Dark red wine, juice or grapes could help the body manage obesity and related health disorders.
Oregon State University researchers report that moderate consumption of wine or grape juice could improve the health of those who are overweight by helping their body burn fat. The study suggests that consuming dark-colored grapes, dark grape juice, or wine helps the body manage obesity and other related metabolic disorders, such as fatty liver. (1,2,3)
The study exposed human liver and fat cells grown in a lab to four chemicals found in Muscadine grapes. A chemical, ellagic acid, was shown to be potent and dramatically slowed the growth of existing fat cells and formation of new cells, it also boosted metabolism of fatty acids in the liver. (1,2,3)
These plant chemicals are not a weight-loss miracle, cautions lead author Neil Shay. “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.” (1,3)
“If we could develop a dietary strategy for reducing the harmful accumulation of fat in the liver, using common foods like grapes,” Shay said, “that would be good news.” (1,3)
The study completed on mice supplemented the diets of overweight mice with extracts from Pinot noir grapes. Some of the mice were fed a normal diet that contained 10 percent fat. The rest were fed a diet of 60 percent fat, which resembles the type of unhealthy diet that would create excess pounds on a human body. (1,3)
“Our mice like that high-fat diet,” said Shay, “and they over consume it. So they’re a good model for the sedentary person who eats too much snack food and doesn’t get enough exercise.” (1,3)
Consumption of one and a half cups of dark red grapes per day shown to decrease accumulation of liver fat and stabilize blood sugar!
The grape extracts reduced the mouse’s nutritional needs. For humans to gain the same affect as the mice, they would need to eat just one and a half cups of grapes per day. “The portions are reasonable,” said Shay, “which makes our results more applicable to the human diet.” (1,2,3)
Over a 10-week period, the high-fat mice developed fatty liver and symptoms of diabetes. The mice that received the extracts accumulated less fat in their livers and had lower blood sugar. Ellagic acid lowered the high-fat mice’s blood sugar to the levels of the lean mice with a typical food routine. (1,3)
“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?” (1,2,3)
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Image source: flic.kr
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