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Vaibhav D. Aher has completed his Master in Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, Ph.D. from National Institute of Medical Sciences, India in Pharmaceutical Sciences. He has postdoctoral studies from Defence Research Laboratory, Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO), Assam, India and University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, USA. He has published more than 15 papers in reputed journals and has been serving as a reviewer of repute. His research experience in the field of immunomodulatory and gentoxicity studies.
An optimally active and balanced immune system is a pre-requisite for maintaining health. Immunity strongly varies at different life stages. Over past few decades, well balanced immune system for maintaining good health has been crucial. There is a strong consensus that nutrition plays a role in modulating immune function and that the immune system needs adequate supply of nutrients to function properly. The intricacy of the immune system supports this idea because its optimal functioning involves a variety of biological activities including cell division and proliferation, energy metabolism, anti-genotoxicity and production of proteins. The micronutrients most often cited as being important to immune function include vitamins A, C, E, and B6, folate, iron, zinc, and selenium. Other nutrients mentioned as playing a role in immune function include beta-carotene (a precursor to vitamin A), vitamin B12, and vitamin D. On the other hand, over-activation of the immune system can lead to detrimental effects such as chronic inflammation or autoimmune diseases. In persons with allergies, a normally harmless material can be mistaken as an antigen. This review will highlight the interaction between the immune system and some foods and food components in terms of modulation of immune functions by a variety of mechanisms.