Cheers to weight loss, courtesy of your favorite glass of cabernet sauvignon. Researchers at Oregon State’s College of Agricultural Studies took a closer look at the benefits behind the buzz, and published their findings in The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry.
Overweight Americans can raise a toast to a road of health and happiness and for possibly having a secret solution to weight loss. When researchers discovered the benefits from a glass of wine could lead to weight loss last year, they wanted to understand what exactly was going on inside the grapes and the body.
The team spent 10 weeks feeding mice a high-fat diet. Once they were chubby enough, half of them were given extracts from red wine Pinot noir grapes, while the other half had a general blend of “mouse chow.” The wined-and-dined mice not only stored less liver fat, but they also had lower blood sugar. It turns out ellargic acids inside a vineyard’s grapes have the power to delay the growth of fat cells and slow the development of new ones.
“The high-fat-fed mice developed fatty liver and diabetic symptoms — the same metabolic consequences we see in many overweight, sedentary people,” said the study’s co-author Neil Shay, a scientist at the college’s agriculture research lab, in a press release. “If we could develop a dietary strategy for reducing the harmful accumulation of fat in the liver using common foods like grapes, that would be good news.”
The study’s confirmation of red wine’s benefits gives drinkers reassurance with each sip. Although, you could also just eat a handful of red grapes and gain the same benefits as a glass of merlot, but a little buzz puts the mind at ease, and adds several other bonuses.
5 Buzz-Worthy Benefits Of Red Wine:
- Memory Protection Against Alzheimer’s Disease: The powerful antioxidant resveratrol protects against cell damage and prevents age-related mental decline.
- Mimics Gym Time: Resveratrol is also responsible for heart-healthy benefits, including improved physical performance and muscle strength. It also mimics cardiovascular enhancements similar to exercise. But the benefits are limited, so don’t always trade in your cardio for cabernet.
- Cancer Treatment: Researchers aren’t exactly sure how, but another active antioxidant in red wine known as quercetin works against cancer cells, according to the American Cancer Society. It helps to induce natural cell death in certain types of cancers, most often colon cancer.
- Promotes Long Life: Red wine drinkers have a 34 percent lower mortality rate than beer or vodka drinkers, according to a 29-year-long study. Resveratrol is the polyphenol that could be responsible for its longevity benefits. But researchers think any diet rich in polyphenols, which are known to protect against the development of chronic diseases — they're found amply in red wine — could be why.
- Lowers Risk Of Heart Disease and Stroke: Red wine tannins, which are what make red wine the color red, contain procyanidins — known for protecting against heart disease. Resveratrol also helps to remove chemicals responsible for causing blood clots, which is the primary cause of coronary disease. A daily dose of red wine cuts blood clot-related stroke rates by 50 percent.
Source: Shay N, Okla M, Kang I, Kim DM, Gourineni V, and Chung S. Ellagic acid modeulates lipid accumulation in primary human adipocytes and human hepatoma Huh7 cells via discrete mechanisms. The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry. 2015.