Red Wine Compound May Fight Obesity
N: Kee-Hong Kim, an assistant professor of Food Science, is working on a potential new method to control obesity. Kim: We have a number of different chemicals of interest that we’d like to test their function in controlling or in modulating the new fat cell development and generation. N: In this study, resveratrol, a compound found in red wine, grapes and other fruits, and thought to combat a number of diseases including cancer and heart disease, is converted to piceatannol. K: Piceatannol is one of the chemicals that we’ve been studying for many years. And we found that recently that piceatannol is able to inhibit or delay the new fat cell generation. N: Kim found that Piceatannol binds to insulin receptors of immature fat cells in the early stages of a fat cell’s life, blocking insulin’s ability to control the cell’s maturation. Kim: The piceatannol is playing an inhibitory role in the fat cell development and we believe that’s though it’s specific action to alter accelerance in a signaling pathway called insulin signaling. So, in fact, during the early state of cell conversion, insulin has to be binding to insulin receptor which is sitting on the cell surface. What we found is piceatannol is interfering; the insulin action is binding to insulin receptor instead of surface. So piceatannol binds and occupies the free available insulin receptor protein sitting on the cell surface therefore, it results in delaying or inhibiting the fat cell differentiating program. N: Kim’s study is based on a cell culture system. He would like to confirm his current finding using an animal model of obesity. Kim: So if we can actually use both resveratrol and piceatannol in an animal or human study, we may able to see some synergistic effect from those two chemicals in controlling or delaying the development of obesity. So that’s we’d like to test in the future. We are now testing our idea using animal model obesity to see if we can see the same beneficial function to health from animal and human.