The compound resveratrol found in grapes displays not only antioxidant but other positive properties, according to a study published this week in the Journal of Biological Chemistry.

Resveratrol stimulates the expression of adiponectin, a hormone derived from cells that manufacture and store fat, the research team found.  Adiponectin has a wide range of beneficial effects on obesity-related medical complications, said senior author Feng Liu, Ph.D., professor of pharmacology at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio and member of the Barshop Institute of Longevity and Aging Studies at the Health Science Center.

Both adiponectin and resveratrol display anti-obesity, anti-insulin resistance and anti-aging properties, he says.

"Results from these studies should be of interest to those who are obese, diabetic and growing older,"stated Liu. "The findings should also provide important information on the development of novel therapeutic drugs for the treatment of these diseases."

The researchers confirmed the finding in cells and animal models.   In July 2009 in the journal Nature, the Barshop Institute and collaborators reported that the compound rapamycin extended life in mice. Rapamycin, like resveratrol, is under scrutiny to determine its beneficial health effects.   In 2010, Liu and colleagues stated that resveratrol inhibits activity of the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR).