Berries, grapes and other fruits contain compounds that can convert excess white fat into calorie burning beige-fat, which can help prevent obesity, says a new study.
In the Washington State University study, mice were fed a high fat diet. Those receiving resveratrol in amounts equivalent to 12 ounces of fruit per day for humans gained about 40 percent less weight than control mice. Resveratrol is a polyphenol, a type of antioxidant found in most fruits.
Researchers Min Du and Songbo Wang demonstrated that mice fed a diet containing 0.1 percent resveratrol were able to change their excess white fat into the active, energy-burning beige fat.
Du added that polyphenols in fruit, including resveratrol, increase gene expression that enhances the oxidation of dietary fats so the body won't be overloaded, noting they convert white fat into beige fat which burns lipids off as heat - helping to keep the body in balance and prevent obesity and metabolic dysfunction.
The researchers also showed that an enzyme called AMPK, which regulates the body's energy metabolism, stimulates this transition of white fat into beige fat.
The study is published in the International Journal of Obesity.