Alcohol such as red wine is often not one of the choices that people consider when they are trying to lose weight! In reality, people trying to shed a few pounds often cut off this treat from their diet.
However, a new study conducted by researchers from Oregon State University (OSU), found that drinking wine or red grape juice in moderation – no more than one glass a day for women and two for men – was beneficial in helping overweight people burn fat.
The findings also suggested that consuming dark-colored grapes — eating them or drinking juice or wine — might help some obese people manage obesity and related metabolic disorders such as diabetes and fatty liver disease.
Neil Shay, a biochemist and molecular biologist in OSU’s College of Agricultural Sciences, said extracts from 4 natural chemicals found in Muscadine grapes may be the health-boosting ingredients. One of the chemicals, ellagic acid, proved particularly potent as it dramatically slowed the growth of existing fat cells and formation of new ones, while also boosting metabolism of fatty acids in liver cells.
“We didn’t find, and we didn’t expect to, that these compounds would improve body weight,” Shay 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.”
Shay’s hypothesis was that the ellagic acid and other chemicals help to switch on the genes that trigger the metabolism of dietary fat and glucose, which is the same way that commonly prescribed drugs for lowering blood sugar and triglycerides work!