A compound called piceatannol mentioned in the wine infographic below prevents the ability of immature fat cell to develop and grow. The compound present in red wine, and in lesser amounts in grapes as well as other fruit, and also similar to the structure of resveratrol, has the ability to inhibit cellular processes which enable the development of fat cells, creating a potential way of controlling obesity.
Although similar to the structure of the compound resveratrol, which is found in red wine, peanuts and grapes and is believed to combat heart disease, neurodegenerative diseases and cancer, piceatannol could be a valuable tool for fighting obesity. After consumption, resveratrol converts to piceatannol.
Adipogenesis is the process during which early phase fat cells develop into mature fat cells, and piceatannol changes gene functions, gene expression timing and insulin action at the time of adipogenesis,. When piceatannol is present, delay or even the complete inhibition of adipogenesis is seen.
During period of ten days or longer, immature fat cells, known as preadipocytes, undergo several stages to turn into adipocytes, or mature fat cells.
These precursor cells, although they haven’t accumulated lipids, can potentially become fat cells. Adipogenesis is considered an important molecular target for delaying or preventing the accumulation of fat cells and, ultimately, the gain of body fat mass.
The study discovered that piceatannol is bound to insulin receptors of immature fat cells in the 1st phase of adipogenesis, inhibiting the ability of insulin’s controlling of cell cycles and activating genes which complete further phases of the formation of fat cells. Piceatannol in essence inhibits the pathways required for maturation and growth of immature fat cells.