Even a simple dressing, which we often give only the importance of a glance when we add it to salads, can become a precious ally for liver and heart health. We're talking about vinegar! In fact, it seems that fruit vinegar, and pomegranate vinegar in particular, has notable health properties. But let's try to understand better on the basis of a scientific study published in the journal Pharmaceutical Biology by an Algerian team (Bouazza et al, Pharm Biol, 2016).
Vinegar, a condiment from thousands of years ago
Vinegar is a condiment and medicinal remedy known since ancient times. In fact, around 4000 BC. the Babylonians produced vinegar from the fermentation of dates and figs. Nowadays vinegar is the most popular condiment together with olive oil. There is no supermarket or grocery store, restaurant or home that does not have one. Furthermore, in recent years, vinegar is gaining even more fame as recent research has demonstrated its healthy properties. In fact, acetic acid, which is the main substance of vinegar, has shown an action against cholesterol and therefore heart saver. Not only that, vinegars produced from fruit are proving to be very interesting, especially fruit rich in antioxidants, such as apples, prickly pears and pomegranates. The research we are talking about today deals with analyzing the action of the vinegar obtained from these fruits in the case of a high-fat diet, one of the main causes of cardiovascular diseases and liver damage.
Fruit vinegar protects the liver and heart, the study
The study took place in the laboratory on a population of mice. The mice ate a high-fat diet, which led to high levels of cholesterol, triglycerides and increased free radicals in the liver. Some of the mice, in turn divided into three groups, took, every day for a month, a quantity equal to 7 ml per kg of body weight of prickly pear, apple or pomegranate vinegar. At the end of the experiment, it emerged that the mice that had consumed the fruit vinegar showed a normalization of some parameters such as total cholesterol, bad cholesterol, triglycerides, ALT and AST, the latter relating to liver health. All the three fruit vinegars were able to show these results, however, pomegranate vinegar has proven to be the best in terms of beneficial effects on the body. In fact, pomegranate vinegar has made it possible to considerably reduce total cholesterol, triglycerides, by as much as 68%, bad cholesterol, by 76%, and the atherogenic index, which measures the risk of atherosclerosis, by 80%. Not only that, pomegranate vinegar has also been able to increase antioxidants, reduce the accumulation of fat in the liver and liver lesions.
The study has limitations, such as the fact that it analyzes the effect of vinegar on mice and not on humans. Additionally, for research purposes, the amount of vinegar used is very high for a short period of time. It can certainly be useful, for the future, to research the effects of a lower dose of vinegar but taken for long periods of time, just as happens when we season vegetables at home. In any case, the results offered are very interesting as they allow us to understand that vinegar is not just an ingredient, which gives an extra touch to the preparations, but can also become a precious ally for health, always without exaggerating, because excessive quantities of vinegar can damage the gastrointestinal tract, and within a healthy and varied diet. And nowadays it is easy to find different types of vinegar in shops, including pomegranate vinegar, which has proven to be one of the best at protecting the liver and heart.