Can Red Wine Make You Skinny?
New research published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry suggestss that chemicals in red wine actually block the growth of fat cells.
Yet Another Red Wine Plus…
Usually when people talk about the benefit of red wine, it’s because of the compound resveratrol. But this new study looks at piceatannol, the chemical compound our bodies convert from resveratrol, says lead researcher Kee-Hong Kim, PhD, an assistant professor of food science at Purdue University. While much is known about the health benefits of resveratrol, piceatannol is more of a mystery.
In a series of lab tests, Dr. Kim discovered that piceatannol binds to the insulin receptors of fat cells, essentially blocking the pathways necessary for immature fat cells to mature and grow. In other words, piceatannol actually prevented little, baby fat cells from becoming big, mature ones.
This is the first study to look at the role of piceatannol in controlling fat-cell growth, which means more research is needed to see if the results make the leap from petri dish to people. In the meantime, there are plenty of other healthy reasons to enjoy red wine in moderation.
If You Aren’t Into Red Wine…
Try these piceatannol-containing fruits instead:
Red grapes. Like red wine, scarlet grapes are high in resveratrol, which is concentrated in their seeds and skin. Research links resveratrol to lower blood pressure, fewer blood clots, and lower LDL cholesterol.
Blueberries. Anthocyanin—the dark blue pigment found in blueberries—is suspected of helping improve memory. Plus, the high concentration of antioxidants in the berries has been shown to help with inflammation and insulin sensitivity.
Passion Fruit. High in piceatannol, passion fruit has more cancer-fighting polyphenols than mangoes and grapefruit.