Research News*

*The information contained in this section is gathered from public sources. The information has not been documented by or endorsed by the Institute or its members. It is provided for strictly informational purposes.

March 2015

Review Article About Vinegar Mentioned in Nutrition Reviews

An article was recently published in Nutrition Reviews titled, “Effect and mechanism of action of vinegar on glucose metabolism, lipid profile and body weight”  (Nutr Rev. 2014 Oct;72(10):651-61).  The abstract was published on the website of the National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Laboratory of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.  See abstract below.

The aim of this review is to summarize the effects of vinegar on glucose and lipid metabolism. Several studies have demonstrated that vinegar can help reduce hyperglycemia, hyperinsulinemia, hyperlipidemia, and obesity. Other studies, however, have shown no beneficial effect on metabolism. Several mechanisms have been proposed to explain these metabolic effects, including delayed gastric emptying and enteral absorption, suppression of hepatic glucose production, increased glucose utilization, upregulation of flow-mediated vasodilation, facilitation of insulin secretion, reduction in lipogenesis, increase in lipolysis, stimulation of fecal bile acid excretion, increased satiety, and enhanced energy expenditure. Although some evidence supports the use of vinegar as a complementary treatment in patients with glucose and lipid abnormalities, further large-scale long-term trials with impeccable methodology are warranted before definitive health claims can be made.

The abstract can also be viewed here.

Acetic Acid May Be Effective in Killing Mesothelioma Cells
Yahoo! Finance featured a story on research published in the December 2014 issue of the Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology (link to research) that determined acetic acid may be effective in killing mesothelioma cells.  According to the article, the Japanese researchers determined that an acetic acid concentration of 0.5% killed nearly all cancer cells after they were exposed for 10 minutes.

The actual research only mentions acetic acid, but the Yahoo! Finance story mentions that acetic acid is found in vinegar.

September 2014

“Preserving with Vinegar” – Meat and Poultry

Article from Meat and Poultry, titled “Preserving with Vinegar.” To view the article, click here.

Vinegar Research in Journal of Food Protection
A study was published in the June 2014 issue of the Journal of Food Protection titled, “Viability of Listeria monocytogenes on Uncured Turkey Breast Commercially Prepared with and without Buffered Vinegar during Extended Storage at 4 and 10°C” (J. Food Prot., Vol. 77, No 6, 2014; 987-992).  The abstract for the study is provided below.

We determined the viability of Listeria monocytogenes on uncured turkey breast containing buffered vinegar (BV) and surface treated with a stabilized solution of sodium chlorite in vinegar (VSC). Commercially produced, uncured, deli-style turkey breast was formulated with BV (0.0, 2.0, 2.5, or 3.0%), sliced (ca. 100 g and ca. 1.25 cm thick), and subsequently surface inoculated (ca. 4.3 log CFU per slice) in each of two trials with a five-strain cocktail of L. monocytogenes. Next, 1 ml per side of a 2 or 10% solution of VSC was added to each package before vacuum sealing and storing at 4 or 10°C. Without antimicrobials, L.monocytogenes numbers increased by ca. 6.2 log CFU per slice after 90 and 48 days of storage at 4 or 10°C, respectively. At 4°C, L. monocytogenes numbers increased by ca. 0.4 to 1.9 log CFU per slice on turkey breast formulated with 2.0 or 2.5% BV and treated or not with 2% VSC, whereas when treated with 10% VSC, L. monocytogenes levels remained relatively unchanged over 90 days. However, when turkey breast was formulated with 3.0% BV and treated or not with VSC, pathogen numbers decreased by ca. 0.7 to 1.3 log CFU per slice. At 10°C, L. monocytogenes numbers increased by ca. 1.5 to 5.6 log CFU per slice after 48 days when formulated with 2.0 to 3.0% BV and treated or not with 2% VSC. When formulated with 2.0% BV and treated with 10% VSC, L. monocytogenes numbers increased by ca. 3.3 log CFU per slice, whereas when formulated with 2.5 or 3.0% BV and treated with 10% VSC, L. monocytogenes decreased by ca. 0.3 log CFU per slice. Inclusion of BV as an ingredient in uncured turkey breast, alone or in combination with VSC added to the package, appreciably suppressed outgrowth of L. monocytogenes during an extended refrigerated shelf life.

May 2014

Acetic Acid Kills Tuberculosis and Other Mycobacteria
An international team of researchers from Venezuela, France and the U.S. published research in mBio ®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology related to the use of vinegar to kill mycobacteria, such as Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The abstract for the study titled, “Acetic Acid, the Active Component of Vinegar, Is an Effective Tuberculocidal Disinfectant,” is provided below:

Effective and economical mycobactericidal disinfectants are needed to kill both Mycobacterium tuberculosis and non-M. tuberculosis mycobacteria. We found that acetic acid (vinegar) efficiently kills M. tuberculosis after 30 min of exposure to a 6% acetic acid solution. The activity is not due to pH alone, and propionic acid also appears to be bactericidal. M. bolletii and M. massiliense nontuberculous mycobacteria were more resistant, although a 30-min exposure to 10% acetic acid resulted in at least a 6-log 10 reduction of viable bacteria. Acetic acid (vinegar) is an effective mycobactericidal disinfectant that should also be active against most other bacteria. These findings are consistent with and extend the results of studies performed in the early and mid-20th century on the disinfectant capacity of organic acids.

The research article notes that acetic acid or vinegar were used, but “Commercial white vinegar was used whenever possible.”  The authors went on to note the following: 

Acetic acid is relatively inexpensive—2.5 liters of 99% acetic acid costs less than US$100 and could effectively disinfect up to 20 liters of M. tuberculosis cultures or sputa. Commercial vinegar bought in supermarkets was used wherever possible in the experiments described here, but the concentrations vary from country to country. Commercial vinegar could be used at effective concentrations for M. smegmatis or M. tuberculosis in France, where it is sold as 8% acetic acid, but not in the United States or Venezuela, where vinegar is sold as 5% acetic acid. While longer-chain organic acids may have better bactericidal activity, acetic acid (vinegar) is relatively nontoxic, inexpensive, and available, which could make it an effective, economical biocide for disinfecting M. tuberculosis from clinical specimens, cultures, and laboratory surfaces, and it would be particularly useful in low-income countries. The high-level capacity of acetic acid in killing mycobacteria, regarded as the most disinfectant-resistant bacteria due to the structure of their lipid-rich cell walls ( 4 ), suggests that perhaps it should be revived as a broadly effective bactericide that can be used as a general sanitizer.

In a press release related to the study issued by the American Society for Microbiology on EurekAlert!, Mr. Takiff concluded the following:  “ For now this is simply an interesting observation. Vinegar has been used for thousands of years as a common disinfectant and we merely extended studies from the early 20th century on acetic acid… Whether it could be useful in the clinic or mycobacteriology labs for sterilizing medical equipment or disinfecting cultures or clinical specimens remains to be determined."

A copy of the study can also be accessed via this link. A copy of the press release on EurekAlert! can be accessed here.
September 2010

Dr. Carol Johnston researches effects of vinegar on blood glucose

November 2010

Vinegar’s Use in Natural Cured Pork Products
The following information was issued by the University of Arkansas’ Food Safety Consortium, titled, “

Vinegar, Natural Source of Nitrate Provides Way to Safeguard Organic Pork.

The release advises of a solution to manufacture natural or organic cured pork products, without using nitrite or nitrate.  (If nitrite or nitrate is used, these products cannot be labeled natural or organic.)  According to the release, Dr. Joe Sebranek of Iowa State University, with support from the University of Arkansas’ Food Safety Consortium, found a solution by incorporating vinegar with lactate and vinegar with lemon powder (natural antimicrobial ingredients) into naturally cured pork products.  The results indicate that bacterial pathogens, such as Listeria monocytogenes, were inhibited in the naturally cured pork products, but not to an equivalent level as in conventionally cured pork products.  Dr. Sebranek notes, “…With a naturally fermented vinegar product, you have a mixture of organic acids. It’s not typically used as a preservative but it provides some of the organic acids that are recognized antimicrobials. There’s a mixture in that kind of a product that essentially provides a preservative effect.”

October 2010

Use Vinegar to Clean Produce
In a 2003 study at the University of Florida, researchers tested disinfectants on strawberries contaminated with E. coli and other germs.  They found the vinegar mixture reduced bacteria by 90 percent and viruses by about 95 percent.”

April 2010

Type of Wood Impacts Sensory Qualities of Red Wine and Balsamic Vinegar
A study published in the March 2010 issue of Journal of Food Composition and Analysis reports that wood used for the aging of vinegar (balsamic and red wine) determines both the chemical composition and sensory properties.  The research, titled "Effect of wood on the phenolic profile and sensory properties of wine vinegar during ageing," was conducted in Spain.

February 2010

Antiglycemic Properties of Vinegar in Healthy Adults
Dr. Carol Johnston of Arizona State University (ASU) has been researching the use of vinegar in treating Type II diabetes. Most recently, Dr. Johnston and colleagues published research in the January 2010 online issue of Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism, titled, "Examination of the Antiglycemic Properties of Vinegar in Healthy Adults." The researchers concluded that "The antiglycemic properties of vinegar are evident when small amounts of vinegar are ingested with meals composed of complex carbohydrates. In these situations, vinegar attenuated PPG (postprandial glycemia) by ~20% compared to placebo." In short, vinegar reduces PPG in healthy adults. Of note, the researchers state that taking steps to reduce PPG is recommended by the American Diabetes Association to limit complications of diabetes.

Effect of Organic Acids and Marination Ingredients on the Survival of Campylobacter jejuni on Meat - Wine Vinegar Mentioned
Researchers in Denmark undertook a study to determine whether marination of chicken meat in different food ingredients can be used to reduce populations of Campylobacter jejuni. The study was recently published in the Journal of Food Protection (Vol. 73, No.2, 2010, pages 258 - 265). Of note, the researchers write:

To compose an efficient antibacterial marinade, the antibacterial effects of different food ingredients on C. jejuni inoculated onto broiler meat medallions were evaluated. The most efficient food ingredient was wine vinegar either alone or in combination with red wine and soya [soy sauce]. The antibacterial activity of wine vinegar continued during 3 days of storage, whereas the other ingredients and acids were effective only within the first 24 h of storage. Wine vinegar is a fermentation product of wine and contains a combination of organic acids (acetic acid, tartaric acid and citric acid) and other fermentation metabolites. Lemon juice, which had the lowest pH (2.7), was not as effective as wine vinegar (pH 3.4) for reducing the population of C. jejuni.

June 2009

Vinegar May Prevent Build Up of Fat
According to, a study published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry found that animals fed a high-fat diet (50% of energy from fat) and supplemented with acetic acid at two different levels developed about 10 per cent less body fat than mice just eating the diet. The Japanese researchers, led by Tomoo Kondo from the Central Research Institute of the Mizkan Group Corporation, found that vinegar was working at a genetic level, by influencing genes linked to fatty acid oxidation and heat-generating (energy burning) proteins. According to the researchers, "The results of this study suggest that acetic acid suppresses body fat accumulation by increasing fatty oxidation and thermogenesis in the liver through PPAR-alpha.”

Saltiness and Acidity (using vinegar): Detection and Recognition Thresholds and Their Interaction Near the Threshold
In the recent issue of the Journal of Food Science (a publication of the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT)), a study was published titled, "Saltiness and Acidity: Detection and Recognition Thresholds and Their Interaction Near the Threshold." According to a recent IFT newsletter about the study, it was noted that vinegar may enhance saltiness and enable lower sodium content.

The interaction of saltiness and acidity at the threshold level was studied with 35 to 40 young female panelists. As a first step, the detection and recognition thresholds of salt, rice vinegar and rice black vinegar were measured. Levels were then varied. The researchers found that both the detection and recognition thresholds of salt were decreased with the existence of the added vinegar ingredient. This tendency was more pronounced with rice black vinegar than with rice vinegar. However, no significant changes in the threshold of both detection and recognition were observed when salt at the half concentration of the detection threshold was added to rice vinegar. The researchers noted that was an interesting finding “since this breaks the symmetry of the enhancement/suppression between saltiness and acidity commonly believed.

December 2007

Benefit of Vinegar Consumption in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes
Research was published in the November 2007 issue of Diabetes Care that demonstrated that vinegar ingestion at bedtime moderates waking glucose concentrations. The investigators at Arizona State University (ASU) found that the vinegar treatment was especially effective for the six subjects who had a typical fasting glucose greater than 7.2 mmol/L. Fasting glucose in these participants was reduced by 6 percent compared with a reduction of 0.7 percent in those with a typical fasting glucose less than 7.2 mmol/L. According to an article about the study, the researchers concluded, "Vinegar is widely available, it is affordable, and it is appealing as a remedy, but much more work is required to determine whether vinegar is a useful adjunct therapy for individuals with diabetes."

Recent Research Confirms Bactericidal Activity of Vinegar
Researchers at the Food Biotechnology Department, Instituto de la Grasa (CSIC) in Seville, Spain, conducted research on the antimicrobial activity of several products. Vinegar and red and white wines were among the products tested. (Note: The focus of the research was olive oil, but it confirmed other findings related to vinegar and red and white wines.) The following microorganisms were used in the study: S. aureus, L. monocytogenes, S. Enteritidis, E.coli 0157:H7, S.sonnei and Yersinia sp.

Among the items tested, vinegar (5% acetic acid) showed the strongest bactericidal activity against all strains tested, which was attributed to its high acetic acid content. The researchers noted their study confirmed previous results. It was noted that both red and white wines exhibited bactericidal activity, in particular against Salmonella Enteritidis and Yersinia sp. S. aureus and L. monocytogenes were the least sensitive to the wines. The research was published in the May 2007 issue of the Journal of Food Protection (Vol. 70, No. 5, 2007).

November 2006

Study Suggests Vinegar Increases Calcium Absorption from Foods
University scientists in Ebetsu, Japan, have suggested that vinegar increases the extraction of calcium from food, based on two separate studies. The researchers say they found feeding laboratory animals a diet containing 1.6 percent vinegar for 32 days increased their absorption of calcium. Another study showed adding vinegar to boiling broth could boost the amount of calcium in chicken stock by 40 percent. The scientists believe the acetic acid in vinegar liquefies minerals in bones and shells. To read more, use the following link:

July 2006

Use of Vinegar to Treat Diabetes
On its Web site, KNBC in Los Angeles ran a story about the use of vinegar in treating diabetes. The segment titled, "Medical Minutes From Dr. Bruce Hensel," notes, "If you're diabetic ask your doctor if a little vinegar can reduce your need for medicines."

March 2006

Japanese Sleep-supporting Soft Drink Based on Tomato Vinegar
According to, the Japanese household products maker, Lion Corp, has launched a sleep-supporting soft drink based on tomato vinegar. The product, called "Gussumin," is targeted mainly to women having difficulties with sleeping. Tomato vinegar, made from fermented tomatoes, contains the transmitter substance, gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), which is said to have relaxing effects. It was developed as a result of joint research by a laboratory owned by Lion and a research center affiliated with Ota General Hospital in Kawasaki, Kanagawa Prefecture in eastern Japan. To learn more this product, use the following link:

January 2006

Japanese Study Finds Vinegar Helps Suppress Rise in Blood Sugar Level
Earlier this month, the Mizkan Group in Japan released the results of its latest research on vinegar. The results indicated that consuming vinegar (about 15 ml), either by drinking it or having "vinegared" food, can suppress a rise in the postprandial glucose level. According to Japanese Corporate News Network (JCCN), the Mizkan Group conducted experiments with 12 adult women and compared two groups: one group consuming vinegar with a meal and the other without vinegar. The JCCN indicated that the company has confirmed that acetic acid plays a role in this suppressive effect. It was noted that these findings may contribute to research on glycolipid metabolism-related diseases. To view the entire article, please use the following link:

December 2005

Vinegar Curbs Appetite
The Vinegar Institute earlier reported that a recent Swedish study found that consuming vinegar with white bread cut expected rises in insulin and blood sugar. The study also found that subjects felt fuller. The research is titled, "Vinegar supplementation lowers glucose and insulin responses and increases satiety after a bread meal in healthy subjects" and was published in the September 2005 issue of the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

According to the research, "A significant dose-response relation was seen at 30 min for blood glucose and serum insulin responses; the higher the acetic acid level, the lower the metabolic response. Furthermore, the rating of satiety was directly related to the acetic acid level." The article notes that there is a rapid increase in obesity and diseases related to insulin resistance syndrome (IRS). It is also noted that evidence exists to substantiate that a diet characterized by a low GI (glycemic index) has benefits in both prevention and treatment of several diseases linked to IRS, such as cardiovascular disease.

Additionally, the researchers conclude, "The selection of pickled and fermented products or meal additives, and the use of vinegar-based drinks, which are currently introduced in the market, may provide means to reach efficient levels of acetic acid. Addition of vinegar to carbohydrate-rich meals of high-GI character, or the use of, for example, homofermentative, acetic acid producing starter cultures offers a potential to lower the GI and increase the postmeal satiety. The possible long-term health benefits of including pickled products or fermented products in the diet need to be examined." The researchers also note that the level of acetic acid needed to elicit a response might be difficult to ingest as a salad dressing or as pickled vegetables.

June 2005

Vinegar Lowers Cholesterol
The Japanese Corporate News Network (JCNN) reported on a study that found the regular intake of vinegar (15 ml or more per day) can significantly lower the level of cholesterol in the blood. According to the JCNN article, "acetic acid has induced the effect." The results were presented at the 59th Annual Meeting for the Japanese Society of Nutrition and Food Science.

April 2005

Vinegar as a Weapon Against Cancer
The A.P. John Institute for Cancer Research issued a press release on acetic acid's detrimental effect on cancer cells by inhibiting glycolysis, the energy-producing process in cells. The release notes, "...logic dictates that if you shut down Glycolysis with acetic acid, cancer cells will die from starvation." The release also states several times that vinegar is a natural source of acetic acid. Additionally, the article mentions citric acid and notes, "Citric Acid is readily converted into acetic acid in the body and when combined, prove to be valuable weapons in fighting cancer."

January 2005

Apple Cider Vinegar – An Approach to Treating Type 2 Diabetes
- A study performed at Arizona State University and published in Diabetes Care indicates the consumption of apple cider vinegar may play a role in slowing the rise of blood sugar after a high-carbohydrate meal. ABC News "Healthology" online reported the story on January 26. According to the study, Type 2 Diabetics, Prediabetics and healthy individuals consumed 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in a glass of water sweetened with saccharine, or a placebo prior to consuming a breakfast containing 87 grams of carbohydrate. According to Dr. Carol Johnston, a researcher at Arizona State, vinegar consumption slowed the rise of blood sugar in all three groups up to 34%. It is thought that the vinegar interferes with the absorption of high-carbohydrate foods based on other studies done with rats and in a test tube.