ICE AND A SLICE?
Science proves that a G&T is a refreshing route to a leaner body. Make ours a double
It’s one of life’s pleasures to while away long summer evenings with a refreshing long drink. And according to new research by scientists at the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland, that pleasure needn’t be a guilty one, either. Add Angostura bitters to your gin and tonic and you can flick on your fat-burning switch while cooling off after a hard day’s work. It’s down to the effect that bitter tastes have on three types of fat: blubber-storing white cells, flab-burning brown cells and beige cells. Beige is not a colour synonymous with excitement, but in this case it’s at the cutting edge of weight-loss science.
A process called “beiging”, which turns white cells into fat-burning brown cells, is triggered by the release of bile acids, which are produced in your liver and secreted into your intestines in response to bitter tastes. The bile acids interact with receptors on white fat cells to speed up metabolism. The researchers found that the acids’ beiging effect increases the number of mitochondria in your fat cells, which in turn raises the amount of energy they consume. Rather ironically, then, some fat cells can actually help you lose weight.
Tighten your belt, loosen your tie and pour 60ml of gin, 120ml of good tonic and eight dashes of Angostura bitters into a highball glass filled with ice. Finish by squeezing in two wedges of fresh lemon and moving your chair to catch the last rays in your back garden. The bitters will do the rest.