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  • Such determinations should be made before urinary IL-6 measurements are used in field studies, where 24-h urinary collections are virtually impossible to obtain.
  • The CMNR recommends the development and field testing of appropriate measurements of cytokines or their various markers in urine and blood that are reflective of ongoing acute-phase reactions and of changes in immune status in multistress environments.

    Developmental efforts should focus on one or two measurements that could be standardized with sufficient accuracy to serve as marker replacements for an entire (and complex) cytokine battery and would have some clinical correlate in immune function, such as skin test response and peak titer following vaccination. These may be useful in studies of the effects of nutritional status on immune function. Civilian research efforts in this area should be followed carefully, and collaborative relationships should be formed.

  • The CMNR recommends that if research is conducted on the ability of nutrients to influence immune status, priority at this time should be placed on the antioxidants β-carotene and vitamins C and E.

    The committee acknowledges that insufficient data are available to identify any specific nutrient or combination of nutrients as having adequately demonstrated the ability to enhance immune function under the military operational conditions investigated. This would include vitamins C and E, as well as the amino acids glutamine and arginine.

  • The influence of iron status on the risk of infection requires further investigation. This is also an area of interest to the civilian medical community.
  • It is recommended that the military keep apprised of research being conducted in the civilian sector on immune function in physically active women and consider conducting studies on military women in situations of deployment to augment the findings of civilian studies.

At present, there are very few studies on the immune function of healthy women or women in high stress situations.

The Committee on Military Nutrition Research is pleased to participate with the Military Nutrition Division, U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, and the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command in progress relating to the nutrition, performance, and health of U.S. military personnel.

References

Anderson, A.O. 1997. New Technologies for Producing Systemic and Mucosal Immunity by Oral Immunization: Immunoprophylaxis in Meals, Ready-to-Eat. Pp. 451-500 in Emerging Technologies for Nutrition Research, Potential for Assessing Military



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