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November 10, 1978

Nutrition, Immunity, and Infection: Mechanisms of Interactions

JAMA. 1978;240(20):2200. doi:10.1001/jama.1978.03290200078042

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For many years evidence has been accumulating to indicate that under certain circumstances, the nutritional state of the host can considerably affect the outcome of an infection. Similarly, the nutritional state can affect the immune response. The current interest in nutrition and immunity makes this a good time to take a fresh look at the interrelationships of these subjects. The authors have "attempted to summarize and analyze critically the reported information, to bring out the controversies, and to point out the lacunae where further data are required." They have accomplished three of these purposes well, but they have done little critical summarizing, probably because so many "lacunae" often render evaluation impossible.

Fortunately, the authors have not tried to force a conclusion where no valid deduction can be made. If anything, they lean in the other direction, leaving most of the problems to be settled by further research, and in this