A new study finds that resveratrol, a substance in red wine and grapes, does in fact prevent the growth of fat cells in number. This is as opposed to reduction in size where the size of cells can be reduced by dieting or restriction of sugars. The results spell good news for dieters because the reduction of fat cells in number has long been only achieved by liposuction.
German researchers tested a strain of human fat cell precursors that develop into mature fat cells in the body (pre-adipocytes) to find out if resveratrol would change the size and function of human cells. The study showed that resveratrol did indeed change the function of these cells in that it prevented the cells from growing into mature fat cells!
“Resveratrol has anti-obesity properties by exerting its effects directly on the fat cells,” Pamela Fischer-Posovszky, the head researcher of the study said. “Thus, resveratrol might help to prevent development of obesity or might be suited to treating obesity.”
The study also showed that resveratrol slowed or stopped fat storage and reduced the production of interleukins 6 and 8, substances that may be linked to the development of diabetes. Resveratrol also stimulates a certain protein, adiponectin, that is known to decrease the risk of having heart attacks
Researchers have previously found that resveratrol protected mice from health problems related to obesity when they were fed a high calorie diet. Resveratrol has also been shown to mimic calorie restriction in monkeys and turn on a sort of “survival mechanism” causing the animals to appear and act younger than control animals (animals not given resveratrol supplements) of the same age.
Results found in the study:
Reduces Fat Cells in Number
Stops Growth of New Fat Cells
Slows or Stops Fat Storage
Reduces Production of Compounds Linked to Diabetes
This information is consistent with the long held belief that the “French Paradox” is explained by resveratrol in the wine consumed by the French population. The French Paradox springs from the fact that French people, who eat a very high fat diet, have low death rates from heart disease.
Although cautioning that the long term effects have yet to be determined, Fischer-Posovszky said that a study has already shown that a single dose of 5000 milligrams of resveratrol had no ill effects in volunteers. Detailed results will be presented at The Endocrine Society’s 90th Annual Meeting in San Francisco.
The study was funded partially by the German Research Association (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft) and the Ministry of Science, Research and Arts (Ministerium fuer Wissenschaft, Forschung und Kunst), Baden-Wuerttemberg.