Once again, the potency of red wine seems to have made the health grade. A new study from Purdue University has discovered the presence of piceatannoI in red wine that has the potential to interfere with fat cell development in the human body.
The study is seen as a forerunner to anti-obesity measures. But, does it mean one can drink wine and be merry and thin? Published in the recent issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry, researchers observed that piceatannol has the potential to block the ability of an immature fat cell from growing or multiplying.
PiceatannoI is a compound found in grapes, blueberries and passion fruit with a structural property similar to the well-known resveratrol. While resveratrol, the compound found in red wine as well as grapes and peanuts, has been known to be effective against cancer, heart ailment and neurodegenerative diseases, piceatannol's anti-obesity mechanism could make red wine an important health food aid. In fact, the resveratrol component in the human body gets converted to piceatannol.
According to lead researcher, Kee-Hong Kim from Purdue University, Piceatannol actually alters the timing of gene expressions, gene functions and insulin action during adipogenesis, the process in which early stage fat cells become mature fat cells, Kim said. In the presence of piceatannol, you can see delay or complete inhibition of adipogenesis.
Kim explained that piceatannol acts by to binding on to receptors of immature fat cells or preadipocytes and prevents these cells from further cell growth. Piceatannol acts in the very first stage of adipogenesis, or fat cell formation and interferes with cell growth. These fat cells need ten days or more to undergo several changes before they become mature fat cells, or adipocytes.
These precursor cells, even though they have not accumulated lipids, have the potential to become fat cells, Kim explained. We consider that adipogenesis is an important molecular target to delay or prevent fat cell accumulation and, hopefully, body fat mass gain.
Kim did an animal model obesity study and also extended his research to understand methods that could help prevent degeneration of piceatannol in the human bloodstream. The goal is to enable higher concentrations of piceatannol in the bloodstream to stop adipogenesis to perpetually eliminate fat gain in humans. We need to work on improving the stability and solubility of piceatannol to create a biological effect, Kim explained.
Wine might be a good idea to check one's weight, but a handful of blueberries, red grapes and passion fruit might not be bad either!