Special Issue "Immunology: Nutrition, Exercise and Adiposity Relationships"

A special issue of Nutrients (ISSN 2072-6643).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2017).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. David C. Nieman
Website SciProfiles
Guest Editor
1. Department of Biology, Appalachian State University, Boone, NC 28608, USA;
2. Director of the Human Performance Laboratory,North Carolina Research Campus,Kannapolis, NC 28081, USA
Interests: sports nutrition; exercise; immunology; inflammation; obesity; metabolomics; proteomics; lipid mediators
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The immune system is negatively impacted by excessive adiposity, malnutrition, prolonged and intensive exercise, and other physiological stressors. Dietary extremes, especially protein–energy malnutrition (PEM), or excessive energy intake, leading to morbid obesity, have profound effects in decreasing immune function and increasing risk of opportunistic infections. On the other hand, several positive lifestyle practices support good immune function including healthy dietary patterns, low body fat levels, and near-daily physical activity. A high-quality, nutrient-dense diet supports the immune system's capacity to function and respond appropriately to challenges. Regular physical activity is associated with improved immunosurveillance and reduced risk for upper respiratory tract infections. This Special Issue of Nutrients will focus on the intimate connections between the immune system and nutrition, physical activity, and adiposity. Researchers are invited to submit insightful reviews and original research papers in this area of immunology.

Prof. David C. Nieman
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 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

  • immunology
  • inflammation
  • oxidative stress
  • innate immunity
  • acquired immunity
  • cytokines
  • nutrition

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Effects of β-Hydroxy-β-methylbutyrate-free Acid Supplementation on Strength, Power and Hormonal Adaptations Following Resistance Training
Nutrients 2017, 9(12), 1316; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu9121316 - 02 Dec 2017
Cited by 14
Abstract
Background: β-Hydroxy-β-methylbutyrate-free acid (HMB-FA) has been ingested prior to exercise to reduce muscle damage, however the effects of HMB-FA supplementation on hormonal, strength and power adaptation are unclear. Methods: Sixteen healthy men were matched and randomized into two groups and performed six-week resistance [...] Read more.
Background: β-Hydroxy-β-methylbutyrate-free acid (HMB-FA) has been ingested prior to exercise to reduce muscle damage, however the effects of HMB-FA supplementation on hormonal, strength and power adaptation are unclear. Methods: Sixteen healthy men were matched and randomized into two groups and performed six-week resistance training while supplementing with either HMB-FA or placebo (3 g per day). The subjects were evaluated for 1 repetition maximum (1RM) bench press and leg press and vertical jump (VJ) prior to and after training intervention. In addition, blood samples were obtained before and after resistance training to evaluate resting growth hormone (GH), insulin like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), testosterone (TEST), cortisol (CORT), and adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) responses. The HMB-FA supplementation group showed greater gains compared with the placebo group in peak power (effect size ES = 0.26 vs. 0.01) and 1RM leg press (ES = 1.52 vs. 0.96). In addition, the HMB-FA supplementation group indicated greater decrements in ACTH and CORT responses to training in comparison to the placebo group (p < 0.05). Likewise, in GH (ES = 1.41 vs. 0.12) and IGF-1 (ES = 0.83 vs. 0.41), the HMB-FA indicated greater training effects when compared with the placebo group. Conclusions: These findings provide further support for the potential anabolic benefits associated with HMB-FA supplementation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Immunology: Nutrition, Exercise and Adiposity Relationships)
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Open AccessArticle
Acute Effects of Nitrate-Rich Beetroot Juice on Blood Pressure, Hemostasis and Vascular Inflammation Markers in Healthy Older Adults: A Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Crossover Study
Nutrients 2017, 9(11), 1270; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu9111270 - 22 Nov 2017
Cited by 18
Abstract
Aging is associated with a vasoconstrictive, pro-coagulant, and pro-inflammatory profile of arteries and a decline in the bioavailability of the endothelium-derived molecule nitric oxide. Dietary nitrate elicits vasodilatory, anti-coagulant and anti-inflammatory effects in younger individuals, but little is known about whether these benefits [...] Read more.
Aging is associated with a vasoconstrictive, pro-coagulant, and pro-inflammatory profile of arteries and a decline in the bioavailability of the endothelium-derived molecule nitric oxide. Dietary nitrate elicits vasodilatory, anti-coagulant and anti-inflammatory effects in younger individuals, but little is known about whether these benefits are evident in older adults. We investigated the effects of 140 mL of nitrate-rich (HI-NI; containing 12.9 mmol nitrate) versus nitrate-depleted beetroot juice (LO-NI; containing ≤0.04 mmol nitrate) on blood pressure, blood coagulation, vascular inflammation markers, plasma nitrate and nitrite before, and 3 h and 6 h after ingestion in healthy older adults (five males, seven females, mean age: 64 years, age range: 57–71 years) in a randomized, placebo-controlled, crossover study. Plasma nitrate and nitrite increased 3 and 6 h after HI-NI ingestion (p < 0.05). Systolic, diastolic and mean arterial blood pressure decreased 3 h relative to baseline after HI-NI ingestion only (p < 0.05). The number of blood monocyte-platelet aggregates decreased 3 h after HI-NI intake (p < 0.05), indicating reduced platelet activation. The number of blood CD11b-expressing granulocytes decreased 3 h following HI-NI beetroot juice intake (p < 0.05), suggesting a shift toward an anti-adhesive granulocyte phenotype. Numbers of blood CD14++CD16+ intermediate monocyte subtypes slightly increased 6 h after HI-NI beetroot juice ingestion (p < 0.05), but the clinical implications of this response are currently unclear. These findings provide new evidence for the acute effects of nitrate-rich beetroot juice on circulating immune cells and platelets. Further long-term research is warranted to determine if these effects reduce the risk of developing hypertension and vascular inflammation with aging. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Immunology: Nutrition, Exercise and Adiposity Relationships)
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Open AccessArticle
Leptin and Physical Activity in Adult Patients with Anorexia Nervosa: Failure to Demonstrate a Simple Linear Association
Nutrients 2017, 9(11), 1210; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu9111210 - 03 Nov 2017
Cited by 11
Abstract
High physical activity (PA) in patients with anorexia nervosa (AN) is hypothesized to be, at least in part, a consequence of hypoleptinemia. However, most studies on the association of leptin and PA in AN were performed in adolescents or young adults, and PA [...] Read more.
High physical activity (PA) in patients with anorexia nervosa (AN) is hypothesized to be, at least in part, a consequence of hypoleptinemia. However, most studies on the association of leptin and PA in AN were performed in adolescents or young adults, and PA was generally measured with subjective tools. We aimed to explore the association of leptin and PA in adults with AN using an objective technique to quantify PA. Using a cross-sectional, observational design, we analyzed body fat (bioelectrical impedance), PA (accelerometry, SenseWear™ armband) and plasma leptin (ELISA) in 61 women with AN (median age: 25 years, range: 18–52 years; median BMI: 14.8 ± 2.0 kg/m2) at the start of hospitalization. Results indicated a mean step count per day of 12,841 ± 6408 (range: 3956–37,750). Leptin was closely associated with BMI and body fat (ρ = 0.508 and ρ = 0.669, p < 0.001), but not with steps (ρ = 0.015, p = 0.908). Moreover, no significant association was observed between BMI and steps (ρ = 0.189, p = 0.146). In conclusion, there was no simple, linear association of leptin and PA, highlighting the need for more complex and non-linear models to analyze the association of leptin and PA in adults with AN in future studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Immunology: Nutrition, Exercise and Adiposity Relationships)
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Open AccessArticle
Effects of Maternal Low-Energy Diet during Gestation on Intestinal Morphology, Disaccharidase Activity, and Immune Response to Lipopolysaccharide Challenge in Pig Offspring
Nutrients 2017, 9(10), 1115; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu9101115 - 13 Oct 2017
Cited by 9
Abstract
Maternal nutrition during gestation is involved in the offspring’s intestinal development and immunity. The aim of this study was to (1) determine the effects of maternal energy on intestinal digestion and absorption function in offspring, using pigs as a model; and (2) to [...] Read more.
Maternal nutrition during gestation is involved in the offspring’s intestinal development and immunity. The aim of this study was to (1) determine the effects of maternal energy on intestinal digestion and absorption function in offspring, using pigs as a model; and (2) to evaluate the potential effect and mechanisms of maternal energy in modulating immune responses of lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-challenged piglets. After mating, thirty-six nine-parity sows (Landrace × Yorkshire), body weight (BW) (initial body weight 233.56 ± 2.77 kg) were allocated to two dietary treatment groups; a control diet (CON) group and a low-energy diet (LED) group. The nutrient levels of the CON were based on the nutrient recommendations by the National Research Council (NRC, 2012), and contained 3.40 MCal digestible energy (DE)/kg diet and 7.3% crude protein; while the LED contained 3.00 MCal DE/kg diet. The dietary treatments were introduced from day 1 of gestation to farrowing. Intestine samples were collected from the pigs’ offspring at birth, and at weaning (day 28 post-birth). At weaning, male pigs from control and LED groups were intraperitoneally injected with LPS (50 μg/kg body weight) or saline (n = 6), and sacrificed at 4 h post-injection to collect blood, intestine and digesta samples for biochemical analysis. The results indicated that the maternal LED markedly decreased the BW, small intestinal weight, and the ratio of jejunum and ileum villus height to crypt depth in the offspring. Moreover, the activities of lactase and sucrase in newborn piglets’ intestine, and sucrase and maltase in weaning piglet intestine were markedly decreased by the maternal LED. In addition, maternal LED significantly increased the mRNA relative expression of ileal IL-6 and TNF-α in newborn piglets. Plasma IL-1β concentration and colonic Escherichia coli amount were affected by maternal diet (p < 0.05) and LPS challenge (p < 0.001). Maternal LED significant increased the mRNA relative expression of ileal TLR-4, IL-1β and NF-κB as well as decreased ZO-1 in weaning pigs after LPS challenge (p < 0.05). In conclusion, decreasing energy intake could suppress the offspring’s intestinal digestion and absorption function, and increase the susceptibility of weaning piglets to LPS challenge. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Immunology: Nutrition, Exercise and Adiposity Relationships)
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Open AccessArticle
Vitamin E Modifies High-Fat Diet-Induced Increase of DNA Strand Breaks, and Changes in Expression and DNA Methylation of Dnmt1 and MLH1 in C57BL/6J Male Mice
Nutrients 2017, 9(6), 607; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu9060607 - 14 Jun 2017
Cited by 18
Abstract
Obesity is associated with low-grade inflammation, increased ROS production and DNA damage. Supplementation with antioxidants might ameliorate DNA damage and support epigenetic regulation of DNA repair. C57BL/6J male mice were fed a high-fat (HFD) or a control diet (CD) with and without vitamin [...] Read more.
Obesity is associated with low-grade inflammation, increased ROS production and DNA damage. Supplementation with antioxidants might ameliorate DNA damage and support epigenetic regulation of DNA repair. C57BL/6J male mice were fed a high-fat (HFD) or a control diet (CD) with and without vitamin E supplementation (4.5 mg/kg body weight (b.w.)) for four months. DNA damage, DNA promoter methylation and gene expression of Dnmt1 and a DNA repair gene (MLH1) were assayed in liver and colon. The HFD resulted in organ specific changes in DNA damage, the epigenetically important Dnmt1 gene, and the DNA repair gene MLH1. Vitamin E reduced DNA damage and showed organ-specific effects on MLH1 and Dnmt1 gene expression and methylation. These results suggest that interventions with antioxidants and epigenetic active food ingredients should be developed as an effective prevention for obesity—and oxidative stress—induced health risks. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Immunology: Nutrition, Exercise and Adiposity Relationships)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Integrated Immunomodulatory Mechanisms through which Long-Chain n-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids Attenuate Obese Adipose Tissue Dysfunction
Nutrients 2017, 9(12), 1289; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu9121289 - 27 Nov 2017
Cited by 12
Abstract
Obesity is a global health concern with rising prevalence that increases the risk of developing other chronic diseases. A causal link connecting overnutrition, the development of obesity and obesity-associated co-morbidities is visceral adipose tissue (AT) dysfunction, characterized by changes in the cellularity of [...] Read more.
Obesity is a global health concern with rising prevalence that increases the risk of developing other chronic diseases. A causal link connecting overnutrition, the development of obesity and obesity-associated co-morbidities is visceral adipose tissue (AT) dysfunction, characterized by changes in the cellularity of various immune cell populations, altered production of inflammatory adipokines that sustain a chronic state of low-grade inflammation and, ultimately, dysregulated AT metabolic function. Therefore, dietary intervention strategies aimed to halt the progression of obese AT dysfunction through any of the aforementioned processes represent an important active area of research. In this connection, fish oil-derived dietary long-chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) in the form of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) have been demonstrated to attenuate obese AT dysfunction through multiple mechanisms, ultimately affecting AT immune cellularity and function, adipokine production, and metabolic signaling pathways, all of which will be discussed herein. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Immunology: Nutrition, Exercise and Adiposity Relationships)
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Zinc as a Gatekeeper of Immune Function
Nutrients 2017, 9(12), 1286; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu9121286 - 25 Nov 2017
Cited by 72
Abstract
After the discovery of zinc deficiency in the 1960s, it soon became clear that zinc is essential for the function of the immune system. Zinc ions are involved in regulating intracellular signaling pathways in innate and adaptive immune cells. Zinc homeostasis is largely [...] Read more.
After the discovery of zinc deficiency in the 1960s, it soon became clear that zinc is essential for the function of the immune system. Zinc ions are involved in regulating intracellular signaling pathways in innate and adaptive immune cells. Zinc homeostasis is largely controlled via the expression and action of zinc “importers” (ZIP 1–14), zinc “exporters” (ZnT 1–10), and zinc-binding proteins. Anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties of zinc have long been documented, however, underlying mechanisms are still not entirely clear. Here, we report molecular mechanisms underlying the development of a pro-inflammatory phenotype during zinc deficiency. Furthermore, we describe links between altered zinc homeostasis and disease development. Consequently, the benefits of zinc supplementation for a malfunctioning immune system become clear. This article will focus on underlying mechanisms responsible for the regulation of cellular signaling by alterations in zinc homeostasis. Effects of fast zinc flux, intermediate “zinc waves”, and late homeostatic zinc signals will be discriminated. Description of zinc homeostasis-related effects on the activation of key signaling molecules, as well as on epigenetic modifications, are included to emphasize the role of zinc as a gatekeeper of immune function. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Immunology: Nutrition, Exercise and Adiposity Relationships)
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Open AccessReview
Fatty Acids, Antioxidants and Physical Activity in Brain Aging
Nutrients 2017, 9(11), 1263; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu9111263 - 20 Nov 2017
Cited by 22
Abstract
Polyunsaturated fatty acids and antioxidants are important mediators in the central nervous system. Lipid derivatives may control the production of proinflammatory agents and regulate NF-κB activity, microglial activation, and fatty acid oxidation; on the other hand, antioxidants, such as glutathione and ascorbate, have [...] Read more.
Polyunsaturated fatty acids and antioxidants are important mediators in the central nervous system. Lipid derivatives may control the production of proinflammatory agents and regulate NF-κB activity, microglial activation, and fatty acid oxidation; on the other hand, antioxidants, such as glutathione and ascorbate, have been shown to signal through transmitter receptors and protect against acute and chronic oxidative stress, modulating the activity of different signaling pathways. Several authors have investigated the role of these nutrients in the brains of the young and the aged in degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, and during brain aging due to adiposity- and physical inactivity-mediated metabolic disturbances, chronic inflammation, and oxidative stress. Through a literature review, we aimed to highlight recent data on the role of adiposity, fatty acids, antioxidants, and physical inactivity in the pathophysiology of the brain and in the molecular mechanisms of senescence. Data indicate the complexity and necessity of endogenous/dietary antioxidants for the maintenance of redox status and the control of neuroglial signaling under stress. Recent studies also indicate that omega-3 and -6 fatty acids act in a competitive manner to generate mediators for energy metabolism, influencing feeding behavior, neural plasticity, and memory during aging. Finding pharmacological or dietary resources that mitigate or prevent neurodegenerative affections continues to be a great challenge and requires additional effort from researchers, clinicians, and nutritionists in the field. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Immunology: Nutrition, Exercise and Adiposity Relationships)
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Open AccessReview
Potential Impact of Nutrition on Immune System Recovery from Heavy Exertion: A Metabolomics Perspective
Nutrients 2017, 9(5), 513; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu9050513 - 18 May 2017
Cited by 32
Abstract
This review describes effective and ineffective immunonutrition support strategies for the athlete, with a focus on the benefits of carbohydrates and polyphenols as determined from metabolomics-based procedures. Athletes experience regular cycles of physiological stress accompanied by transient inflammation, oxidative stress, and immune perturbations, [...] Read more.
This review describes effective and ineffective immunonutrition support strategies for the athlete, with a focus on the benefits of carbohydrates and polyphenols as determined from metabolomics-based procedures. Athletes experience regular cycles of physiological stress accompanied by transient inflammation, oxidative stress, and immune perturbations, and there are increasing data indicating that these are sensitive to nutritional influences. The most effective nutritional countermeasures, especially when considered from a metabolomics perspective, include acute and chronic increases in dietary carbohydrate and polyphenols. Carbohydrate supplementation reduces post-exercise stress hormone levels, inflammation, and fatty acid mobilization and oxidation. Ingestion of fruits high in carbohydrates, polyphenols, and metabolites effectively supports performance, with added benefits including enhancement of oxidative and anti-viral capacity through fruit metabolites, and increased plasma levels of gut-derived phenolics. Metabolomics and lipidomics data indicate that intensive and prolonged exercise is associated with extensive lipid mobilization and oxidation, including many components of the linoleic acid conversion pathway and related oxidized derivatives called oxylipins. Many of the oxylipins are elevated with increased adiposity, and although low in resting athletes, rise to high levels during recovery. Future targeted lipidomics-based studies will help discover whether n-3-polyunsaturated fatty acid (n-3-PUFA) supplementation enhances inflammation resolution in athletes post-exercise. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Immunology: Nutrition, Exercise and Adiposity Relationships)
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