Immune-Enhancing Diets: What is the Final Answer?

D. Dante Yeh, Daren Heyland

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Supplementation of certain micronutrients to standard nutrition therapy in pharmacological doses can modulate the host immunologic response. The three most extensively studied: arginine, glutamine, and omega-3 fatty acids (“fish oils”). While animal studies are encouraging, human clinical trials arrive at conflicting conclusions for multiple reasons, mainly related to heterogeneity in patient selection, concentration and combination of agents, dose, route, and timing and administration. Glutamine should not be given to patients with multi-organ (especially renal) failure and arginine should be avoided in septic shock. Enteral glutamine may be beneficial in burn and trauma patients. Larger, higher-quality studies are required before strong recommendations can be made.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)79-87
Number of pages9
JournalCurrent Trauma Reports
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Arginine
  • Fish oil
  • Glutamine
  • Immunonutrition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Rehabilitation


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