Researchers at Oregon State, the University of Florida, and the University of Nebraska apparently, doing God’s work, took a deep look at how grapes might affect health, and they say they’ve found strong evidence suggesting grape intake — in the form of wine or, less fun, the juice — can help overweight people improve their health and possibly avoid accumulating extra pounds.
To be clear, they didn’t find that a glass of merlot will help just anyone shed pounds. Instead, the study, published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, looked at overweight mice. Those who were given a diet of muscadine grapes (a species that can be eaten fresh, but that is more often used for red wine) ended up storing less fat in their livers, and they had lower blood sugars — effects the authors attribute to chemicals in the grape like ellargic acid, which they believe slows the growth of fat cells by binding to receptors that metabolize fat and sugar.
Neil Shay, the study’s co-author, says they were trying to validate the health benefits of “certain foods.” As he explains: “If you’re out food shopping, and if you know a certain kind of fruit is good for a health condition you have, wouldn’t you want to buy that fruit?” Or, better yet, if you know red wine might have yet another mild health benefit, why not grab a glass?