CRC - Nutrition-Infection Interactions and Impacts on Human Health

Organization: CRC
Publication Date: 26 August 2014
Page Count: 410


Our intention is to summarize the current state-of-the-art evidence on nutrition- infection interactions and its impact on health and disease, including state-of-the-art clinical and basic science research.

Nutrition and infection are often at cross-roads interacting with each other, influencing human health in a way that has implications for both the developed and developing world. Infectious morbidity is huge in the malnourished, both in the deficient and excess nutritional states. Infections, both systemic and gastrointestinal, significantly affect enteral nutrition and absorption. A book that describes nutrition-infection interactions is not only extremely useful but also essential for health-care staff, nutritionists, and epidemiologists. We strongly believe that such a book will not only improve care of patients in health-care facilities but also the health of the vulnerable population.

The book's first chapter explores the role of nutrition in health and disease, especially the effects of malnutrition, both undernutrition and overnutrition. We then describe the relation between malnutrition and immunity followed by a chapter exploring micronutrient deficiency and immunity. The concept of nutrition-infection interaction pertaining to the developing world in transition is introduced. The final common pathway for many human diseases may be unbalanced inflammation and oxidant injury. A chapter discussing the role of oxidant stress and therapy with antioxidants explores the inflammation concept. An interesting link in nutrition-infection interactions is how nutrients and drugs interact, both anti-infective drugs and others. Nutrient-drug interactions are extensively reviewed in Chapter 6. We devote the next few chapters to nutrient-infection interactions in specific infections. We discuss the interactions in human immunodeficiency virus, tuberculosis, malaria, and parasitic infections, with special emphasis on nutritional interventions. The role of the gastrointestinal tract and its influence on nutrition, focusing on the human gastrointestinal microbiota and enteric syndromes, are presented next. The human gastrointestinal microbiome is essential in the maturation of immune responses and prevention of pathogen colonization, both of which influence infectious risk. The pattern of gastrointestinal microbiota is altered by the dietary intake and conversely alters dietary components, which in turn affect nutrient absorption and immune responses. Modifying indigenous microbiota for health benefits is discussed in the chapter on probiotics and prebiotics. Current research lays emphasis on immunonutrients that can enhance immunity and prevent infections, and a chapter that discusses immunonutrients has been included. We also discuss infection-nutrition interactions in special age groups: children, adolescents, and the elderly. We close the book with a review on nutritional and anti-infective strategies emerging from the horizon and identify future research directions.

The chapters are penned by outstanding, internationally reputable authors who have published significantly in their field. We have kept in mind the broad audience to this book and hence tailored to enhance the book's applicability to both the developed and the developing world. We sincerely hope that we have conveyed our perspective on nutrition-infection interactions to everyone's benefit.