British Journal of Nutrition

Research Article

Dietary acetic acid reduces serum cholesterol and triacylglycerols in rats fed a cholesterol-rich diet

Takashi Fushimia1 c1, Kazuhito Surugaa2, Yoshifumi Oshimaa1, Momoko Fukiharua1, Yoshinori Tsukamotoa1 and Toshinao Godaa2

a1 Central Research Institute, Mizkan Group Corporation, 2–6 Nakamura-cho, Handa Aichi 475–8585, Japan

a2 Laboratory of Nutritional Physiology and COE Program in the 21st Century, School of Food and Nutritional Sciences, The University of Shizuoka, Shizuoka 422–8526, Japan


To investigate the efficacy of the intake of vinegar for prevention of hyperlipidaemia, we examined the effect of dietary acetic acid, the main component of vinegar, on serum lipid values in rats fed a diet containing 1% (w/w) cholesterol. Animals were allowed free access to a diet containing no cholesterol, a diet containing 1% cholesterol without acetic acid, or a diet containing 1% cholesterol with 0·3% (w/w) acetic acid for 19 d. Then, they were killed after food deprivation for 7 h. Cholesterol feeding increased serum total cholesterol and triacylglycerol levels. Compared with the cholesterol-fed group, the cholesterol and acetic acid-fed group had significantly lower values for serum total cholesterol and triacylglycerols, liver ATP citrate lyase (ATP-CL) activity, and liver 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA content as well as liver mRNA levels of sterol regulatory element binding protein-1, ATP-CL and fatty acid synthase (P<,0·05). Further, the serum secretin level, liver acyl-CoA oxidase expression, and faecal bile acid content were significantly higher in the cholesterol and acetic acid-fed group than in the cholesterol-fed group (P<0·05). However, acetic acid feeding affected neither the mRNA level nor activity of cholesterol 7a-hydroxylase. In conclusion, dietary acetic acid reduced serum total cholesterol and triacylglycerol: first due to the inhibition of lipogenesis in liver; second due to the increment in faecal bile acid excretion in rats fed a diet containing cholesterol.

(Received June 14 2005)

(Revised December 21 2005)

(Accepted January 12 2006)


c1 *Corresponding author: Dr. Takashi Fushimi, fax +81 56924 5028, email