Citrus fruits and their vitamin C content may seem like the best immune system boosters out there, but a new study on Science Daily says that oranges and lemons may have to share the limelight with grapes and berries.

By examining laboratory cell cultures, researchers from Oregon State University found that the compounds resveratrol (found in red grapes) and pterostilbene (found in blueberries) may help protect you from diseases.

"Out of a study of hundreds of compounds, just these two popped right out. Their synergy with vitamin D to increase CAMP gene expression was significant and intriguing," principal investigator Adrian Gombart says.

Cathelicidin antimicrobial peptide (CAMP) genes play a huge role in the body's immune system and act like a shield against diseases, especially when antibiotics lose their effectiveness. As vitamin D and CAMP genes combine, compounds such as resveratrol and pterostilbene serve as additional defenses which may help boost the body's immune system.

Although researchers note that they have yet to prove such effects outside the laboratory, it's still recommended to continue eating fruits such as berries, which have been known to lower your risk of diabetes and slow down cognitive decline.

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(Photo by Daniella Segura via Flickr Creative Commons)

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