12 January - 20 June 2016

Food to boost immune response

25 Sept 13

Red grapes and blueberries may help boost the immune system. At least that is headline news, reported in various sources of work published in Molecular Nutrition and Food Research. In studies involving cell cultures, researchers in the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University investigated the potential of nearly 450 compounds to boost expression of the human cathelicidin antimicrobial peptide, or CAMP gene, which is involved in immune function. They discovered just two that stood out from the crowd – the resveratrol found in red grapes and a compound called pterostilbene from blueberries. Both of these compounds, which are called stilbenoids, appear to work in synergy with vitamin D to achieve their effect. Since the findings were made in laboratory cell cultures there is no guarantee that similar results occur as a result of dietary intake, but there is reason to believe they might. Stilbenoids are compounds produced by plants to fight infections, and in human biology appear to affect some of the signalling pathways that allow vitamin D to do its job. It appears that combining these compounds with vitamin D has considerably more biological impact than any of them would separately. More specifically, resveratrol has already been linked to improvements in cardiovascular health, in fighting cancer and reducing inflammation.  The CAMP gene has been shown to play a key role in the "innate" immune system, i.e. the body's first line of defence against bacterial infection.  More research could lead to a better understanding of how diet and nutrition affect immune function, and possibly lead to the development of therapeutically useful natural compounds that could boost the innate immune response, the researchers claim.

RSSL's Functional Ingredients Laboratory is happy to discuss the analysis of resveratrol with clients. For more information please contact Customer Services on Freephone 0800 243482 or email enquiries@rssl.com .

RSSL's Functional Ingredients Laboratory provides vitamin analysis in a wide range of matrices including drinks, fortified foods, pre-mixes and multi-vitamin tablets, including the analysis for Vitamin D2 and Vitamin D3.  It provides a full vitamin and mineral analysis service to assist with labelling, due diligence, claim substantiation and stability. For more information please contact Customer Services on Freephone 0800 243482 or email enquiries@rssl.com

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