When we dress the salad, we often don't even pay attention to the gesture of adding vinegar, yet, this is a move that can be very healthy indeed. In fact, vinegar helps fight obesity and the accumulation of fat and can even protect the brain and memory. This emerges from two scientific studies. The first was published by a Japanese team in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry (Kondo et al, Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 2009), the second still in the same journal but by a Korean team (Hong et al, Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 2017).
Vinegar against obesity
The main component of vinegar is acetic acid, which is characterized by anti-hypertensive and anti-diabetic properties, as proven by scientific studies. The Japanese scientists of the first research we are analyzing today have tested the ability of acetic acid, and therefore of vinegar, to counteract obesity as well. The study took place in the laboratory on a population of mice. All mice were given a diet that was high in fat, but half of the mice also received acetic acid. Well, what emerged was that acetic acid reduced the accumulation of fat by 10% compared to mice that had not taken this substance. It is believed that acetic acid is able to counteract the accumulation of fats and obesity by activating genes, which in turn determine the production of proteins involved in the breakdown of fats. In this way, the accumulation of body fat is reduced.
Blueberry vinegar for a healthy brain
According to scientific studies, the brain is known to have low levels of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine in the case of Alzheimer's disease. Drugs that inhibit acetylcholinesterase, which is the enzyme that degrades acetylcholine, allow for an increase in acetylcholine. However, these drugs do not last long in the body and can also be toxic to the liver. This is why scientists are constantly looking for natural remedies that are equally effective but that can be more tolerable. Blueberries are a valuable source of antioxidants to help prevent cognitive impairment. In addition, it is known from studies that fermentation processes can increase the action of some beneficial compounds. This is why the Korean scientists of the second study analyzed today decided to evaluate the effects on memory and on the brain of blueberry vinegar, obtained by fermenting blueberries. The study took place in the laboratory on mice with amnesia. Part of the mice were given cranberry vinegar and what emerged was that this product reduced the breakdown of acetylcholine and increased levels of brain neurotrophic factor, a key protein involved in the maintenance and formation of healthy neurons and in neuroplasticity. As a result, short-term memory was improved in the mice that took blueberry vinegar.
So, from now on, when we dress salads or decide to flavor our dishes, we know that by adding a little vinegar, always without exaggerating, we are benefiting our body and mind. Vinegar in general helps to keep blood sugar, blood pressure and body weight under control and if we choose blueberries, we also take valuable antioxidants to counteract cognitive decline and support memory.