Could red wine be helpful for preventing obesity?
We know red wine is good for the heart, but could it also be useful in fighting the flab? According to a study published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, a chemical found in red wine, or more precisely in grapes, blueberries and passion fruit, called piceatannol, could block immature fat cells from developing and growing.
Piceatannol, a chemical found in red wine, could reduce the accumulation of fat cells in the body.
Researchers hope that their discovery might open up news ways of understanding and controlling the mechanisms which cause obesity. Kee-Hong Kim and his colleagues at Purdue University have attempted to find out more about piceatannol, a little-studied derivative of resveratrol. The latter, a polyphenol and equally present in red wine, is a chemical well-known for its anti-ageing properties and which could equally be useful in fighting against obesity.
It is resveratrol which transforms into piceatannol once it is inside the body, and this is the reason why scientists are keen to know more about this clever little chemical.
In order to do just this, researchers at Purdue University have worked on cell cultures and have observed that piceatannol can block the development of fat cells. “Piceatannol changes the rhythm of gene expression in the body as well as altering the role genes play and the action of insulin outside adipogenesis, the process through which early stage fat cells become mature”, the director of the study, Kee-Hong Kim*, states. “With the presence of piceatannol, adipogenesis is slowed down or even completely stopped.”
According to the researcher, adipogenesis is an important molecular focus in order to prevent the accumulation of fat in cells and, scientists hope, the process of gaining weight in general.
Now, researchers hope to work on obesity in an animal subject. The major difficulty researchers are up against resides in the fact that piceatannol breaks down very quickly once in the bloodstream. “We need to work on improving piceatannol’s stability and solubility in order to recreate the biological effects”, Kim concludes.
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