Feeling big? Grab a box of chocolates and a bottle of wine

New study suggests that wine consumption may inhibit the growth of fat cells

Following on the coattails of the news that chocolate can increase fat loss, here is research about the effects of wine, grapes and other fruits on fat cells fresh from Purdue University.

Kee-Hong Kim, an assistant professor of food science at Purdue, along with a graduate student named Jung Yeon Kwan are investigating the effect that piceatannol, a compound found in red wine, grapes, and other fruits, has on the growth and development of fat cells.

Piceatannol is what resveratrol is converted into after consumption in humans.  Resveratrol has already been linked to fighting cancer, heart disease and neurodegenerative diseases.  Researchers hope that piceatannol, which is similar in structure to resveratrol, will be an effective weapon against obesity.

It takes immature fat cells roughly 10 days to go through the several stages of development before reaching maturity.  When in the presence of piceatannol, the gene expressions of these cells is altered, and the process of maturing is delayed or completely inhibited.  What this means is that body mass gain can be slowed or stopped by targeting young fat cells.  Piceatannol works by essentially blocking the pathways that are necessary for the young cell to mature into a fat cell.

Although the research is still in the preliminary stages, it may be possible to introduce a concentration into the bloodstream so large that body fat gain is completely stopped.  This finding does not mean that drinking a bottle of wine per day will prevent the growth of fat cells.  Further testing needs to be conducted, as well as means of introducing effective concentrations of piceatannol into the body.  In the meantime, eat a diet that consists of red grape seeds and skin, red wine, blueberries, passion fruit, and other fruits and see if piceatannol has any visible effect.  Beach season is around the corner.

Further reading can be found here.

Journal Reference: J. Y. Kwon, S. G. Seo, Y.-S. Heo, S. Yue, J.-X. Cheng, K. W. Lee, K.-H. Kim. Piceatannol, Natural  Polyphenolic Stilbene, Inhibits Adipogenesis via Modulation of Mitotic Clonal Expansion and Insulin Receptor-dependent Insulin Signaling in Early Phase of DifferentiationJournal of Biological Chemistry, 2012; 287 (14): 11566 DOI

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