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J Nutr. 2004 Aug;134(8):1853-6.

Dietary restriction and immune function.

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  • 1Division of Nutritional Sciences, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 78712, USA. jolly@mail.utexas.edu

Abstract

Dietary restriction is beneficial in preventing a multitude of diseases, many of which may involve the immune system in their etiology. Recent reports examining dietary restriction focused on T lymphocytes and macrophages. Dietary restriction delays the onset of T-lymphocyte-dependent autoimmune disease; this may be attributed to improved antioxidant defense mechanisms, blunting shifts in T-lymphocyte subset proportions and preventing DNA mutation frequencies. The beneficial effects of dietary restriction were shown in both the CD4 and CD8 T-lymphocyte subsets as well as in various immune compartments such as the spleen, mesenteric lymph nodes, peripheral blood, thymus, and salivary glands. In contrast, dietary restriction may have negative effects on macrophage function because recent evidence showed that dietary restriction rendered mice more susceptible to peritonitis and stimulated macrophages produced lower amounts of cytokines. The application of dietary restriction regimens to humans would be difficult; however, understanding the biochemical and molecular targets of dietary restriction in the immune system may lead to the development of new dietary strategies to delay or prevent the onset of aging, cancer, and autoimmune disease.

PMID:
15284365
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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