Hematopoietic stem cells provide us with a lifelong supply of blood cells. Hence, their proper function is absolutely essential for life, and their dysfunction can lead to infectious and malignant diseases. These cells have specific metabolic requirements to enable their lifelong function and blood-producing capacity. With the words of the Roman poet Juvenal “a healthy mind in a healthy body” in mind, it is intriguing to understand the connection between our daily diet and the quality of our blood, with the hope that through specific dietary adjustments we can improve our hematopoietic stem cell function and prevent disease. Nowadays, dietary supplements are an expanding market filled with potential and promises for better health. However, the link between many of those supplements and human physiology is obscure. Several groups have begun to shed light on this by investigating the metabolic regulation of hematopoiesis by specific nutrients. Beyond the link to dietary supplementation, these studies have also significantly improved our understanding of basic hematopoietic stem cell biology. Herein we summarize recent knowledge on the effect of specific vitamins and amino acids, which might be considered as dietary supplements+, on normal hematopoiesis and hematopoietic stem cell function. We propose that improving our understanding of the link between nutrition in general and blood physiology can ultimately lead to the optimization of health-care policies, protocols, and standards of care.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Dr. D Nachmani was supported by grants from the Israel Science Foundation personal research, Grant No. 1193/22 , and The Binational Science Foundation , Grant No. 2021127 . Received support from the Abisch-Frenkel Faculty Development Lectureship and by the Alon Fellowship from the Israeli Council for Higher Education. We thank Yoav Livneh for his comments and critical reading of the manuscript.
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