admin | Mar 13, 2013 | Comments 0
Since the Middle Ages
, balsamic vinegar has been widely regarded as a healing tonic. Centuries later, modern scientists have confirmed that each bottle of balsamic vinegar is imbued with numerous rejuvenating properties.
Aged Balsamic Vinegar Against Atherosclerosis
Aged balsamic vinegar
has been linked to a wide variety of health benefits, one being its ability to combat a serious medical condition that can result in the thickening and rupture of artery walls, which is known as atherosclerosis. More information on this topic can be found in Maki Izuka’s article “Inhibitory Effects of Balsamic Vinegar
on LDL Oxidation and Lipid Accumulation in THP-1 Macrophages.” LDLs, or low-density lipoproteins, are generally bad for the body, as they enable the transport of cholesterol in the bloodstream. It is hypothesized that one of the main causes of atherosclerosis is the buildup of LDLs in the vessel wall, which leaves the LDLs vulnerable to oxidation. Oxidized LDLs are toxic to the body, as their transportation to macrophages via scavenger receptors eventually leads to the formation of foam cells–and these foam cells form harmful fatty streaks of plaque in the inner-most parts of arteries. Simply put, the process goes as follows: Build-up of LDLs in vessel wall — LDL oxidation — Formation of foam cells — Formation of fatty plaque in arteries — Atherosclerosis.
Balsamic vinegar’s role in all of this? It dramatically inhibits the LDL oxidation that eventually leads to atherosclerosis and other health problems. Balsamic vinegar contains an abundance of polyphenols (a kind of antioxidant) that decrease the expression of scavenger receptors, and thus limits the transportation of LDLs. Findings also suggest that balsamic vinegar is effective in the regulation of risk factors in the progression of atherosclerosis.
Better Heart Health and Blood Pressure
Another health benefit
of balsamic vinegar is its ability to reduce the concentration of triglycerides and total cholesterol, which, when found in the bloodstream, have been linked to the occurrence of heart attacks and stroke. Also, due to its low saturated fat content, balsamic vinegar is believed to reduce cholesterol levels in the body, enhance heart health, and reduce high blood pressure. The University of Wisconsin’s research also shows that flavonoids in purple grape juice prevent the thickening of the arteries, which would otherwise hinder the flow of blood to the heart.
The Power of Polyphenols
According to Verzelloni, Tagliazucchi, and Conte in their article “From Balsamic to Healthy: Traditional Balsamic Vinegar Melanoidins Inhibit Lipid Peroxidation During Stimulated Gastric Digestion of Meat”, the polyphenols in balsamic vinegar stimulate the activity of digestive enzymes known as “pepsin enzymes” in the body. Polyphenols are classified as antioxidants–which, as many people know, are good for the body. But what exactly do antioxidants do? Antioxidants remove chemicals known as “free radicals” in the body that can damage surrounding cells and tissues. The aforementioned polyphenols also assist the intestine in efficiently absorbing amino acids., which makes cell building, repair, and other body maintenance possible.
Aging Well with Aged Balsamic Vinegar
Consuming aged balsamic vinegar can also aid in deterring premature aging. Oxidation reactions taking place in the human body produce energy and also lead to the formation of cell-damaging free radicals. These free radicals damage cell membranes and manifest themselves as premature aging, the hardening of arterial walls, and cancer. According to Elena Verzelloni in her article “Relationship Between the Antioxidant Properties and the Phenolic and Flavonoid Content in Traditional Balsamic Vinegar
,” antioxidants from balsamic vinegar destroy these free radicals and prevent cells from being destroyed.
Aged Balsamic Vinegar’s Fight Against Cancer
Aged balsamic vinegar is known to h
ave cancer fighting properties as well. In Tagliazucchi, Verzelloni, and Conte’s article “Antioxidant Properties of Traditional Balsamic Vinegar and Boiled Must Systems”, the authors assert that the grapes from which aged balsamic vinegar is formed contain a bioflavonoid called quercetin, which has antioxidant properties. This antioxidant, along with Vitamin C, strengthens the immune system to fight cancer, inflammation, and other infectious diseases. Presently, research continues to study the properties of grapes in the nation’s fight against cancer and heart disease.
Filed Under: Cancer