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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.
This report summarises a workshop convened by the UK Food Standards Agency (FSA) on 11 September 2006 to review the results of three FSA-funded studies and other recent research on effects of the dietary n-6:n-3 fatty acid ratio on cardiovascular health. The objective of this workshop was to reach a clear conclusion on whether or not it was worth funding any further research in this area. On the basis of this review of the experimental evidence and on theoretical grounds, it was concluded that the n-6:n-3 fatty acid ratio is not a useful concept and that it distracts attention away from increasing absolute intakes of long-chain n-3 fatty acids which have been shown to have beneficial effects on cardiovascular health. Other markers of fatty acid intake, that more closely relate to physiological function, may be more useful.
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