A new study conducted by the University of Florida’s Institute for Food and Agricultural Sciences suggests that the oil found in a particular grape seed may help to reduce obesity.
Muscadine grape seed oil has been found to contain a vitamin E derivative called tocotrienol, according to Marty Marshall, a professor of food science and human nutrition at UF.
After a three-year long study, now published online in the journal Food and Function, it has been concluded that the oil from the grape seeds may help mitigate the formation of new fat cells because of the presence of tocotrienol, according to a press release.
In other words, this oil may help reduce obesity.
Marshall, known to some students as Uncle Marty, said the oil in the muscadine grape seed is very comparable to red palm oil and rice bran oil, two other major oils that contain tocotrienol.
The next step is incorporating the oil into common foods and diets for people to reap its benefits. The muscadine grape is a large grape with thick skin and large seeds, very common in Florida and the South, and is often used to make wine, Marshall said. But when the grape is pressed to make wine, the seeds are wasted.
Even eating the grape often does not mean benefiting from the seed oil.
“A lot of people don’t eat the seeds, they just kind of spit them out, so, in reality, by eating the fresh product you’re probably not going to get much in the way of benefit,” Marshall said. “If you can make an alternative food source for it, you can then get (the oil).”
Marshall added the oil’s possibility to inhibit the deposition of fats within cells is how it will help to reduce obesity.
“Especially in childhood obesity,” he said, “where fat cells are reproducing.”