An interesting food related research study has proposed
that a chemical called curcumin, which is a compound found in the cooking spice turmeric, can aid the immune system.
Turmeric grows wild in the forests of South and Southeast Asia, as the plant Curcuma longa
. It is one of the key ingredients for many Indian, Persian and Thai dishes such as in curry.
Although the effects of curcumin
are modest, the scientists involved in the study recorded a measurable increase in levels of a protein (called cathelicidin antimicrobial peptide) that helps to prevent infection in people.
Levels of the cathelicidin antimicrobial peptide (CAMP) are also increased by vitamin D. The fact that levels can be boosted by a different means could lead to some interesting research in the fields of nutrition and pharmacology.
The research was undertaken by scientists based at the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University (OSU
) and the findings were published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry