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Red Grapes and Blueberries May Boost Immune System

Posted Oct 19 2013 10:08pm

Blueberries and red grapes contain compounds that researchers believe may help boost the immune system. Researchers in the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University analyzed 446 compounds for their ability to boost the innate immune system in humans, however just 2 appeared to be effective – pterostilbene from blueberries and resveratrol from red grapes. The 2 compounds, which are both stilbenoids, were found to work in synergy with vitamin D to significantly increase the expression of the human cathelicidin antimicrobial peptide (CAMP) gene, which has been shown to play a key role in the innate immune system. Adrian Gombart, associate professor at Oregon State University College of Science, said: "Their synergy with vitamin D to increase CAMP gene expression was significant and intriguing. It's a pretty interesting interaction." The researchers concluded: “Our findings demonstrate for the first time that stilbenoid compounds may have the potential to boost the innate immune response by increasing CAMP gene expression, particularly in combination with 1α,25(OH)2 D3 [vitamin D3].“

C Guo, B Sinnott, B Niu, MB Lowry, ML Fantacone, AF Gombart. “Synergistic induction of human cathelicidin antimicrobial peptide gene expression by vitamin D and stilbenoids.” Mol Nutr Food Res. 2013, September 14.

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