Their new study showed that laboratory mice fed a high-fat diet and given acetic acid developed significantly less body fat (up to 10 percent less) than other mice. Importantly, the new research adds evidence to the belief that acetic acid fights fat by turning on genes for fatty acid oxidation enzymes. The genes churn out proteins involved in breaking down fats, thus suppressing body fat accumulation in the body.
We investigated the effect of acetic acid (AcOH) on the prevention of obesity in high-fat-fed mice. The mice were intragastrically administrated with water or 0.3 or 1.5% AcOH for 6 weeks. AcOH administration inhibited the accumulation of body fat and hepatic lipids without changing food consumption or skeletal muscle weight. Significant increases were observed in the expressions of genes for peroxisome-proliferator-activated receptor alpha (PPARalpha) and for fatty-acid-oxidation- and thermogenesis-related proteins: acetyl-CoA oxidase (ACO), carnitine palmitoyl transferase-1 (CPT-1), and uncoupling protein-2 (UCP-2), in the liver of the AcOH-treatment groups. PPARalpha, ACO, CPT-1, and UCP-2 gene expressions were increased in vitro by acetate addition to HepG2 cells. However, the effects were not observed in cells depleted of alpha2 5'-AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) by siRNA. In conclusion, AcOH suppresses accumulation of body fat and liver lipids by upregulation of genes for PPARalpha and fatty-acid-oxidation-related proteins by alpha2 AMPK mediation in the liver.