PhD defence

One bite at a time - Exploring the immune-enhancing potential of dietary fiber for human health

PhD candidate BGJ (Bart) Moerings MSc
Promotor prof.dr. RF (Renger) Witkamp
Co-promotor dr. JJ (Jurriaan) Mes
dr. CCFM (Coen) Govers
Organisation Wageningen University, Human Nutrition & Health

Wed 5 June 2024 13:30 to 15:00

Venue Omnia, building number 105
Hoge Steeg 2
6708 PH Wageningen
+31 (0) 317 - 484500
Room Auditorium


Dietary fiber is recognized for its influence on the gut microbiota and its contribution to the development and support of the immune system. These effects are especially promising for people with weakened immune systems and the elderly. Unraveling the specific mechanisms by which dietary fiber enhances immunity opens opportunities for developing new food products with immune-boosting properties. Here we focused on two commonly consumed immune-active dietary fibers: β-glucans and arabinoxylans. β-glucans belong to the non-digestible polysaccharide subclass hemicellulose, while arabinoxylans are a major component of dietary fiber found in cereals. Although research demonstrates direct immune stimulation and the potential of β-glucans to induce trained immunity, most evidence is based on invasive systemic administration. Limited data exist on the induction of trained immunity by orally ingested β-glucans and arabinoxylans. The purpose of this thesis was to investigate whether oral ingestion of these dietary fibers can also induce trained immunity.