Obesity is threatening the health and lives of nearly 70 percent of the U.S. population, and indicators of this epidemic are continuing to affect even more men, women and children and place a significant burden on an already failing health care system. Most health-minded individuals understand the importance of eliminating refined and processed foods while maintaining constant blood glucose and insulin levels to achieve individual weight management goals.
Researchers from Purdue University have published the result of a study in the Journal of Biological Chemistry that demonstrates the potent nature of natural compounds found in red wine and many fruits to block cellular processes that allow fat cells to develop. Scientists found that the compound piceatannol, found naturally in the skin of grapes and other fruits blocks an immature fat cell’s ability to develop and grow, opening a door to a potential method to control obesity.
Piceatannol inhibits the formation of mature fat cells to achieve weight management goals
The lead study author Dr. Kee-Hong Kim found that piceatannol, an analog of resveratrol found in grapes and other fruit, is converted to piceatannol in humans following its consumption. The team tested piceatannol in cultured immature fat cells called preadipocytes to determine if the compound inhibited the maturity process that results in fully developed fat cells, capable of storing body fat and contributing to obesity.
Dr. Kim commented “We consider that adipogenesis is an important molecular target to delay or prevent fat cell accumulation and, hopefully, body fat mass gain.” The team found that piceatannol bound to the insulin receptor on the immature fat cells, effectively blocking insulin’s ability to control normal cellular cycling resulting in mature adipocytes. The grape-derived compound stimulated the activation of special genes necessary for the fat cell maturation process.
The study authors concluded “Piceatannol actually alters the timing of gene expressions, gene functions and insulin action during adipogenesis, the process in which early stage fat cells become mature fat cells… in the presence of piceatannol, you can see delay or complete inhibition of adipogenesis.” Similar in structure to resveratrol, scientists believe piceatannol may also exert some of the same properties to help combat cancer, heart disease and neurodegenerative conditions.
Piceatannol is yet another natural compound that has demonstrated the ability to influence genetic expression to inhibit the formation of adipocytes or alter metabolism to help achieve weight management goals alongside resveratrol, green tea catechins (EGCG) and irvingia gabonensis. When used to compliment a natural food diet void of wheat and refined carbohydrates, piceatannol may be an important component to achieve natural weight management goals.
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