by Marion Nestle

Currently browsing posts about: Fermented foods

Sep 24 2021

Weekend reading: Immunity, Covid-19, and Generally Good Health

A reader, Philly Nassau, sent me the ingredient list of several “immune-boosting” supplements, in quotes because I am a supplement skeptic in general, and of immune supplements in particular (I favor eating healthfully and staying active).

Immune supplements claim to be “Nootropics and Brain Supplement for Memory, Brain Support, Clarity, Focus, Mood Boost, Anti Anxiety & Stress Relief.”  Nootropics?  These are defined as drugs or supplements capable of enhancing memory, concentration, or other cognitive functions and of preventing cognitive decline.  How I wish.

But first, the science.

  • Gut-microbiota-targeted diets modulate human immune status.  “The data highlight how coupling dietary interventions to deep and longitudinal immune and microbiome profiling can provide individualized and population-wide insight. Fermented foods may be valuable in countering the decreased microbiome diversity and increased inflammation pervasive in industrialized society.”
  • The Stanford press release on this paper. A fermented-food diet increases microbiome diversity and lowers inflammation, Stanford study finds.  Stanford researchers discover that a 10-week diet high in fermented foods boosts microbiome diversity and improves immune responses.
  • The New York Times account: How Fermented Foods May Alter Your Microbiome and Improve Your Health.  Foods like yogurt, kimchi, sauerkraut and kombucha increased the diversity of gut microbes and led to lower levels of inflammation.

Beyond eating healthfully and including fermented foods in the diet, here’s what’s being said about diet and immunity.