Nutrition and immunity

The field of nutrition and immunity studies how the foods we eat can affect our immune health. It is known that food can either cause disease or prevent the occurrence of diseases. For this reason we are very interested in studying effects of food components on the immune system.


Given the increases of population and trends of urbanization and ageing, the healthcare system is facing several challenges in relation to the increase of inflammation related diseases (chronic inflammatory diseases, allergies, autoimmunity) as well as an increasing part of the population that is susceptible to infections (elderly and the very young). The role that food can play in human and animal immune health has become more clear over the past few decades. A better understanding of the effects that foods have on our immune system can help to prevent the severity and maybe even the occurrence of some of these diseases.

Project description

The project has 4 different research lines/activities, and will be updated into several projects after the next website update:

  • Innate immune training – food components that can induce a better innate immune response when exposed to pathogens
  • Effects of food processing and dietary AGE intake on inflammatory diseases.
  • Food and gastrointestinal and respiratory immunity
  • Milk and immunity (see separate project file “The effect of milk on human immune function”)


We have evaluated immunological effects of milk components, fibers and polysaccharides, and have also evaluated effects of nutritional intervention studies and oral vaccination (plus/minus food intervention) on the presence and function of cells of the immune system.