Drinking wine or red grape juice can help burn fat

Drinking wine or red grape juice can help burn fat

When people are trying to shed a few pounds, alcohol is often the first treat they cut from their diet.

A new study suggests however that wine can help burn fat.

The study, which was conducted by researchers from three American universities, found that drinking wine or red grape juice in moderation was useful in helping obese people manage their health, especially metabolic disorders such as fatty liver.

The scientists exposed lab-grown human liver and fat cells to extracts of four natural chemics found in Muscadine grapes, a common variety of dark-red grapes.

The grow of the fat cells significantly slowed down, while the rate at which new cells appeared also decreased. On top of that, the metabolism of fatty acids in liver cells was boosted.

The scientists attributed the results to one chemical in particular: ellagic acid, a natural antioxidant which is found in a number of fruits and vegetables.

Neil Shay, a biochemist and molecular biologist from the University of Oregon who was one of the study's authors, warned however that the wine or juice had to be consumed in moderation, and that people should not use it as a weight-loss mechanism. "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 would be good news."

The results of the study supported previous research by Shay into the effects of Pinot noir grapes on overweight mice.

He found that mice who were given grape extracts developed less fat in their livers and had lower blood sugar.

The study appears in the January issue of the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry.

By Leah Hyslop,

The Telegraph, Monday 9th February 2015.

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