friend Terry told me how — while holding her nose because it
tastes so bad — she takes a spoonful of vinegar mixed in
water every morning.
there really anything to this?" she asked me. "I
what I found out, Terry:
has been around for thousands of years, according to a 2006
review article on this topic in MedGenMed. It probably began
when unattended grape juice fermented to wine which further
fermented into vinegar. In fact, vinegar gets its name from
the French word for "sour wine."
carbohydrate-containing food can be fermented to vinegar,
including apples, berries, grapes and rice. The process of
fermentation alters the chemical nature of food, say
scientists, which contributes to its health value. For
example, antioxidant compounds called polyphenols are produced
during fermentation; these substances are currently being
studied for their potential to prevent or improve conditions
like diabetes, cancer and heart disease.
the most evidence for vinegar’s effect on health involves
its role in helping to lower blood sugar levels in people with
or without diabetes. Studies on humans have shown that doses
of vinegar (usually between 2 teaspoons to 2 tablespoons a
day) helped slow the rise in blood sugars after a meal by as
much as 20 percent compared to those who did not take vinegar.
Researchers theorize this may be due to acetic acid in vinegar
that keeps sugars and starches (carbohydrates) in food from
being completely digested.
studies hint that vinegar may help control our appetites
(maybe because we have to hold our noses to get it down?) In
any case, when compared to a similar dose of unsweetened
cranberry juice, volunteers who took 2 tablespoons of red
raspberry vinegar daily for a month lost more weight.
studies on vinegar and cancer have been done with animals,
namely rats. However, in laboratory studies on human cancer
cells, scientists were encouraged to learn that Japanese rice
vinegar "Kurosu" and a vinegar made from sugar cane
called "Kibizu" slowed the growth of certain
with health claims, experts say we need more well-conducted
research before we can be absolutely sure about the health
benefits of vinegar. For example, "mother" of
vinegar refers to a harmless slime that grows on the surface
of vinegar as it ferments over time. Claims that this is the
good stuff for your health have not been substantiated.
meantime, vinegar is a great accompaniment to salads, meats
and other foods we enjoy daily. Nutritionally, 2 tablespoons
of apple cider vinegar has zero calories, zero fat, zero
sodium, and zero carbs. Splash it on salads, meats and other
foods you enjoy. Or hold your nose and drink it.