IMPORTANCE OF IMMUNONUTRIENTS
Over last two decades the role of certain nutrients has been found to have pharmacologic effect on immune and inflammatory parameters. The modulation of the activities of the immune activation by nutrients or specific food items fed in amounts above these normally encountered in the diet are defined as Immunonutrients. Few examples are w-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid, Glutamine, Arginine, Nucleotides, Taurine, Probiotics and many more. Use of these nutrients to hospitalised patients decrease the length of stay in hospitals and also infection rate. Glutamine has an essential nutrients for immune cells and important modulator of gut barrier function and it is also a substrate for glutathione synthesis. Thus it plays a pivotal role as an antioxidant thus has more specific effect on the function of lymphocytes. Arginine is an essential amino acids during growth and may become essential in catabolic state. It is the precursor for nitric acid (NO) which is important for immune function, thus it stimulates T-cell proliferation and activation. w-3PUFA has immunonutrient function due to their anti-inflammatory properties. In burn patientâ€™s it improves survival and reduces infection complication by decreasing the level of PGE2 in them. Taurine has role in membrane stabilization, osmoregulation and calcium influx regulation. Ganglionides have potent effects on cellular immune reactions. Even oat fibres and guar gum and pectin has shown to stimulate gastrointestinal associated lymphoid tissue and to protect the GI mucosa against oxidative damage. Many nutritional formulas are being developed which contain L-plantarum fermented oat fibre which pave the way for Immuno nutrients research to expand into new and exiting area.
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