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Proc Nutr Soc. 2011 May;70(2):276-80. doi: 10.1017/S0029665111000048. Epub 2011 Feb 24.

Gold kiwifruit ( Actinidia chinensis 'Hort16A') for immune support.

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  • 1The New Zealand Institute for Plant & Food Research Limited (Plant & Food Research), Mt Albert, Private Bag 92169, Auckland 1142, New Zealand. margot.skinner@plantandfood.co.nz

Abstract

Kiwifruit is a good source of several vitamins and minerals and dietary fibre, and contains a number of phytochemicals; so kiwifruit potentially provides health benefits beyond basic nutrition. Consumption of green kiwifruit can have positive effects on cardiovascular health through antioxidant activity, inhibition of platelet aggregation and lowered TAG levels, and gut health through improving laxation, aiding digestion and promoting a healthy gut microflora. The importance of nutrition on immune function is well recognised, with deficiencies in vitamins A, C, E, B6 and B12, folic acid, Zn, Cu, Fe and Se being associated with impaired immune function and increased susceptibility to diseases. Evidence is growing that kiwifruit enhances immunity, with several small murine studies showing enhancement of innate and adaptive immune function. Few studies have examined the effect of kiwifruit on immune function in human subjects, but a recent study has revealed that kiwifruit up-regulates several 'immune' and 'DNA and repair'-related gene sets, and down-regulates one gene set related to Ig secretion. Taken together, the evidence from the literature provides supporting data for designing a human intervention trial to validate the ability of kiwifruit to support immune function in healthy and immunocompromised populations.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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