From Ergo Log
There’s no hard proof yet of the assertion in the headline, but it may not be long in coming. Studies sugges that you can lose more fat while asleep and give your muscles a slightly stronger growth stimulus if you take a couple of capsules of apple vinegar before going to bed. Ordinary cooking vinegar will also do.
Vinegar has been on the market for years as a slimming supplement. There’s a growing stack of research that says a couple of capsules before a meal help inhibit the rise in the glucose level after eating. As a result, your muscles have more opportunity to burn the sugars in your blood and it’s longer before you feel hungry again. Ordinary vinegar, worked into a salad dressing for example, works just as well as supplements.
The way in which vinegar works was thought to be that its acidity slows down the digestive processes in the stomach. But a Carol Johnston study in 2007 suggests that the matter is slightly more complicated when it comes to vinegar’s slimming properties.
The researchers, working at the Arizona State University, gave 11 diabetes-2 sufferers two tablespoons of apple vinegar before going to sleep. They measured the subjects’ sugar level in the morning. The figure below shows that the supplement reduced the amount of glucose in the blood by 4 percent.
The researchers then repeated their experiment but using a placebo. This made the sugar level go down by 2 percent, an effect that was not statistically significant. The effect of the vinegar supplement was statistically significant.
Delaying the digestion of carbohydrates can’t be the cause of the effect here, according to the researchers. After all, the stomach is empty at night. So something else must happen. In an article published this month in Nutrition Research [Nutr Res. 2009 Dec;29(12):846-9.] the researchers, backed up by colleagues from the Kronos Longevity Research Institute, present an alternative explanation. The active ingredient in vinegar and vinegar supplements is acetic acid [structural formula shown above]. In the muscles this acid inhibits the enzyme phosphofructokinase-1 (PFK-1), which is the enzyme that makes the reaction below possible.
You’re looking at the first step of the process of glycolysis, the process in which glucose in converted into energy. Fructose-6-phosphate and ATP are converted into fructose 1,6-biophosphate and ADP. If that process is inhibited a bit, then in theory the muscle cells burn more fat and store more glucose as glycogen. A muscle cell with a lot of glycogen makes more energy available for growth processes. This effect may also be useful for endurance athletes who stock up on carbohydrates before a race.
Once again, we repeat, this is supposition. The researchers are not interested in the possible body recompositioning effect of acetic acid. They are only interested in the positive effect on the blood sugar level, Which is of concern to diabetics, they suspect.
Should you want to experiment with vinegar capsules before going to sleep, here’s a tip: the researchers got their subjects to eat something low-carb with them. To prevent stomach problems.
Diabetes Care. 2007 Nov;30(11):2814-5.