Vinegar may help dieters eat less
and increases satiety, say Swedish researchers.
Increasing intake of the common flavouring at mealtimes or consuming it in a drink may therefore help dieters eat less and reduce cravings brought on by sugar peaks after meals.
Lead author of the study, Elin Ostman from Lund University, said her team saw a significant dose-response relationship between the amount of vinegar consumed by 12 healthy subjects and their glucose and insulin responses to white bread.
But she told NutraIngredients.com that the most interesting finding was the effect on satiety as this had not been measured in a previous study by the same group.
"There was a direct relationship between increased acetic acid and satiety," she said.
For the study, the volunteers were given three amounts of vinegar (18, 23 and 28 mmol acetic acid) diluted in water in combination with a portion of white wheat bread containing 50g available carbohydrates after an overnight fast.
Bread served without vinegar was used as a reference meal.
Blood samples taken during the next two hours assessed glucose and insulin levels while satiety was measured with a subjective rating scale.
"The satiety scores after the highest level of vinegar were rated significantly higher than the reference at 30, 90 and 120 minutes after the meal," write the researchers in this month's issue of the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition (vol 59, issue 9, pp983-988).
Olstrom noted that satiety is notoriously difficult to measure.
"It could be interesting to measure it in other ways like looking at the voluntary intake at the next meal," she said.
However the significant dose-response relationship between levels of acetic acid and blood glucose and serum insulin responses confirmed the results of a previous trial by the group.
Both glucose and insulin responses were about 25 per cent lower at 90 minutes when the volunteers had consumed the highest level of vinegar compared to the reference meal.
This level of vinegar is equivalen to about two to three tablespoons.
Interest in vinegar as a health food is increasing, as people become more interested in natural remedies.
Olstrom said her study could explain why some people feel a benefit from drinking a glass of vinegar and water before a meal.
But while few vinegar makers in Europe allude to health benefits, in Japan vinegar-based drinks have taken off in recent months, owing to beliefs in their medicinal properties.
Earlier this year, the Japan Times reported that the country's largest vinegar maker, Mizkan Group, had seen the market for drinking vinegar nearly triple to 21.46 billion yen between March and August 2004 from 7.57 billion yen in the same period in 2000.