Inflammation & Immunity

Our research identifies components of natural produce that assist the body's defence systems.

Inflammation and immunity are crucial for good health but acute and chronic inflammation is associated with tissue dysfunction and diseases such rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease. Similarly poor or suppressed immunity can lead to increased susceptibility to infections such as colds, flu and chest infections and inappropriate immune responses with allergy resulting in conditions such as asthma. Several foods are associated with regulating inflammation and the immune system thereby reducing inflammation and boosting healthy immune responses.

Plant & Food Research is exploring the phytochemical compounds in fruits and vegetables for their ability to modulate the inflammation process and for responses to the immune system. We also evaluate the mechanisms of action and the interactions of different combinations of plant phytochemicals. The knowledge is used to:

  • Develop new technologies to deliver bioactives that target human cells
  • Create new functional food concepts and ingredients
  • Enhance our plant breeding programmes to produce elite cultivars.

Key targets in our inflammation and immunity research are lung and muscle health.