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Could bio-fortification of vegetables with iodine represent a tool to boost the immune system? A pilot study on human health
* 1 , * 2 , * 1 , * 1 , * 1
1  Scienze e Tecnologie Biologiche Chimiche e Farmaceutiche, Università degli studi di Palermo
2  Scienze Agrarie, Alimentari e Forestali, Università degli studi di Palermo
Academic Editor: Pedro Tauler


Nutrition is a major contributing factor for immunocompetence. Biofortification is a feasible strategy from the environmental and to the economical point of view. It is considering the perfect strategy to combat human mineral malnourishment. Biofortified foods can be efficiently assimilated by humans. However, relevant information on the effect of the implemented diet with biofortified leafy vegetables on haematological and chemical parameters are sparse. Vegetables are particularly rich sources of micronutrients and phytochemicals such as polyphenols and vitamins. Lettuce is considered to be a frequently consumed salad vegetable that is rich in phytonutrients. The concentration of bioactive compounds and antioxidant activity in lettuce may depend on variation and species, but they may vary within the same species. Therefore, the aim of the study was to assess the effects of biofortified lettuce with iodine on haematological parameters and in general on whole body homeostasis and specifically on iodine, glucose, lipid, hepatic, iron metabolism. A cohort of ten people was supplemented with curly endive leaf biofortified for 12 days . Blood samples were obtained at baseline (T0) and after 12 days (T2) of supplementation with curly endive leaf and were analyzed for hematochemical parameters. The results showed that curly endive biofortification improved the whole body homeostasis in healthy people. The measurement, after the consumption for 12 days with iodine biofortified curly endive crops, revealed an increase in Iodine concentration in urine samples, increase in vitamin D, calcium and Potassium concentration in blood samples . The intake of bio-fortified lettuce did not alter the blood-chemical parameters and increased vitamin D suggesting that biofortification with iodine could have an immunomodulatory function.

Keywords: Iodine, immunology, biofortification, vitamin D, calcium, curly endive, vegetables, supplementation