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Research Project: Impact of Maternal Influence and Early Dietary Factors on Child Growth, Development, and Metabolic Health

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Title: The nutritional immunology across the life span

item SAAME RAZA, SHAIKH - University Of North Carolina
item CROTT, JIMMY - Boston University Medical School
item COMSTOCK, SARAH - Michigan State University
item Yeruva, Laxmi
item DAVIS, TERESA - Baylor College Of Medicine

Submitted to: Journal of Nutrition
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/21/2023
Publication Date: 6/21/2023
Citation: Saame Raza, S., Crott, J., Comstock, S., Yeruva, V., Davis, T.A. 2023. The nutritional immunology across the life span. Journal of Nutrition.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: There is an increasing appreciation that diet has a critical role in controlling immunity in health and disease across the lifespan. A combination of basic mechanistic research, epidemiological studies, behavioral studies, and clinical studies/trials are providing increasing evidence for specific dietary patterns and/or nutrients in programming innate and adaptive immunity. Thus, diet is a major modifiable target for intervention to improve immunological responses. The use of dietary interventions will require better understanding of gene-diet interactions, which control immunity, which are increasingly important in the age of precision nutrition. Moreover, the environmental exposome may have a role in influencing the metabolism of macro- and micronutrients, which will impact human health. As one example, maternal and early life exposures such as diet/nutrients, obesity and lifestyle program long term health and risk for disease, particularly as it relates to aspects of immunity [1]. In early life, our immune system is being educated to recognize pathogens and tolerate antigens from food and commensal bacteria. Human breast milk is of great importance here [2, 3], but other dietary factors such as choline [4] and polyunsaturated fatty acids [5] may also regulate resistance to and resolution of infection, inflammation, metabolic health and proper cognitive development. Furthermore, in adulthood and mid-life there is a long window in which there is chronic exposure to poor nutrition [6], obesogenic factors [7] and/or gut dysbiosis [8], which may tip the scales towards elevated inflammation and immune dysfunction. In later life, inflammaging [9], immune senescence [10] and gut barrier dysfunction [11] are key pathways which may lead to accelerated loss of function of not only the immune system but also of the central nervous, neuromuscular and cardiovascular systems. Importantly, specific micronutrients such as vitamins and selenium may have utility in delaying or reversing the effects of aging on immune function and inflammation [12]. Age-related immune dysfunction is of great public health importance because the proportion of the U.S. population above the age of 65 is rapidly increasing [13] and the COVID-19 pandemic has clearly highlighted the increased susceptibility of this population to infection [14]. Moreover, the prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease is also increasing at an alarming rate [15], and its etiology also appears to have an inflammatory component [16]. The Journal of Nutrition invites submission of high-quality, original research manuscripts, reviews, perspectives, and systematic reviews with meta-analyses on studies that are focused in the broad area of nutritional immunology to advance human nutrition research. Papers must be submitted by INSERT DATE to be considered for this special collection. To be included in the collection, select the appropriate Article Type for your manuscript. You will later be prompted to enter a Section/Category. Select “Nutritional Immunology” to be considered for this collection. Accepted papers will be published continuously in their respective monthly issues, as well as on a collection landing page. Please prepare submissions in compliance with The Journal of Nutrition’s Instructions for Authors and submit them on the Journal of Nutrition submission site, selecting the Article Type of “Nutritional Immunology.” Articles will be peer reviewed, and submission does not guarantee manuscript acceptance. Articles are subject to the charges described under the “Policies, Fees, and Style” section in the author guidelines. Drs Comstock, Laxmi, Shaikh, and Crott will serve as Guest Editors of the Collection. Please send questions to The Journal of Nutrition’s Editor-in-Chief, Teresa Davis.