Researchers at Purdue University report that a compound found in red wine can block the development and growth of fat cells. The compound, piceattanol, is similar in structure to resveratrol, which is also found in red wine, and is thought to fight cancer and heart disease; it converts to piceattonal after consumption.
Piceattonal is found in both red grape seeds and the skins, as well as in blueberries and passion fruit.
Kee-Hong Kim, an assistant professor of food science at Purdue, and coauthor of the study, explains:
“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. In the presence of piceatannol, you can see delay or complete inhibition of adipogenesis.”
The Purdue researchers say they plan to do more research on this compound and whether it could be used as a method to counteract obesity.