June 22, 2009 -- The latest weapon in the battle of the bulge may be as
close as your kitchen pantry.
Ordinary household vinegar -- used to make oil-and-vinegar salad dressings
or pickles -- appears to turn on genes that help fight fat, researchers in
Vinegar has long been touted as a cure-all for many ills. The substance has
been used a folk medicine remedy since ancient times. Modern medical evidence
is slowly adding credence to some of the claims. In recent years, research has
suggested that the main chemical in vinegar, called acetic acid, can help
control blood pressure and blood sugar.
The current findings suggest that vinegar might help a person lose weight or
fight obesity. Tomoo Kondo and colleagues gave acetic acid or water to mice via
a stomach tube. All were provided a high-fat diet to eat normally.
Researchers found that the mice developed a lot less body fat (up to 10%
less) than mice who didn’t receive the vinegar compound. The amount of food
eaten by the mice was not affected.
It’s believed that acetic acid turns on genes that produce proteins that
help the body break down fats. Such an action helps prevent fat buildup in
body, and thwarts weight gain.
The findings are scheduled to be published in the July 8, 2009 issue of
Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.