The first observational study on the health advantages of dietary vinegar was able to be conducted because to the vinegar-based Japanese side dishes.
The first proof that eating the Japanese side dish sunomono, which is vinegared, is associated with reduced blood pressure in men comes from an observational research conducted by Professor Hiroaki Kanouchi of Osaka Metropolitan University.
Sunomono gave researchers the chance to perform an observational study to see if changes in blood pressure were associated with vinegar use as part of a typical diet.
According to earlier research, people who consumed 30 mL of vinegar daily lost weight, which may have contributed to their decreased blood pressure.
“The benefits of vinegar in a healthy diet are well known. Our research is the first observational study of these benefits; we didn’t ask participants to change anything,” explained Professor Kanouchi.
A common seafood garnish is added to the traditional side dish known as sunomono, which is created with sliced cucumber or seaweed and rice vinegar. It is a popular source of greater quantities of dietary vinegar because it is a common item that older generations of Japanese people regularly consume and can be purchased in stores in individually prepared servings.
As a result, the research team sought for 1498 men and women who were older than 40 and who had undergone screening for hypertension or other disqualifying medical disorders.
A dietary survey was completed by 746 participants, who also had their blood pressure measured and classified in accordance with Japanese Society of Hypertension criteria. Special emphasis was paid to the consumption of sour, vinegary foods, primarily sunomono.
“Vinegar is hard to observe because it isn’t a big ingredient in meals; you might get a little in vinaigrette or pickles, but people rarely drink the pickle’s vinegar brine. In sunomono, vinegar is part of the dish, people usually finish it,” Professor Kanouchi explained.
While analyzing the health information and dietary survey, the researchers noticed an interesting trend.
“Men who did not habitually eat sunomono had significantly higher blood pressure, even though their weight and BMI were the same,” Professor Kanouchi announced. “We believe it could be promoting the growth of good gut microbiota, but we would need more studies to confirm that.”
Even after adjusting for age, BMI, smoking history, salt, potassium, and alcohol intake, eating sunomono — at least monthly — was associated with lower average blood pressure in men. This suggests that consuming sunomono may already be beneficial to health.
“We are not sure how the vinegar causes these health benefits; increasing vinegar consumption doesn’t lead to further improvement in blood pressure. However, diet is one of the easiest things to change! I want everyone to know that even occasionally eating sunomono could make a difference in blood pressure,” Professor Kanouchi concluded.