British Journal of Nutrition

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British Journal of Nutrition (2010), 103:1684-1687 Cambridge University Press
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Workshop Report

UK Food Standards Agency Workshop Report: Diet and Immune Function

Peter Sandersona1, Rachel L. Elsoma1 c1, Verity Kirkpatricka1, Philip C. Caldera2, Jayne V. Woodsidea3, Elizabeth A. Williamsa4, Lothar Rinka5, Susan Fairweather-Taita6, Kamal Ivorya7, Margherita Cantornaa8, Bernhard Watzla9 and Elaine M. Stonea1

a1 Nutrition Division, Food Standards Agency, 125 Kingsway, London WC2 6NH, UK
a2 School of Medicine, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK
a3 Queen's University Belfast, Belfast, UK
a4 University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK
a5 Medical Faculty, Institute of Immunology, RWTH-Aachen University, Aachen, Germany
a6 University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK
a7 Institute of Food Research, Norwich, UK
a8 Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, Penn State University, University Park, PA, USA
a9 Max Rubner-Institute, Federal Research Institute of Nutrition and Food, Karlsruhe, Germany
Article author query
sanderson p [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]
elsom rl [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]
kirkpatrick v [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]
calder pc [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]
woodside jv [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]
williams ea [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]
rink l [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]
fairweather-tait s [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]
ivory k [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]
cantorna m [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]
watzl b [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]
stone em [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]


The UK Food Standards Agency convened a workshop on 13 May 2009 to discuss recently completed research on diet and immune function. The objective of the workshop was to review this research and to establish priorities for future research. Several of the trials presented at the workshop showed some effect of nutritional interventions (e.g. vitamin D, Zn, Se) on immune parameters. One trial found that increased fruit and vegetable intake may improve the antibody response to pneumococcal vaccination in older people. The workshop highlighted the need to further clarify the potential public health relevance of observed nutrition-related changes in immune function, e.g. susceptibility to infections and infectious morbidity.

(Received December 01 2009)

(Accepted December 02 2009)

(Online publication March 09 2010)

Key Words:Immune function; Diet; T lymphocytes; Cytokines; Vaccination; Selenium; Vitamin D; Zinc


c1 Corresponding author: Rachel L. Elsom, fax +44 20 7276 8906, email


Abbreviations: FSA, Food Standards Agency; NK, natural killer