Can Vinegar Help You Drop Weight?

It dresses up your salads, puts the pucker in your pickles and now, researchers say, vinegar may help you fight body fat.

Japanese scientists found that laboratory mice who followed a high-fat diet but were also given vinegar grew up to develop less body fat, than mice who were fed a high-fat diet that didn't include vinegar. One group of mice was given small amounts of vinegar and another was given larger doses, while the third group received water. All of the mice were put on a diet with approximately 50 percent of their calories coming from fat. Both the low-dose and high-dose vinegar groups developed 10 percent less body fat than the water group.

Wondering if the results of this animal study would benefit both mice and men, the same researchers immediately set out to test the effects of drinking a daily dose of vinegar-infused beverages on obese men. The men were divided into three groups. Every day for twelve weeks, one group drank 500 ml (about 2 cups) of a beverage that contained 15 ml (about 1/2 ounce) vinegar, another group drank a similar size beverage that contained 30 ml (about 1 ounce) vinegar, and a third group drank a beverage containing no vinegar. At the end of the study, both groups of vinegar drinkers had lost significantly more weight and had less body fat, smaller waist measurements and lower blood fat levels than the men who didn't drink vinegar.

The scientists believe that the active ingredient responsible for this fat-fighting effect is the main ingredient in vinegar: acetic acid. Acetic acid turns on the genes that are responsible for a series of events that break down fat for use as energy. Fat that is being used to produce energy isn't being stored on your body.

Although vinegar has been used for hundreds of years as a folk remedy for weight control and has appeared in its share of fad diets, these studies are the first to suggest a scientific basis for its use as a weight loss tool. More studies are necessary to confirm that these results apply to a broader population of people who are trying to lose weight.  Meanwhile, we know one thing for sure: Vinegar has virtually no calories, so whether or not it helps you lose weight, you can use it freely to flavor foods on a diet because it's certainly not going to cause you to gain weight.


New Evidence That Vinegar May be Natural Fat-Fighter


Pub Med: Vinegar in human study:


Could vinegar be natural fat fighter?


Does vinegar help curb appetite?