Immunomodulation in Children: The Role of the Diet

J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2021 Sep 1;73(3):293-298. doi: 10.1097/MPG.0000000000003152.


Immune maturation and response to inflammation depend on good nutritional status. Protein and amino acid deficiencies can compromise innate and adaptive immune functions, particularly following injury or during illness. Dietary omega-3 long-chain fatty acids, prebiotics and micronutrients are beneficial to the immune system. A complex interplay exists between diet, microbiome, and epigenetic factors. The effect of single nutrients on immune function may hence be difficult to study. Well-designed intervention studies, investigating the effects of whole dietary pattern on the immune system, are needed.

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Diet*
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3*
  • Humans
  • Immunity
  • Immunomodulation
  • Micronutrients
  • Nutritional Status


  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3
  • Micronutrients