About this Research Topic
Immunity is the basis for fighting against most of the disease conditions, including cancer, cardiovascular, neurological, microbial infections, and many more. Nutraceuticals, Functional foods, and Dietary supplements (NFD) have been known to exert beneficial effects against a variety of disease conditions. The role of natural products and food is important in maintaining and/or improving immune function, thereby preventing and treating a number of associated diseases.
Functional foods can be considered to be those whole, fortified, enriched, or enhanced foods that provide health benefits beyond the provision of essential nutrients (e.g., vitamins and minerals) when they are consumed at efficacious levels as part of a varied diet on a regular basis. These mainly include berries, fermented dairy products, green tea, garlic, citrus fruits, and other herbal formulations. Whereas, the term “dietary supplement” describes a broad and diverse category of products (mainly containing vitamin C, vitamin D, minerals, omega-3 fatty acid, docosahexaenoic acid, etc.) that we eat or drink to support good health and supplement the diet. While nutraceuticals are the food components, such as polyphenols, flavonoids, carotenoids, saponins, sulfides, etc. which are derived from the food sources with extra health benefits in addition to the basic nutritional value found in foods.
These NFD could work both at the cellular and molecular level by triggering the immune cells, upregulating immune-related genes, manipulating the systemic immune system, thereby providing natural immunotherapeutic options. These cellular and molecular mechanisms of natural products are important to determine the possible molecular and cellular targets, which could pave the path for the discovery of novel NFD exerting the immune-boosting effect.
Current challenges in this field:
The functional mechanism of NFD on the immune system is scarce.
The cellular and molecular mechanism of NFD is complex.
The effect of diet, composition, combinations of NFD on the immune system is unknown.
Finding novel (and repurposed) NFD for an immune booster is a challenge.
The safety issue of NFD as immunomodulatory agents is a challenge?
We welcome review articles and original research work addressing pharmacologically meaningful research related to Nutraceuticals, Functional foods and Dietary supplements (NFD) as a natural immune booster. The manuscript should address, but not restricted to the following topics:
• Novel (and repurposed) NFD as immunomodulatory agents.
• Cellular and molecular mechanism of novel NFD in improving immune functions and associated disease condition.
• Pre-clinical and Clinical updates with evidence on its mechanism of action.
• Phyto-pharmacological evidence and mechanism of action.
• Ethnopharmacology evidence supported by the experimental models.
• Influence of different diets on immune functions and associated mechanisms of action.
• Safety issue (Toxicology studies) of NFD as immunomodulatory agents.
All Article Types currently published in the section are welcome (see list here). The manuscripts will be peer-reviewed and will need to fully comply with the Four Pillars of Best Practice in Ethnopharmacology (check here).
In all research dealing with plant extracts or other natural substances/compounds, the composition and the stability of the study material must be described in sufficient detail. Please also, note specifically the guidelines concerning Pharmacological Requirements (Section 1), as well as the need for testable scientific approaches to evaluate the effects of traditional medicinal preparations (Section 3d).
Keywords: nutraceuticals, functional food, dietary supplements, immune booster, innate immunity, cellular immunity
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.