Vinegar - A Fat Fighter

Vinegar - A Fat Fighter

In a recent post, we discussed how vinegar can be used to reduce your salt intake. Now, here is another interesting tidbit about vinegar in the “nutrition news you can use” department.

It  turns out that vinegar could also be a natural fat fighter.

Ordinary vinegar – acetic acid – might prevent the build up of fat, and therefore alleviate weight gain, according to results of a study with mice from Japan.

Animals that were given a high-fat diet supplemented with acetic acid developed about 10 per cent less body fat than mice just eating the diet, according to findings published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

If the results can be repeated in further studies, particularly in human studies, vinegar could establish itself as a real “player” in the weight management space, estimated to be a hugely profitable industry.

The Japanese researchers, led by Tomoo Kondo from the Central Research Institute of the Mizkan Group Corporation, found that vinegar was working at a genetic level, by influencing genes linked to fatty acid oxidation and heat-generating (energy burning) proteins.

“We intend to perform further clinical studies to confirm fat pad reduction and energy consumption enhancement by vinegar intake. Moreover, we will investigate the effect of acetic acid on fatty oxidative activation in other organs, particularly skeletal muscles,” wrote the researchers.

This is not the first time vinegar has been linked to weight control. In 2005 scientists from Lund University reported that increasing intake of the common flavoring could help dieters eat less and reduce cravings brought on by sugar peaks after meals .

Kondo and co-workers fed mice a high-fat diet, with 50 per cent of energy coming from fat, and treated the animals with 1.5 per cent vinegar (high-dose group), 0.3 per cent vinegar (low-dose group), or water (control group).

At the end of the study, the researchers noted that that both vinegar groups produced reductions in fat mass of about 10 per cent, with no apparent dose-dependent effect, compared to the control mice.

Furthermore, the researchers noted changes in the gene-expression of peroxisome-proliferator-activated receptor-alpha (PPAR-alpha), which controls enzymes linked to fatty-acid-oxidation, such as acetyl-CoA oxidase and carnitine palmitoyl transferase-1, as well as a protein linked to thermogenesis called uncoupling protein-2.

“The results of this study suggest that acetic acid suppresses body fat accumulation by increasing fatty oxidation and thermogenesis in the liver through PPAR-alpha,” wrote the researchers.

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