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Curcumin's never-ending health benefits now include immunity

New research shows joint health and inflammation ingredient curcumin may help boost immunity, too.

Curcumin, the active compound in the curry spice turmeric, is already a hot antioxidant ingredient—a research-backed star player in supplement formulations for chronic inflammation, pain and joint health. And now a new study says it may play a role in supporting the immune system.

Like vitamin D—but to a more modest extent—curcumin can raise levels of a protein that’s key to preventing infection, according to researchers at the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University and at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark. The protein, cathelicidin antimicrobial peptide, or CAMP, contributes to fighting off unfamiliar bacteria, viruses or fungi.

Will eating Indian curry help? Perhaps, especially if you eat it regularly, reseachers said: “It’s possible that sustained consumption over time may be healthy and protect against infection. It’s a great thing when a safe, natural, especially in the stomach and intestinal tract.” 

It’s good news when an herb or spice or food we can easily include in a healthy (and delicious) diet proves to have even more benefits than we realized. It’s also a great bonus if you’re already taking curcumin-based supplements for inflammation. Stay tuned for news of more gifts from Mother Nature!

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