About this Research Topic
Food represents an antigen for the intestinal immune system, thus eliciting a robust response. However, according to the type of diet such a response can be either detrimental or beneficial to the host. In general terms, the intestinal immune homeostasis is controlled by two cell types, T regulatory (Treg) cells and T helper (h)-17 cells. Treg cells are a great source of the anti-inflammatory cytokine interleukin (IL)-10, while Th17 cells trigger a potent inflammatory response via release of IL-17. In turn, intestinal microbiota strictly interacts with gut immune cells, thus, driving either pro-inflammatory or anti-inflammatory response. A correct dietary regimen, e.g., Mediterranean diet, leads to a switch of the intestinal immune response toward a tolerogenic pathway. Conversely, junk food is rather pro-inflammatory at intestinal and systemic levels. Nowadays, inappropriate diets have led to an increase of metabolic diseases and especially obesity and diabetes. Therefore, besides a controlled dietary regimen also immunonutrient supplementation may lead to a favorable solution of these medical problems.
Particularly, supplements such as omega-3, pre- probiotics, polyphenols and vitamins A and C share common properties such as normalization of the altered intestinal microbiota and up-regulation of Treg cell function. Moreover, another common pathology is represented by inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) characterized by changes of the microbiota profiles and an exaggerated Th17 cell function. Some of the above cited supplements are very effective in the adjuvant treatment of patients with IBD. Allergic reactions are very spread all over the world and evidence has been provided that polyphenols, as an example of immunonutrient, seem to be very effective in the treatment of these diseases either experimentally or in clinical settings. Finally, immunonutrient supplementation has been shown to be very efficacious in the treatment of immunosenescence and its complications.
In conclusion, this Research Topic will encompass the immunological properties of major nutrients such as omega-3, polyphenols, pre – probiotics, vitamins and oligoelements, on the one hand. On the other hand, clinical trials based on these supplements for the treatment of chronic inflammatory disease such as obesity, cardiovascular pathologies, IBD, autoimmune disease, contact dermatitis and neurodegenerative disease will represent the major topics related to this Research Topic.
Keywords: Omega-3, Prebiotics, Probiotics, Polyphenols, Vitamins
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