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Title: Yogurt, immune function and infectious disease: can yogurt be used to protect the elderly against infections?

Author
item Dao, Maria Carlota - Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center On Aging At Tufts University
item El-abbdi, Naglaa Hani - Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center On Aging At Tufts University
item Meydani, Simin - Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center On Aging At Tufts University

Submitted to: Functional Food Reviews
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/28/2014
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Systemic low-grade inflammation and immunosenescence occurs with aging, predisposing the elderly to myriad risk factors for infectious and chronic disease. Respiratory infections such as influenza and pneumonia are a leading cause of mortality in the elderly, and therefore of significant public health concern. Age-associated changes to gut microbiota profiles and function can affect inflammatory signaling and predispose the elderly to gastrointestinal diseases. Because yogurt is a source of probiotics and nutrients, which could influence immune function, this review aims to assess the relationship between yogurt and immune function, and a role in mitigating infectious disease risk in the elderly. Probiotic and/or yogurt supplementation interventions modulate inflammatory biomarkers and immune signals, leading to decreased risk of common infectious diseases in aged participants. Studies that have evaluated these associations at the immunologic level are discussed.