If you’re looking to lose weight, it might be wise to consume a moderate amount of grape juice or red wine each day. According to a new study, these drinks can actually help overweight individuals burn body fat.
The study, which was carried out by researchers at Oregon State University, involved exposing human liver and fat cells to the natural chemicals found in Muscadine grapes, which are often used to make juice and wine. Remarkably, the grapes slowed the growth of fat cells and boosted the metabolism of the fatty acids found in liver cells.
To clarify these findings, the Oregon State University research team fed a group of mice a high-fat diet for ten weeks.
“Our mice like that high-fat diet,” said Neil Shay, an Oregon State University biochemist and one of the study’s lead researchers. “They overconsume it. So they’re a good model for the sedentary person who eats too much snack food and doesn’t get enough exercise.”
Once the mice had developed fatty liver and diabetic symptoms, some were given grape extracts. As time progressed, those mice receiving the grape extracts accumulated less fat in their livers and had lower blood sugar levels than other mice.
Shay says there’s more work to be done but considers the initial findings very encouraging.
“We are trying to validate the specific contributions of certain foods for health benefits,” Shay said. “If you’re out food shopping, and if you know a certain kind of fruit is good for a health condition you have, wouldn’t you want to buy that fruit?”