If you need yet another reason to justify your glass of red wine with dinner habit, here it is. Researchers from Purdue University in Indiana have found there's a compound in red wine that prevents the growth of underdeveloped fat cells, reports the NY Daily News. And there's no need to feel excluded if you're not a wine drinker, as this very same compound is also found in passion fruit, blueberries and, of course, grapes.
The compound, called piceatannol, is also believed to help prevent heart disease and cancer -- not unlike resveratrol, the previously discovered compound in red wine that's praised for its heart-healthy benefits. According to the NY Daily News, resveratrol turns into piceatannol after consumption by humans.
The Purdue University study concludes that the newly discovered compound has serious potential for preventing and managing obesity.
"In the presence of piceatannol, you can see delay or complete inhibition of young fat cells," says lead researcher and assistant professor of food science Kee-Hong Kim in a video on the university's website. "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," he continues. "In the presence of piceatannol, you can see delay or complete inhibition of adipogenesis."
Although the researchers at Purdue have been studying piceatannol for many years, they are still in the early stages of drawing specific conclusions. Kim explains their next steps to the Telegraph.
"We are now testing our idea using animal model obesity to see if it has the same beneficial functions," he says. "We need to work on improving the stability and solubility of piceatannol to create a biological effect."
A study out of Cedars-Sinai earlier this year reports that red wine can also help reduce women's risk of developing breast cancer -- yet another great reason to relax with a glass of red at the end of a long day.
Would you consider drinking more red wine in an effort to lose weight or prevent obesity?
A lover of wine and cheese? Check out the video below on why cheese is addictive.