The editors of the American Society for Nutrition (ASN) journals have curated a themed collection of articles exploring the latest research and findings on the links between nutrition and immune system function. With the COVID-19 pandemic devastating communities around the world, these articles underscore the role nutrition researchers and practitioners can play in helping people optimize and maintain healthy immune function, both to avoid infection and to support recovery from infection.
This themed collection includes 23 published studies that explore the many tools and approaches nutrition scientists use to understand how nutrition affects immune function. Below are highlights from four studies included in the collection, one from each ASN journal. Some other studies from this collection were highlighted in a previous blog examining nutrition and viral infection.
Vitamin D and Influenza, Advances in Nutrition, July 2012
Evidence from both animal model studies and in vivo human studies indicate that there is a link between vitamin D status and the risk of influenza infection; however, the findings have not always been consistent. In particular, observational human studies as well as randomized controlled trials have yielded mixed results. Some studies, for example, have suggested that the reason influenza is more prevalent in the winter is the result of less sunlight and therefore less available vitamin D; however, not all studies have reached the same conclusion.