Indian Journal of Medical Research

: 2015  |  Volume : 141  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 136--137

The importance of immunonutrition

Rakesh Lodha 
 Department of Pediatrics, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi 110 029, India

Correspondence Address:
Rakesh Lodha
Department of Pediatrics, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi 110 029

How to cite this article:
Lodha R. The importance of immunonutrition.Indian J Med Res 2015;141:136-137

How to cite this URL:
Lodha R. The importance of immunonutrition. Indian J Med Res [serial online] 2015 [cited 2020 May 29 ];141:136-137
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Full Text

The importance of immunonutrition, M. Makrides, J.B. Ochoa, H. Szajewska, editors (Karger, Basel, Switzerland) 2013. 174 pages. Price: US $ 59.00 / CHF 50.00

ISBN 978-3-318-02446-3

There has been a growing awareness about the role of immunity in health and disease in humans. Presently, there is a better understanding of the immune mechanisms in not just infectious diseases but other conditions as well.

There has been a growing interest in studying the influence of diet and nutrients in health and disease, especially in certain conditions like obesity and diabetes which are linked to particular dietary habits. There are certain nutrients which can affect various immune pathways and responses, and these nutrients known as immunonutrients are increasingly being subjected to research to better understand their impact in various conditions. The major immunonutrients being studied are arginine, glutamine, and omega-3 fatty acids. In addition, the role of the microbiome is being investigated. The gut microbiome has an important contribution to the development of the human immune system. Use of pre- and probiotics has been studied in various conditions ranging from acute diarrhoea to critically ill subjects in ICU.

This volume from the Nestle Nutrition Institute Workshop Series summarizes the progress in different areas of immunonutrition and probiotics. The volume is presented under two major sections: Modulation of Immune Response and Nutrition and Microbiota and Pro-/Prebiotics, with five articles in the first and nine in the second section, respectively. The role of arginine in asthma, sepsis and critical illness in children is discussed in detail. One article discusses the need for the treatment of arginine deficiency state in disease and its potential clinical benefits. Current status of glutamine supplementation in neonates is also described and the need for a careful re-evaluation of future applications and trials for glutamine in premature infants is emphasized.

In the second section, the interaction between diet, gut enterocytes and health has been reviewed. The immunomodulatory effects of probiotics are well described and the role of modulation of the gut microbiome by probiotics in preventing/ treating diseases in children has been discussed. There are articles reviewing the role of various growth factors and constituents of milk (docosahexaenoic acid, growth factors, fatty acids) in development and certain cellular pathways. Some of these discussions are beyond the realm of immunonutrition, but important.

Overall, the quality of publication is good with appropriate use of illustrations. The section 'Concluding remarks' summarizes the content nicely. This publication will be useful for the scientists working in the field of nutrition, particularly immunonutrition.