Chemicals found naturally in grapes are highly effective at preventing fat buildup in the liver and encouraging the body to metabolize sugar rather than store it, according to a study just published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry

To test the fruit's health benefits, researchers at Oregon State University exposed human liver and fat cells to four specific chemicals found in Muscadine grapes, a dark-red variety native to the southeastern United States.

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

While the same chemicals are found in fresh grapes and grape juice, we wanted to share a beginner's guide to the wine industry in case you'd rather have a glass:

Gary Vaynerchuk, whose Wine Library TV brought the wine industry to online media platforms, discusses what a good value looks like in an industry that can be stuffy and opaque.

"You know, I hate being so anti-USA [but] I think Napa is massively overvalued. I think Priorat in Spain is overpriced. The wines there tend to get into the $60 to $80 range. ... I think [that's] a lot, especially when there are so many underrated places like Provence, and Languedoc and McLaren Valley, or Clare Valley in Australia. I think it’s crazy. Okanogan, Kenda, and Baja California, Mexico [are also underrated regions]."


Scientists behind the study emphasize that drinking wine is not a solution to individual weight loss, but that grapes appear to offer general health benefits that are easily incorporated into a person's diet.

When it does come to weight loss and overall health, the researchers recommend eating foods that boost metabolic function, something that wine appears to do quite well.

Read more at Science Daily.

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