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Feeding Our Immune System: Impact on Metabolism

Authors
Publisher
Clinical and Developmental Immunology
Publication Date
Disciplines
  • Ecology
  • Geography

Abstract

Endogenous intestinal microflora and environmental factors, such as diet, play a central role in immune homeostasis and reactivity. In addition, microflora and diet both influence body weight and insulin-resistance, notably through an action on adipose cells. Moreover, it is known since a long time that any disturbance in metabolism, like obesity, is associated with immune alteration, for example, inflammation. The purpose of this review is to provide an update on how nutrients-derived factors (mostly focusing on fatty acids and glucose) impact the innate and acquired immune systems, including the gut immune system and its associated bacterial flora. We will try to show the reader how the highly energy-demanding immune cells use glucose as a main source of fuel in a way similar to that of insulin-responsive adipose tissue and how Toll-like receptors (TLRs) of the innate immune system, which are found on immune cells, intestinal cells, and adipocytes, are presently viewed as essential actors in the complex balance ensuring bodily immune and metabolic health. Understanding more about these links will surely help to study and understand in a more fundamental way the common observation that eating healthy will keep you and your immune system healthy.

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