Nutrition is essential to provide an organism with particular substances necessary for its development and regeneration as well as for sufficient energy supply. In addition the gastrointestinal tract is in contact with different types of pathogens, so that this part of an organism harbors a high microbial burden.
Due to this problem, the human immune system faces the challenge to establish adequate reactivities, which on the one hand guarantee the integrity of the body especially to protect from life-threatening infectious diseases, and on the other hand ensure ample provision with nutrients. It can be expected that components of the immune system get in direct contact with particular substances in the nutriment which might have a bearing on the establisment of local immune functions.
In the present manuscript the effects of various dietary substances on specific components of the immune system will be described. In particular the effects of selected vitamins and other metabolites, such as short-chain fatty acids will be discussed. Furthermore, the molecular mechanisms underlying the induction of particular reactivities will be presented.