups. In total, 153 adults from four age groups (<50, 50–65, 66–80, and >80 years-old) were recruited; the levels of different bacterial groups in fecal samples were determined by quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR), and those of SCFA by gas chromatography. Dietary information was collected by using a Food Frequency Questionnaire. The presence of the Bifidobacterium, Faecalibacterium, Bacteroides group, and Clostridium cluster XIVa decreased with age up to 66–80 years of age, with differences reaching statistical significance for the latter group. Interestingly, the levels of some of these microorganisms recovered in the very old age group (>80 years), with these older individuals presenting significantly higher counts of Akkermansia and Lactobacillus group than adults and the younger elderly. In addition, ageing was associated with a progressively and statistically significant reduction in the fecal concentrations of SCFAs. Dietary intakes also showed some statistically significant differences among the groups for some macro- and micronutrients. Moreover, associations of some microorganisms with age and macronutrients were also evidenced. Considering the role that fecal microbiota alterations may have in terms of impairing homeostasis and resilience, our results underline the importance of understanding the ageing and immunosenescence processes by including the microbiota perspective. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Application of Immunonutrient in Human Health and Disease)
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Open AccessArticle
GPP (Composition of Ganoderma lucidum Poly-saccharides and Polyporus umbellatus Poly-saccharides) Enhances Innate Immune Function in Mice
Nutrients 2019, 11(7), 1480; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11071480 - 28 Jun 2019
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1824
Abstract
Modern research has found that Ganoderma lucidum polysaccharides (GLP) and Polyporus umbellatus polysaccharides (PUP) mainly exhibit immunoregulation. However, the immune function of a polysaccharide composition consisting of GLP and PUP has not been studied. In this study, we developed a polysaccharide composition consisting [...] Read more.
Modern research has found that Ganoderma lucidum polysaccharides (GLP) and Polyporus umbellatus polysaccharides (PUP) mainly exhibit immunoregulation. However, the immune function of a polysaccharide composition consisting of GLP and PUP has not been studied. In this study, we developed a polysaccharide composition consisting of GLP and PUP in a ratio of 3:1 (named GPP). The immunoregulation of GPP was detected in RAW264.7 macrophages. Then, the acute oral toxicity of GPP and the effect of GPP on immunoregulation in mice was detected. The results showed that GPP enhanced the function of macrophage RAW264.7 cells through improving phagocytic ability, nitric oxide (NO) production and the mRNA expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α. GPP belonged to the non-toxic grade in mice. Moreover, GPP significantly improved macrophage phagocytic function and the activity of natural killer (NK) cells after being administered to mice at a dose of 0, 3.6, 120, 360 mg/kg body weight (mg/kg BW) orally for 30 days. Taken together, these findings suggested that GPP moderately regulated immune function in mice, which contributes to the further development and utilization of GLP and PUP in immune function. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Application of Immunonutrient in Human Health and Disease)
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Review

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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Potential of Moringa oleifera to Improve Glucose Control for the Prevention of Diabetes and Related Metabolic Alterations: A Systematic Review of Animal and Human Studies
Nutrients 2020, 12(7), 2050; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12072050 - 10 Jul 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1875
Abstract
Moringa oleifera (MO) is a multipurpose plant consumed as food and known for its medicinal uses, among others. Leaves, seeds and pods are the main parts used as food or food supplements. Nutritionally rich and with a high polyphenol content in the form [...] Read more.
Moringa oleifera (MO) is a multipurpose plant consumed as food and known for its medicinal uses, among others. Leaves, seeds and pods are the main parts used as food or food supplements. Nutritionally rich and with a high polyphenol content in the form of phenolic acids, flavonoids and glucosinolates, MO has been shown to exert numerous in vitro activities and in vivo effects, including hypoglycemic activity. A systematic search was carried out in the PubMed database and reference lists on the effects of MO on glucose metabolism. Thirty-three animal studies and eight human studies were included. Water and organic solvent extracts of leaves and, secondly, seeds, have been extensively assayed in animal models, showing the hypoglycemic effect, both under acute conditions and in long-term administrations and also prevention of other metabolic changes and complications associated to the hyperglycemic status. In humans, clinical trials are scarce, with variable designs and testing mainly dry leaf powder alone or mixed with other foods or MO aqueous preparations. Although the reported results are encouraging, especially those from postprandial studies, more human studies are certainly needed with more stringent inclusion criteria and a sufficient number of diabetic or prediabetic subjects. Moreover, trying to quantify the bioactive substances administered with the experimental material tested would facilitate comparison between studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Application of Immunonutrient in Human Health and Disease)
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Open AccessReview
Microbiota and Lifestyle: A Special Focus on Diet
Nutrients 2020, 12(6), 1776; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12061776 - 15 Jun 2020
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 3533
Abstract
It is widely known that a good balance and healthy function for bacteria groups in the colon are necessary to maintain homeostasis and preserve health. However, the lack of consensus on what defines a healthy gut microbiota and the multitude of factors that [...] Read more.
It is widely known that a good balance and healthy function for bacteria groups in the colon are necessary to maintain homeostasis and preserve health. However, the lack of consensus on what defines a healthy gut microbiota and the multitude of factors that influence human gut microbiota composition complicate the development of appropriate dietary recommendations for our gut microbiota. Furthermore, the varied response to the intake of probiotics and prebiotics observed in healthy adults suggests the existence of potential inter- and intra-individual factors, which might account for gut microbiota changes to a greater extent than diet. The changing dietary habits worldwide involving consumption of processed foods containing artificial ingredients, such as sweeteners; the coincident rise in emotional disorders; and the worsening of other lifestyle habits, such as smoking habits, drug consumption, and sleep, can together contribute to gut dysbiosis and health impairment, as well as the development of chronic diseases. This review summarizes the current literature on the effects of specific dietary ingredients (probiotics, prebiotics, alcohol, refined sugars and sweeteners, fats) in the gut microbiota of healthy adults and the potential inter- and intra-individual factors involved, as well as the influence of other potential lifestyle factors that are dramatically increasing nowadays. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Application of Immunonutrient in Human Health and Disease)
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Open AccessReview
Molecules Produced by Probiotics and Intestinal Microorganisms with Immunomodulatory Activity
Nutrients 2020, 12(2), 391; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12020391 - 01 Feb 2020
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 2209
Abstract
Probiotics are live microorganisms that, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host. The probiotic microorganisms most commonly used in the food and pharmacy industry belong to Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, and several strains of these genera have demonstrated [...] Read more.
Probiotics are live microorganisms that, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host. The probiotic microorganisms most commonly used in the food and pharmacy industry belong to Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, and several strains of these genera have demonstrated beneficial attributes. In addition, some other intestinal bacteria inhabiting the human microbiota, such as Faecalibacterium prausnitzii and Akkermansia muciniphila, have recently been discovered and are able to display health-promoting effects in animal and human trials. The beneficial properties of probiotics have been known for a long time, although little is known about the molecular mechanisms and the molecules responsible for their effects. However, in recent years, advances in microbiome studies, and the use of novel analytical and molecular techniques have allowed a deeper insight into their effects at the molecular level. This review summarizes the current knowledge of some of the molecules of probiotics and other intestinal commensal bacteria responsible for their immunomodulatory effect, focusing on those with more solid scientific evidence. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Application of Immunonutrient in Human Health and Disease)
Open AccessReview
A Review of Micronutrients and the Immune System–Working in Harmony to Reduce the Risk of Infection
Nutrients 2020, 12(1), 236; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12010236 - 16 Jan 2020
Cited by 143 | Viewed by 23796
Abstract
Immune support by micronutrients is historically based on vitamin C deficiency and supplementation in scurvy in early times. It has since been established that the complex, integrated immune system needs multiple specific micronutrients, including vitamins A, D, C, E, B6, and B12, folate, [...] Read more.
Immune support by micronutrients is historically based on vitamin C deficiency and supplementation in scurvy in early times. It has since been established that the complex, integrated immune system needs multiple specific micronutrients, including vitamins A, D, C, E, B6, and B12, folate, zinc, iron, copper, and selenium, which play vital, often synergistic roles at every stage of the immune response. Adequate amounts are essential to ensure the proper function of physical barriers and immune cells; however, daily micronutrient intakes necessary to support immune function may be higher than current recommended dietary allowances. Certain populations have inadequate dietary micronutrient intakes, and situations with increased requirements (e.g., infection, stress, and pollution) further decrease stores within the body. Several micronutrients may be deficient, and even marginal deficiency may impair immunity. Although contradictory data exist, available evidence indicates that supplementation with multiple micronutrients with immune-supporting roles may modulate immune function and reduce the risk of infection. Micronutrients with the strongest evidence for immune support are vitamins C and D and zinc. Better design of human clinical studies addressing dosage and combinations of micronutrients in different populations are required to substantiate the benefits of micronutrient supplementation against infection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Application of Immunonutrient in Human Health and Disease)
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Open AccessReview
Antimicrobial, Antioxidant, and Immunomodulatory Properties of Essential Oils: A Systematic Review
Nutrients 2019, 11(11), 2786; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11112786 - 15 Nov 2019
Cited by 40 | Viewed by 3211
Abstract
Essential oils (EOs) are a mixture of natural, volatile, and aromatic compounds obtained from plants. In recent years, several studies have shown that some of their benefits can be attributed to their antimicrobial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and also immunomodulatory properties. Therefore, EOs have been [...] Read more.
Essential oils (EOs) are a mixture of natural, volatile, and aromatic compounds obtained from plants. In recent years, several studies have shown that some of their benefits can be attributed to their antimicrobial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and also immunomodulatory properties. Therefore, EOs have been proposed as a natural alternative to antibiotics or for use in combination with antibiotics against multidrug-resistant bacteria in animal feed and food preservation. Most of the results come from in vitro and in vivo studies; however, very little is known about their use in clinical studies. A systematic and comprehensive literature search was conducted in PubMed, Embase®, and Scopus from December 2014 to April 2019 using different combinations of the following keywords: essential oils, volatile oils, antimicrobial, antioxidant, immunomodulation, and microbiota. Some EOs have demonstrated their efficacy against several foodborne pathogens in vitro and model food systems; namely, the inhibition of S. aureus, V. cholerae, and C. albicans has been observed. EOs have shown remarkable antioxidant activities when used at a dose range of 0.01 to 10 mg/mL in cell models, which can be attributed to their richness in phenolic compounds. Moreover, selected EOs exhibit immunomodulatory activities that have been mainly attributed to their ability to modify the secretion of cytokines. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Application of Immunonutrient in Human Health and Disease)
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