Vinegar might help the body lose fat

Researchers fed one group of mice a high-fat diet along with acetic acid, the main component of vinegar other than water, for six weeks. Acetic acid is an organic acid that gives vinegar its strong taste and smell. It is produced by fermentation and oxidation of natural carbohydrates (sugars).

The other group of mice was given water and fed a diet high in fat.

The study found that mice in both groups gained weight, but the mice who consumed acetic acid gained up to 10 percent less than those given water. Researchers say the acetic acid inhibited the accumulation of body fat and cholesterol because it increased the production of proteins that help break down fats, making the fat less likely to be stored by the body.

Vinegar has been used as a folk medicine for thousands of years. Recent research suggested that vinegar might be used to help regulate blood pressure and blood sugar.

The results are published in the July 8 issue of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

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