Despite the price hikes on a bottle of wine planned by Government, the good news is that drinking wine in moderation could help overweight people burn fat better.
Dark coloured grapes, whether used in grape juice or wine, are being shown to help people with obesity and related disorders like fatty liver.
A molecular biologist at Oregon State University has found that a natural chemical in Muscadine grapes dramatically slowed the growth of existing fat cells and the formation of new ones.
It also boosted the metabolism of fatty acids in liver cells.
Neil Shay warns that this is not a weight-loss miracle.
“We didn’t find, and we didn’t expect to, that these compounds would improve body weight,” he said.
“But by boosting the burning of fat, especially in the liver, they may improve liver function in overweight people.
“If we could develop a dietary strategy for reducing the harmful accumulation of fat in the liver, using common foods like grapes,
that would be good news,” he added.
Shay believes that the ellagic acid found in the red grapes and other chemicals bind to hormone receptors in the body making them switch on the genes that trigger the metabolism of dietary fat and glucose.
The goal of his work, he says, is not to replace needed medications but to guide people in choosing common, widely available foods that have particular health benefits like boosting metabolic function.
“We are trying to validate the specific contributions of certain foods for health benefits,” he said.
“If you’re out food shopping, and if you know a certain kind of fruit is good for a health condition you have, wouldn’t you want to buy that fruit?”
The research was supported by the Institute of Food and Agricultural Science at the University of Florida and Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
The study appears in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry.