The belief that nutrition has an effect upon
susceptibility and resistance to infection seems logical and reasonable.
The recorded history of mankinds demonstrates repeatedly the close
association between war, famine and infection. Unfortunately, however, it
must be admitted that the factual evidence supporting a causal
relationship between poor diets and susceptibility to infectious diseases
is far from satisfactory. However, there is no doubt that malnourished
soldiers in war conditions often have a low resistance to an infection
once it is established. Before considering these problems a brief summary
of the defenses of the body against infection is given.