Piceatannol, a resveratrol-like compound found in red wine, grapes, peanuts, and other fruits may block the development of fat cells, shows a new Purdue University study. It takes 10 days for preadipocytes, or immature fat cells, to become adipocytes, which are mature fat cells. Piceatannol appears to inhibit this process. "Piceatannol actually alters the timing of gene expressions, gene functions, and insulin action during adipogenesis, the process in which early stage fat cells become mature fat cells," says lead researcher Kee-Hong Kim. "In the presence of piceatannol, you can see delay or complete inhibition of adipogenesis." Resveratrol, believed to help stave off cancer, heart disease, and neurodegenerative disease, is converted into piceatannol in the body. By binding with insulin receptors in immature fat cells, piceatannol blocks insulin’s ability to control the immature fat cells` formation into mature fat cells. Kim plans to conduct animals studies to confirm these observations and to improve the stability and solubility of piceatannol for potential use in treating obesity.