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2015-03-09

Compound Found in Grapes/Wine Can Help You Burn Fat

A new study suggests drinking wine could help people burn more fat. The researchers believe ellagic acid, a compound found in fruit and vegetables, was responsible for the slowing the growth of fat cells. It also boosted the metabolism of fatty acids in liver cells. The finding is significant because the chemical could help find a way to reduce harmful fat in the livers of overweight people (and therefore improve liver function), using a diet with common foods such as grapes.

Muscadine grapes are a dark-red variety native to the south-east US, commonly used to make wine and port. These grapes have been touted as a health food for several years due to to significant amounts of resveratrol, another compound with disease-fighting properties, including a role in preventing cancer.

“To better understand the relationship between ellagic acid intake and adiposity [obesity], we evaluated results from the peer-reviewed literature. We observed that a daily intake of ellagic acid in the range of 5–88 mg/kg BW correlated with a >25% decrease of fat mass and improvement of glucose metabolism," said the researchers.

“Interestingly, the muscadine wine extract with almost identical phytochemical composition (except for a reduced ellagic acid content due to filtration) displayed reduced lipid lowering effects," the rationale used to conclude ellagic acid is a key ingredient in muscadine grapes to reduce fat mass.

Moreover, ellagic acid has also shown to be effective in reducing the build up of plaque in arteries and increasing cholesterol efflux in macrophages."

Researchers are now investigating whether the products of ellagic acid – urolithins - could be stronger than the chemical itself. They also suggest research is needed to find out whether ellagic acid works in isolation, or whether it works best in combination with other grape chemicals.

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Source: Ellagic acid modulates lipid accumulation in primary human adipocytes and human hepatoma Huh7 cells via discrete mechanisms

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