New study: Red wine compound blocks fat

We've all heard, by now, of the research that gives strong credence to the idea that a component of the wine may help lower blood pressure and cholesterol, thus improving heart health.

Now comes word that another compound has been found in wine that blocks immature fat cells' ability to develop and grow.

I can see the headlines over the next few days. "Too fat? Drink wine." "Wine: The Wonderful Fat Reducing Drink." And so on.

But, bear in mind this is just one such study. It was published this week in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, explaining that researchers from Purdue University say they’ve found a compound similar to resveratrol -- the heart healthy compound in red wine, but also have foiund it in grapes, blueberries and passion fruit. It's called piceatannol, which researchers speculate may be helpful in fighting cancer, heart disease and neurodegenerative diseases.

Resveratrol is converted to piceatannol in humans after consumption. Piceatannol also has been found to act as fat blocker.

"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," said Kee-Hong Kim, lead researcher. "In the presence of piceatannol, you can see delay or complete inhibition of adipogenesis."

In other words, the compound blocks the pathways necessary for immature fat cells to mature and grow.

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