Kee-Hong Kim and Jung Yeon Kwon, two scientists from Purdue University in the Journal of Biological Chemistry reported that compounds in grapes called piceatannol has the ability to block the immature fat cells to grow and develop.
Researchers say, piceatannol has a similar structure to resveratrol - a compound found in grapes and peanuts are expected to help fight cancer, heart disease and neurodegenerative diseases. According to scientists, piceatannol might be an important weapon to fight obesity. Resveratrol is converted to piceatannol in humans after consumption.
"Piceatannol actually can alter gene expression, gene function and insulin during adipogenesis (the initial process of fat cells turn into mature fat cells)," said Kim.
"In the presence of piceatannol, we can see any delay or hindrance adipogenesis process," he added.
Kim explained, during a period of 10 days or more, the fat cells in the body are usually not too ripe, this phase is called preadipocytes. But after going through several stages, the cells turned into mature fat, or so-called adipocytes.
"We consider, the process of adipogenesis is an appropriate target for delaying or preventing the accumulation of fat cells," he said.
Kim added, piceatannol could bind to insulin receptors of fat cells are immature in the first stage of the process of adipogenesis. Piceatannol also works by blocking the pathway of fat cells to produce and grow.
Piceatannol is one of several compounds are currently being studied for health benefits, which are also present in different amounts in seeds and skins of grapes, blueberries, passion fruit, and other fruits.
Kim confirmed that the current findings do based on cell culture systems, using animal models of obesity. "We still need to work to improve the stability and solubility of piceatannol to create a biological effect," added Kim.
Source : www.medicaldaily.com