Drinking 'plenty of red wine' won’t help you lose weight
Edited by NHS Choices
Sorry to be party poopers, but The Daily Telegraph’s headline "How to lose weight – drink plenty of red wine," is simply nonsense. First, the study it reports on did not involve red wine. Second, it was carried out on mice, not humans.
The mistaken headline was triggered by a study in mice looking into whether resveratrol, a plant polyphenol chemical found in the skin of red grapes, can stimulate the development of brown fat deposits within white fat tissue.
Human adults have very little brown fat, but we did as babies, where it helped us regulate our body temperature. Build-ups of white fat causeobesity, so finding a way to turn it into calorie-burning brown fat is thought to be one way to try to tackle the obesity problem.
This study found that higher doses of resveratrol caused the development of brown-fat-like cells within the white fat tissue of mice. The researchers hoped something like this might be possible in people. Importantly, based on mice studies only, we don't know whether resveratrol will have the same effect in people.
And drinking "plenty of red wine" will not lead you to lose weight – if anything the opposite will occur. A standard 750cl bottle of red wine contains around 570 calories, which is more than is found in two McDonald’s hamburgers.