TUESDAY, Sept. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Red grapes and blueberries
may give your immune system a boost, according to a new study.
Researchers found that both fruits contain compounds called
stilbenoids, which work with vitamin D to increase expression of
the human cathelicidin antimicrobial peptide (CAMP) gene, which is
involved in immune function.
The stilbenoid compounds included resveratrol in red grapes and
pterostilbene in blueberries.
"Out of a study of hundreds of compounds, just these two popped
right out," Adrian Gombart, a principal investigator at the Linus
Pauling Institute at Oregon State University, said in a university
"Their synergy with vitamin D to increase CAMP gene expression
was significant and intriguing," said Gombart, an associate
professor in the university's college of science. "It's a pretty
Gombart and colleagues noted, however, that these findings were
made in laboratory cell cultures and do not prove that eating
blueberries and red grapes would boost a person's immune
The study was published Sept. 17 in the journal
Molecular Nutrition and Food Research.
The CAMP gene has been shown to play a key role in the innate
immune system -- the body's first line of defense that gives it the
ability to fight bacterial infection. The response is especially
crucial as many antibiotics become less effective.
Previous research has found a strong association between
adequate vitamin D levels and the function of the CAMP gene. This
new study suggests that certain other compounds may play a role as
The U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
has more about the