Everybody wishes for good health, and even in Japan, where aging is progressing at an unparalleled speed among developed countries, people are very interested in health wellbeing, especially healthy ageing. Foods play an important role in the prevention and early recovery of diseases as well as the maintenance and promotion of health. Currently, research on the bioregulatory functions of foods is actively conducted, and it has been clarified that various physiological functions are regulated by foods.
Among physiological functions, immune functions have received attention as the most important function and have been drawing increasing interest of people in association with the progress of domestic and worldwide research. Accordingly, news topics on foods and food components with immune-modulating functions have gained wide attention. Some of the information, however, is insufficiently verified and lacks scientific evidence. A more systematic approach is also required and desirable for the study of immune-modulating functions of foods.
Against this background, researchers engaged in studies of food immunology formed the Research Association for Food Immunology to systematize and establish an evaluation method of immune-modulating functions in October 2001. This Research Association has systematically scrutinized current research findings on immune-modulating functions of foods conducted in the various countries. Towards this effort, we organized the necessary methods and standards for evaluation. Through these works, the first of its kind in the world, we confirmed that foods contain regulatory components capable of enhancing and restoring the immune functions in humans, and it is possible to evaluate the immune-modulating functions of foods by using suitable immune parameters. We thus realized the necessity to transmit these results widely among researchers belonging to industry, public institutions, and universities.
So, we decided to establish the Japanese Association for Food Immunology to establish food immunology as a new field of science to disseminate the scientific evidence of immune-modulating functions of foods, and to contribute to the maintenance and improvement of health of people by developing the related science further.
Therefore, we would like to invite many professional researchers and students with interest in food and immunity to participate in JAFI, and to contribute to information exchanges and discussions with JAFI members.
We believe that many people will agree with the reason the establishment of JAFI and join it.
June 1, 2004