New research suggests that red wine can slow the growth of existing fat cells and help burn fat in the liver

If you're trying to shed a few pounds then alcohol is normally the first treat to ditch, right? 


Some boffins have news for you. If your go-to tipple is red wine, it might help burn fat. 


A new study conducted by researchers from three American universities suggests that consuming dark-coloured grapes, whether it be in vino or in juice form, could help reduce obesity risks as well as related metabolic disorders such as fatty liver disease.


Researchers found a chemical in the red grapes, called ellagic acid, dramatically slowed the growth of existing fat cells and the formation of new ones, and boosted the metabolism of fatty acids in liver cells.


However, they also warned that this isn’t some kind of “weight-loss miracle”. 


Neil Shay, a biochemist and molecular biologist from the University of Oregon and one of the study’s authors, said that red wine or grape juice and to be consumed in moderation, and that it should not be used as a weight-loss mechanism.


He said: “We didn’t find, and we didn’t expect to, that these compounds would improve body weight.


“But by boosting the burning of fat, especially in the liver, they may improve liver function in overweight people.


“If we could develop a dietary strategy for reducing the harmful accumulation of fat in the liver, using common foods like grapes that would be good news.”

The study appears in the January issue of the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry. So for now stick to the recommended alcohol allowances. Forgotten what they are? Here you go: 3-4 units per day (a pint and a half of beer) for men and 2-3 (a pint of beer) for women. You're welcome.