Weight loss found in wine and chile

There was some good news for the gravity challenged folks over the weekend.

On the one hand, Oregon State University is reporting that drinking wine might retard the growth of fat cells.

And the University of Wyoming researchers report similar results with chile peppers.

Researchers the world over are seeking a quick cure for the overweight. Not only would this be a major benefit to world health, but the financial spinoff would be gigantic.

At Oregon State University, the findings suggest that consuming dark-colored grapes, whether eating them or drinking juice or wine, might help people better manage obesity and related metabolic disorders such as fatty liver.

Neil Shay, a biochemist and molecular biologist there, was part of a study team that exposed human liver and fat cells grown in the lab to extracts of four natural chemicals found in muscadine grapes, a dark-red variety native to the southeastern United States, according to a university summary.

One of the chemicals, ellagic acid, proved particularly potent: It dramatically slowed the growth of existing fat cells and formation of new ones, and it boosted metabolism of fatty acids in liver cells, said the university.

These plant chemicals are not a weight-loss miracle, cautions Shay. “We didn’t find, and we didn’t expect to, that these compounds would improve body weight,” he said. But by boosting the burning of fat, especially in the liver, they may improve liver function in overweight people. He was quoted by the university

The chief ingredient of note in chile peppers is capsaicin.

The temptation to eat fatty foods is often so strong that, for many, it can override or overpower any dietary restrictions. As a solution to this problem, a group of researchers at the University of Wyoming developed a novel approach to stimulate energy metabolism without the need to restrict calorie intake.

Baskaran Thyagarajan, a university researcher, says dietary capsaicin may stimulate energy burning. This may help to prevent and manage obesity and other related health complications such as Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular diseases — though this effect has not yet been demonstrated in carefully-controlled clinical trials, according to summary by the Biophysical Society.  Thyagarajan presented his research at the society’s annual meeting over the weekend.

But weight loss will not be as easy as munching some chile peppers. The researcher’s associates are developing a two-pronged program that includes exercise, the society said.

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