Can drinking red wine burn fat?

Can drinking red wine burn fat?

Could drinking a glass of red wine with dinner actually be beneficial for you? Some studies have shown that drinking red wine can help improve cardiovascular health and memory loss, but a new study finds that drinking red wine or red grape juice, in moderation, can also help burn fat.

In the study, published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, researchers examined the human liver and fat cells that were grown in the lab and compared the fat cells to four natural chemicals found in Muscadine grapes.

The result, one chemical in particular, ellagic acid, proved to dramatically slow the growth of existing fat cells and helped to boost metabolism of fatty acids in the liver.

Neil Shay, a biochemist and molecular biologist was part of the research team.

“These plant chemicals are not a weight-loss miracle,” cautions Shay. “But by boosting the burning of fat, especially in the liver, they may improve liver function in overweight people.”

In order to better understand their findings, researchers tested overweight mice in a 10-week trial by supplementing their diet. The lab mice were categorized in three groups which fed them either a normal diet of “mouse chow,” extracts from Pinot Noir grapes or an unhealthy diet that contained high amounts of fat.

The mice that were fed the high fat diet quickly developed a fatty liver and diabetic symptoms. But the mice that were fed the extracts of Pinot Noir had surprisingly accumulated less fat in their liver and had lower blood sugar. The ellagic acid in the grapes was linked to lowering the mices’ blood sugar.

Medical experts do warn that you shouldn’t make a mad dash to your local liquor store and start consuming lots of red wine in order to shed a few extra pounds.

Dr. Jennifer DeBruler an Advocate Medical Group physician practicing at Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville, Ill urges caution.

“Drinking alcohol is ok only in moderation,” says DeBruler. “Fatty liver is seen in patients who suffer from metabolic disorders where fat accumulates in the liver and leads to cirrhosis.”

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  1. There are pro’s and con’s to drinking red wine, but more research needs to be done to fully understand the matter. As always, moderation is key.

  2. Judith A. Carlson February 10, 2015 at 12:08 pm · Reply

    I do not like most red wines, only the sweet ones. So I guess if grape juice does the same then the sweet wines should also be okay. But I agree with Jim – there’s much more research to be done and moderation is, indeed, the key.

  3. Nice article Linnea. I appreciate as I enjoy a good glass of red wine once in a while.

  4. Lets test this on real humans–not mice or human liver/fat cells grown in a lab!!

  5. Thanks Lisa!

  6. Such an interesting post! I think I’ll drink more red wine now!

  7. This kind of reporting on one study or a few about foods and drinks is what causes confusion for people. Its all about eating and drinking foods in moderation and variety to give us all our bodies need. Less on studies please.Less on bad or good foods-none are a miracle cure!

  8. Articles like these confuse people. We need to focus on eating and drinking in moderation and in variety. We need to stop highlighting a food as a possible cure rather than focus on other ideas about how people eat. One, two or several studies do not constitute making a change in our diet.

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health enews Staff
health enews Staff

health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Aurora Health sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.