Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Japanese researchers have just recently added more clout to the age-old theory that vinegar has beneficial, health-promoting properties. The new findings suggest that regular table vinegar can help prevent body fat accumulation and even curb weight gain.
In ancient times, vinegar was used in folk medicine to cure a variety of illnesses. According to these new findings, acetic acid, the main component found in vinegar, might actually aid in a range of health issues including controlling blood sugar levels, fat accumulation and blood pressure.
In the study, the researchers had two groups of mice on a high-fat diet; in addition to their meals, one group received acetic acid and the other received only water. The mice that received vinegar ended up developing 10% less body fat than their water-drinking counterparts. The researchers suspect that the vinegar which was fed to the mice suppressed the accumulation of body fat by 'turning on' some of the genes that oxidize fatty acid.
As great as that all sounds, the findings must be taken with a grain of salt. You see, both groups of mice started out weighing 20 grams - The mice in the vinegar condition ended up weighing an average of 26.6 grams, whereas their water-drinking friends ended up weighing an average of 28.4 grams. So, despite a statistically significant difference between the groups, this may not have much clinical significance at the moment - especially for humans. It remains to be seen.
Given that vinegar has been used to cure ailments throughout history, there may indeed be some truth to this still-developing story. Either way, there is no harm in drizzling a little bit of vinegar over your salad! Try it in a home-made oil-and-vinegar concoction for a tasty, healthy and flavourful meal.