A compound that is responsible for the bright yellow color in turmeric has been found to boost the immune system in its fight against infections.
The study was conducted by a team of Danish and American researchers who found that the compound, known as curcumin, increases the level of a protein called cathelicidin anti-microcial peptide (CAMP) which fights against bacteria and inflammation.
Interest in curcumin has been rising over the last few years with researchers finding that the compound has anti-cancer, anti-inflammation, anti-oxidant and anti-infective properties. In the report, published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, the researchers said that curcumin may help prevent infections in stomach and intestines.
"Curcumin is consumed through turmeric in the diet at fairly low levels. It is possible that sustained consumption over time may be healthy and may help protect against infection, especially in the stomach and the intestines", Oregon State University's Adrian Gombart said.