Experts Found another Reason Why Eating Curry Can Be Good For You

By Rebecca Lewis on May 28, 2012

Curry is one of our nation’s favorite foods. If you’re not a curry lover, maybe you will be. Because in the latest research by the Oregon State University, it was found that spicy curry dishes, packed with spices used thousands of years ago in India, can help improve your health and prevent infection.

In the said research, it was revealed that a compound called curcumin found in turmeric can boost the levels of cathelicidin antimicrobial peptide, or CAMP – a type of protein in the body which is essential in keeping our ‘innate’ immune system healthy also helps prevent infection in humans and animals. Turmeric is a very important ingredient which makes curry foods ‘curry’. But aside from its culinary properties, turmeric has been used thousands of years in India as a medicinal herb. It’s also used in wedding ceremonies and other religious activities. Indeed, turmeric has become a part of the history of India.

In another study, it was found that CAMP helps the body fight off the bacteria, fungi, and or viruses, reducing the risk of infection. It is also the only known antibacterial peptide in humans, having the ability to kill a wide range of bacteria including those that cause tuberculosis and sepsis. Said findings were published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, authored by the researchers from the Linus Pauling Institute at OSU and University of Copenhagen in Denmark.

The Associate Professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics in the Linus Pauling Institute, Adrian Gombart, pointed out that such findings can provide another tool which can be used to develop medical therapies. "This research points to a new avenue for regulating CAMP gene expression” said Prof Gombart.

CAMP levels can also be increased by vitamin D. But even though curcumin doesn’t work better than vitamin D, it’s still has a substantive impact on CAMP. The said compound has also been a subject of scientific studies for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

The researchers also compared the effect of curcumin with that of the omega-3 fatty acids in increasing the levels of CAMP. They found no value with omega-3. On the other hand, they observed that CAMP levels almost tripled with curcumin.

Curry is a generic term used to describe a wide variety of dishes originating from India and other Southeast Asian countries. What sets them apart from other cuisines is the presence of more or less complex combinations of spices and herbs. Most if not all of Indian curry dishes contain hot peppers or chilli powder making them deliciously hot!

Today, you’ll see several restaurants or takeaways that serve authentic Indian curry. But Brits have long been eating curry dishes. A 19th century record claimed that Brits were eating curry for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The Hindostanee was the first restaurant that served curry dishes in London. Even though it closed after 3 years, the restaurant continued operating (although in a different ownership). The popularity of curry heightened when Queen Victoria hired her own staff of Indian chefs who cooked Indian dishes for her every day. The popularity of curry rose and settled down like most things do. But for many Britons, the spicy tang of these dishes will forever satisfy our taste buds.

 

Sources of this article:

LIKE CURRY? NEW ROLE IDENTIFIED FOR COMPOUND USED IN ANCIENT MEDICINE, By Oregon State University

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/8370054.stm

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