Resveratrol and Pterostilbene = Red Grapes and Blueberries=Food Compunds which Boost your Immune System

Researchers in the Linus Pauling Institute (LPI) at Oregon State University have recently tested the ability to boost the innate immune system of 446 food compounds and discovered that the resveratrol from the red grapes and the pterostilbene from blueberries positively influence the immune system.


“Out of a study of hundreds of compounds, just these two popped right out,” said Adrian Gombart, leading investigator. These chemicals worked in synergy with vitamin D and had a significant impact in raising the expression of the human cathelicidin antimicrobial peptide – the CAMP gene.red grapes

The CAMP gene is an encoded protein with several functions related to the immunity, such as antimicrobial activity, cell chemotaxis, immune mediator induction and inflammatory response regulation. Actually, the CAMP gene itself is also a main subject of this LPI study, due to its role of body’s first line of defense. The researches have proven that there is a strong link between the vitamin D levels and the way the CAMP gene functions. They have also shown that certain other compounds- like resveratrol and pterostilbene (stilbenoids), also have an important role in the mecanism of the innate immune system to defend the human body.

Stilbenoids are substances produced by plants to help them fight against infections, fungal pathogens and their biological effects. The combination of these compounds with vitamin D has a more serious impact than any of them would separately.  On the other hand, scientists admit that their conclusion are based on laboratory tests and do not prove that similar results would occur as a result of dietary intake, but there are clear and certain proofs on the potential of some foods to improve the immune response.

Researchers are planning to continue their studies to understand better how diet and nutrition affect the immune function. Continued research can possibly lead to the development of therapeutically useful natural compounds that could boost the innate immune response. Some applications that may evolve could be with topical use to improve barrier defense in wounds or infections, especially since many antibiotics become less effective.

Read more:

Oregon State University, news release, Sept. 17, 2013

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