Dietary Components and Immune Function

Part of the series Nutrition and Health pp 131-153


Host Immune Resistance and Dietary Lipids

  • Manuel A. de Pablo MartínezAffiliated withFacultad de Ciencias Experimentales, Dpto. de Ciencias de la Salud, Área de Microbiología, Universidad de Jaén Email author 
  • , Maria A. PuertollanoAffiliated withFaculty of Experimental Sciences Division of Microbiology, Department of Health Sciences, University of Jaén
  • , Elena PuertollanoAffiliated withFaculty of Experimental Sciences, Unit of Microbiology, University of Jaen

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Key Points

Both n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and n-9 monounsaturated fatty acids contribute to the suppression of several immune system functions, exerting important anti-inflammatory properties. n-3 polyunsaturated acids are the most immunosuppressive fatty acids, and they have been applied in the resolution of diseases characterized by an overactivation of immune response. Different factors and mechanisms are involved in the execution of these properties. The administration of high amounts of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids reduces host defense to bacteria, viruses, parasites, or fungi. Inappropriate administration of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in patients at risk of sepsis may cause adverse effects due to an increase in the susceptibility to infection.

Key Words

Olive oil immune system lymphocytes cytokines autoimmune diseases infection immune resistance