Vinegar: functional aspects
Vinegar is a widely used condiment, consumed by all social classes and has great potential for health benefits, which justifies the concern for their beneficial activity. The country is still a beginner in vinegar research, concerning the verification of its health benefits, as the raw materials used and the production process. The article aims to gather and discuss studies that show the vinegar beneficial effects for human health. In studies conducted in Europe and Asia, it was observed that consumption of vinegar can be beneficial, as it showed antitumor effect, reduced the blood glucose level, effects on the immune system, anti-hypertensive effect, among others. Those responsible for the medicinal effects are acetic acid (at least 4% in vinegars, under Brazilian law), but also other compounds resulting from the metabolism of microorganisms during the stages of fermentation and/or aging. Despite these results, “in vivo” research as are still deficient concerning the recommended daily doses that prove the medicinal efficacy of vinegar are unknown. However, in view of the favorable results, the functional potential of these vinegars should not be ignored, then, more studies are necessary in order to demonstrate their functional properties.
Additional keywords: antioxidant action; human health benefits; vinegar consumption.