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      Modulation of Immune Functions by Foods

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          Abstract

          Evidence is rapidly accumulating as to the beneficial effects of foods. However, it is not always clear whether the information is based on data evaluated impartially in a scientific fashion. Human research into whether foods modulate immune functions in either intervention studies or randomized controlled trials can be classified into three categories according to the physical state of subjects enrolled for investigation: (i) studies examining the effect of foods in healthy individuals; (ii) studies analyzing the effect of foods on patients with hypersensitivity; and (iii) studies checking the effect of foods on immunocompromized subjects, including patients who had undergone surgical resection of cancer and newborns. The systematization of reported studies has made it reasonable to conclude that foods are able to modulate immune functions manifesting as either innate immunity (phagocytic activity, NK cell activity) or acquired immunity (T cell response, antibody production). Moreover, improvement of immune functions by foods can normalize the physical state of allergic patients or cancer patients, and may reduce the risk of diseases in healthy individuals. Therefore, it is valuable to assess the immune-modulating abilities of foods by measuring at least one parameter of either innate or acquired immunity.

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          Most cited references 146

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          The importance of eosinophils in the pathogenesis of bronchial asthma is not established. In an attempt to evaluate the role of eosinophilic inflammation in asthma, we compared 10 normal subjects with 43 patients with chronic asthma, 19 of whom had severe disease as assessed by a clinical scoring method described by Aas and by pulmonary-function tests. Eosinophils were counted in peripheral blood and bronchoalveolar-lavage fluid, and in biopsy specimens obtained from the patients and post mortem from 8 subjects without asthma, but not from the 10 normal controls. Eosinophil cationic protein was titrated by radioimmunoassay in the bronchoalveolar-lavage fluid from all subjects and studied by immunohistochemistry in the biopsy specimens. There was a significant increase in the number of peripheral-blood eosinophils in the patients that was correlated with the clinical severity of asthma (P less than 0.001) and pulmonary function (P less than 0.03). Levels of eosinophils and eosinophil cationic protein were increased in the bronchoalveolar-lavage fluid from the patients and were also correlated with the severity of asthma (P less than 0.001 and P less than 0.002, respectively). Hematoxylin-eosin staining of bronchial-biopsy specimens showed that intraepithelial eosinophils were present only in patients with asthma. Immunohistochemical analysis of eosinophil cationic protein revealed that normal subjects had only a few nondegranulated eosinophils deep in the submucosa, whereas all the patients had degranulated eosinophils beneath the basement membrane and among epithelial cells. In some patients there was a relation between the presence of degranulated eosinophils and epithelial damage. Eosinophilic inflammation of the airways is correlated with the severity of asthma. These cells are likely to play a part in the epithelial damage seen in this disease.
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            Severity scoring of atopic dermatitis: the SCORAD index. Consensus Report of the European Task Force on Atopic Dermatitis.

            Assessment methods for atopic dermatitis (AD) are not standardized, and therapeutic studies are difficult to interpret. To obtain a consensus on assessment methods in AD and to use a statistical method to develop a composite severity index. Consensus definitions were given for items used in the scoring system (extent, intensity, subjective) and illustrated for intensity items. Slides were reviewed to address within- and between-observer variability by a group of 10 trained clinicians, and data were statistically evaluated with a two-way analysis of variance. Two variants of an assessment system were compared in 88 patients at 5 different institutions. Data were analyzed using principal-component analysis. For 5 intensity items studied (erythema, edema/papulation, oozing/crusts, excoriations, lichenification), within- and between-observer variability was good overall, except for edema/papulation which was difficult to assess with slides. In the series of 88 patients, principal-component analysis allowed to extract two unrelated components: the first one accounting for 33% of total variance was interpreted as a 'severity' component; the second one, accounting for 18% of variance, was interpreted as a 'profile' component distinguishing patients with mostly erythema and subjective symptoms and those with mostly lichenification and dryness and lower subjective symptoms. Of the two evaluation systems used, the one using the rule of nine to assess extent was found more workable than the one using a distribution x intensity product. A scoring index (SCORAD) combining extent, severity and subjective symptoms was mathematically derived from the first system and showed a normal distribution of the population studied. The final choice for the evaluation system was mostly made based on simplicity and easy routine use in outpatient clinics. Based on mathematical appreciation of weights of the items used in the assessment of AD, extent and subjective symptoms account for around 20% each of the total score, intensity items representing 60%. The so-designed composite index SCORAD needs to be further tested in clinical trials.
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              Immune inhibitory receptors.

              With the detailed description and analysis of several inhibitory receptor systems on lymphoid and myeloid cells, a central paradigm has emerged in which the pairing of activation and inhibition is necessary to initiate, amplify, and then terminate immune responses. In some cases, the activating and inhibitory receptors recognize similar ligands, and the net outcome is determined by the relative strength of these opposing signals. The importance of this modulation is demonstrated by the sometimes fatal autoimmune disorders observed in mice with targeted disruption of inhibitory receptors. The significance of these receptors is further evidenced by the conservation of immunoreceptor tyrosine-based inhibitory motifs during their evolution.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Evid Based Complement Alternat Med
                Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
                Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
                Oxford University Press
                1741-427X
                1741-4288
                December 2004
                06 October 2004
                : 1
                : 3
                : 241-250
                Affiliations
                1Department of Food Science and Technology, College of Bioresource Sciences, Nihon University Japan
                2Yakult Central Institute for Microbiological Research Japan
                Author notes
                *For reprints and all correspondence: Shuichi Kaminogawa, Department of Food Science and Technology, College of Bioresource Sciences, Nihon University, 1866 Kameino, Fujisawa-shi, Kanagawa 252–8510, Japan. Tel: +81-466-84-3983; Fax +81-466-84-3983; E-mail: masanobu-nanno@ 123456yakult.co.jp
                Article
                10.1093/ecam/neh042
                538513
                15841257
                © 2004, the authors Evidenced-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Vol. 1, Issue 3 © Oxford University Press 2004; all rights reserved . The online version of this article has been published under an open access model. Users are entitled to use, reproduce, disseminate, or display the open access version of this article provided that: the original authorship is properly and fully attributed; the Journal and Oxford University Press are attributed as the original place of publication with the correct citation details given; if an article is subsequently reproduced or disseminated not in its entirety but only in part or as a derivative work this must be clearly indicated.
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