Ultra-processed diet, systemic oxidative stress, and breach of immunologic tolerance

Nutrition. 2021 Nov-Dec:91-92:111419. doi: 10.1016/j.nut.2021.111419. Epub 2021 Jul 19.


In recent years, consumption of ultra-processed food around the world has been increasing. The nutritional profile of an ultra-processed diet is associated with the development of cellular alterations that lead to oxidative stress. The chronic prooxidative state leads to an environment that influences the proliferation, apoptosis, and signaling pathways of immune cells. Likewise, the decrease in the transcription factor NRF2, owing to exacerbated production of reactive oxygen species, leads to changes in immune function and response to infections. This review aims to analyze the connection between an ultra-processed diet, systemic oxidative stress, and immune tolerance, as a contribution to the scientific evidence on the impact of oxidative stress on health and the possible risk of infections-an important consideration in the association of eating pattern and the immune response.

Keywords: Antioxidants; Immunonutrition; Inflammation; Obesity; Western diet.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Diet*
  • Fast Foods*
  • Feeding Behavior
  • Food Handling
  • Immune Tolerance
  • Oxidative Stress