- 15 Ways Apple Cider Vinegar Benefits Your Health
- The Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar
- Apple Cider Vinegar Health Benefits – A Nutritionist Debunks Apple Cider Vinegar Benefits
- Using it as a dressing may reduce your risk of chronic disease
- It could lower cholesterol.
- It doesn't give you a free pass on carbs or fat.
- It won't significantly lower your blood sugar
- Drinking apple cider vinegar won't make you lose weight
- And it won't make you eat less.
- Apple cider vinegar is not a recommended cure for constipation.
- It won't keep you from getting sick
- It doesn't contain a lot of probiotics
- Debunking the health benefits of apple cider vinegar
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Apple cider vinegar diet: Does it really work?
- What is the apple cider vinegar diet?
- What can the apple cider vinegar diet do for you?
- Is there a downside to the apple cider vinegar diet?
- So what?
15 Ways Apple Cider Vinegar Benefits Your Health
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One of the oldest apple cider vinegar (ACV) uses in the book is to take it to fix tummy woes. For an upset stomach, try sipping some apple cider vinegar mixed with water.
If you have diarrhea and a bacterial infection is the reason why, apple cider vinegar could help control the problem, thanks to its antibiotic properties. What’s more, some folk remedy experts contend that apple cider vinegar contains pectin, which can help soothe intestinal spasms.
Try mixing one or two tablespoons into water or clear juice apple juice. Some people taking it straight instead—but this is why you shouldn’t be drinking apple cider vinegar shots.
Try a teaspoonful of apple cider vinegar; it might stop a case of hiccups in its tracks. According to a case report in a 2015 issue of the Journal of Palliative Medicine, one patient who developed persistent hiccups the day after undergoing chemotherapy found significant improvement after using vinegar.
The journal notes, “Hiccups stopped or decreased in intensity or in rate per minute after sipping vinegar.” While that’s just one person with a specific illness, it might be worth considering. More studies are needed to better determine ACV’s role in reducing hiccups.
If sipping it isn’t up your alley, consider these 7 reasons to soak in an apple cider vinegar bath and reap even more benefits.
As soon as you feel the prickle of a sore throat, consider trying germ-busting apple cider vinegar to help head off the infection. Vinegar creates an acidic environment that has been used since ancient times to kill germs.
Modern research suggests it works best when used in the context of food preparation, and it has had mixed results when used to fight germs in people, according to a 2006 review in Medscape General Medicine. (It’s generally not recommended for treating wounds, they say.
) However, given its usage in food and home remedies for more than 2000 years, it’s considered safe to ingest, according to the report. Just mix 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar with 1/4 cup warm water and gargle every hour or so.
More research is needed to definitively link apple cider vinegar and its capability to lower cholesterol in humans. But one 2006 study published in the British Journal of Nutrition found that the acetic acid in the vinegar lowered total cholesterol in rats.
A second study in animals suggested that it might also help lower blood pressure. In a report in Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry, rats with high blood pressure given acetic acid had a drop in blood pressure compared with a control group given no vinegar or acetic acid.
However, use caution here and talk to your doctor—large amounts of apple cider vinegar may pose a problem for people taking medications such as digoxin or diuretics, which are used to treat heart failure, hypertension, and other conditions.
For recipe inspiration, check out these 12 apple cider vinegar recipes you’ll love adding to your diet.
Sip before eating, especially if you know you’re going to indulge in foods that will make you sorry later. Try this folk remedy: add 1 teaspoon of honey and 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar to a glass of warm water and drink it 30 minutes before you dine.
Ali Blumenthal for Reader's Digest
Apple cider vinegar may help you lose weight. According to a 2018 report in the Journal of Functional Foods, apple cider vinegar, when part of a restricted calorie diet, “can be considered as an effective strategy” for reducing visceral fat and helping in a few other health issues.
Harvard Medical School experts also point to information that suggests a possible link between vinegar and weight loss: they explain that ACV contains acetic acid, which “has been found to reduce absorption of starches and slow digestion, which can lead to a sensation of a full stomach.
” But more research has yet to be done to fully determine the link between weight loss and apple cider vinegar. Here are 11 potential benefits of apple cider vinegar for weight loss.
Ali Blumenthal for Reader's Digest
Apple cider vinegar may also help your scalp. The acidity of apple cider vinegar could alter the pH of your scalp, making it harder dandruff-causing conditions to set in.
Mix 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar with 1/4 cup water in a spray bottle, and spritz on your scalp. Wrap your head in a towel and let sit for 15 minutes to an hour, then wash your hair as usual.
Do this twice a week for best results.
Ali Blumenthal for Reader's Digest
Apple cider vinegar is a natural toner that can act as a natural home remedy for acne. Its antibacterial properties may help keep acne under control. The malic and lactic acids found in apple cider vinegar might help soften and exfoliate skin, reduce red spots, and balance the pH of your skin. Make sure to do a spot test on your skin first as it might cause skin irritation in some people.
Exercise and stress cause lactic acid to build up in the body, causing fatigue. Interestingly, the amino acids contained in apple cider vinegar may act as an antidote. ACV also contains potassium and enzymes that may relieve that tired feeling.
So the next time you’re sluggish, try drinking apple cider vinegar. Add a tablespoon or two of it to a glass of a chilled vegetable drink or to a glass of water to boost your energy.
Increased energy levels might not be the only benefit; these are 11 other things that happen when you drink apple cider vinegar every day.
Leg cramps can often be a sign that you’re low in potassium.
Since one of the many apple cider vinegar benefits is that contains potassium, one home remedy suggests mixing 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar and one teaspoon honey to a glass of warm water, then drinking to relieve nighttime leg cramps.
Of course, by the time you walk to the kitchen to put the drink together, your cramp is ly to be history—but maybe that’s the point. Keep in mind that large amounts of apple cider vinegar may actually lower potassium levels, so use in moderation.
If proper brushing and mouthwash don’t do the trick, try the home remedy of using apple cider vinegar to control bad breath. Dilute some with water, then gargle with it or drink a teaspoon. This may kill odor-causing bacteria.
It seems to also have another oral health benefit; a 2015 study published in the Journal of Prosthodontics concluded that “apple cider vinegar showed antifungal properties,” specifically against oral mucous membrane inflammation that can occur under a denture.
Ali Blumenthal for Reader's Digest
Gargle with apple cider vinegar in the morning. The vinegar helps remove stains, whiten teeth, and kill bacteria in your mouth and gums. Brush as usual after you gargle.
You can also brush your teeth with baking soda once a week to help remove stains and whiten your teeth; use it just as you would toothpaste.
Be cautious though; too much ACV or baking soda may affect your tooth enamel, which protects against cavities and tooth sensitivity.
Ali Blumenthal for Reader's Digest
Apple cider vinegar has anti-inflammatory properties; dabbing or laying an apple cider vinegar compress on a bruise may help fade the discoloration. If you’re wondering why your bruises sometimes take on various colors; read this to learn more about what the color of your bruise is trying to tell you.
A few swigs of apple cider vinegar could help your blood sugar levels.
A 2007 study conducted by Arizona State University researchers found that people with type 2 diabetes who consumed two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with one ounce of cheese at bedtime had a lower fasting glucose the next morning compared with when they consumed water with their cheese before bed. (The patients weren’t taking insulin but continued to take their oral medications for type 2 diabetes during the study if they were on them.) The scientists concluded that the anti-glycemic effect of the apple cider vinegar may have been particularly beneficial for people who tended to have a relatively high fasting glucose. Now that you know many apple cider vinegar benefits, it might be time to try it out yourself–just be aware of these 8 things you should never do while taking apple cider vinegar.
- British Journal of Nutrition, 2006 May;95(5):916-24: “Dietary acetic acid reduces serum cholesterol and triacylglycerols in rats fed a cholesterol-rich diet.”
- Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry, 2001, volume 65, 2690-2694 “Antihypertensive Effects of Acetic Acid and Vinegar on Spontaneously Hypertensive Rats”
- Rx List: Apple Cider Vinegar
- Nephron 1998;80:242–243; “Hypokalemia, Hyperreninemia and Osteoporosis in a Patient Ingesting Large Amounts of Cider Vinegar”
- Journal of Functional Foods, Volume 43, April 2018, Pages 95-102: “Beneficial effects of Apple Cider Vinegar on weight management, Visceral Adiposity Index and lipid profile in overweight or obese subjects receiving restricted calorie diet: A randomized clinical trial.”
- 2814-2815: “Vinegar Ingestion at Bedtime Moderates Waking Glucose Concentrations in Adults With Well-Controlled Type 2 Diabetes.”
- Journal of Prosthodontics, 2015 Jun;24(4):296-302. doi: 10.1111/jopr.12207. Epub 2014 Sep 14: Antifungal Activity of Apple Cider Vinegar on Candida Species Involved in Denture Stomatitis.”
- Journal of Palliative Medicine, 2015 May;18(5):467-70: “Use of vinegar to relieve persistent hiccups in an advanced cancer patient.”
- Harvard Health Publishing, May 2018: “Does apple cider vinegar have any proven health benefits?”
Originally Published on sitename.com Medically reviewed by Elisabetta Politi, CDE, MPH, RD, on September 06, 2019 Originally Published: September 24, 2019
The Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is a liquid produced during the fermentation of apple cider. During this process, the sugar in apples is fermented by yeast and/or bacteria added to the cider, which then turns it into alcohol and, finally, into vinegar.
other types of vinegar, the key component in apple cider vinegar is acetic acid. Apple cider vinegar also contains other substances such as lactic, citric, and malic acids, and bacteria.
For centuries, apple cider vinegar has been used as a home remedy to treat many health ailments and as a disinfectant and natural preservative.
Proponents claim that apple cider vinegar may boost your health in a variety of ways. Science backs up some of these claims.
Verywell / Emily Roberts
The acetic acid in vinegar appears to block enzymes that help you digest starch, resulting in a smaller blood sugar response after starchy meals such as pasta or bread.
A 2017 review of studies published in Diabetes Research & Clinical Practice suggested that the increased intake of vinegar with meals can decrease fluctuations in insulin and blood sugar after meals.
To incorporate apple cider vinegar in your meals, try adding a splash to salads, marinades, vinaigrettes, and sauces.
If you have diabetes or prediabetes, be sure to consult your doctor if you’re considering using amounts larger those normally found in cooking.
Vinegar can interact with diabetes medication, and it shouldn't be used by people with certain health conditions, gastroparesis.
Proponents claim that consuming vinegar before or with a meal may have a satiating effect.
A 12-week study from Japan conducted reported that people who had consumed up to 30 milliliters (roughly 6 teaspoons) of vinegar per day experienced a modest one-to-two pound reduction in body weight.
Body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, triglycerides, and visceral fat were also slightly reduced.
People tend to consume greater than normal amounts of apple cider vinegar when using it for weight loss purposes, with some even taking it in tablet form.
Over the years, apple cider vinegar has been used as a home remedy for many health and beauty issues. While there isn't strong science to back these claims, there is some anecdotal evidence to affirm its potential.
To address dandruff, some people find that lightly spritzing an apple cider vinegar and water solution onto the scalp combats persistent flakes, itchiness, and irritation.
Vinegar’s acetic acid may alter the scalp’s pH, making it harder for yeast—one of the main contributors to dandruff—to flourish.
It has also been suggested that it can treat a form of eczema known as seborrheic dermatitis.
A 2017 study published in the Galen Medical Journal suggested that the topical application of the flowering herb Althaea officinalis combined with vinegar was able to resolve seborrheic dermatitis is a 32-year-old woman.
Although apple cider vinegar is sometimes recommended as a hair rinse to remove shampoo build-up and clarify dull hair, the solution has to very dilute to prevent stinging the eyes.
While the more common recommendation for a mild sunburn is a cool water compress, cool bath, aloe gel, or moisturizer, some people swear by apple cider vinegar. It can be added to a cool bath or mixed with cool water and lightly spritzed on affected areas (avoiding the face) to relieve pain and discomfort.
There is little evidence that apple cider vinegar can help heal or relieve sunburn pain better than no treatment. It does, however, have excellent antibacterial properties that may help prevent skin infections caused by sunburn and other skin injuries.
Apple cider vinegar shouldn’t be applied full-strength or in strong concentrations to the skin, as the acidity can further injure the skin. It also shouldn’t be used for more serious burns. Be sure to consult your health care provider for help in determining the severity of your sunburn.
If you have mosquito bites, poison ivy, or jellyfish stings, a weak apple cider vinegar solution dabbed onto bites and stings may help itching and irritation.
Apple cider vinegar may help to dry out pimples when a solution is dabbed onto pimples. It should be diluted before applying it to the face as it can cause skin injury or chemical burns if it’s not dilute enough.
The concentration of acetic acid in apple cider vinegar varies widely and is not standardized, making it difficult to judge how much to dilute it to be safe as a skin toner or for other purposes.
Although the evidence supporting the use of apple cider vinegar in treating acne is lacking, research has suggested that it may help diminish the appearance of varicose veins when applied topically.
A time-honored throat elixir, apple cider vinegar drinks, and gargles are said to alleviate the pain of a sore throat (pharyngitis). Although there are many different recipes and protocols, a basic drink recipe calls for a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar, a teaspoon of honey, and a small pinch of cayenne pepper stirred in a cup of warm water.
Although proponents claim that apple cider vinegar has germ-fighting properties and capsaicin in hot peppers alleviates pain, there hasn’t been any research on apple cider vinegar’s ability to fight sore throats. Moreover, there is evidence that treating a sore throat with vinegar can cause more harm than good.
If not properly diluted, vinegar can corrode esophageal tissues, causing persistent throat pain and dysphagia (difficulty swallowing).
It is unclear at what concentration apple cider vinegar would safe for use in treating pharyngitis, particularly in children.
To help keep smelly feet under control, proponents claim apple cider vinegar may help to balance the skin’s pH and fight the bacteria that causes foot odor.
Typically, a bit of apple cider vinegar is mixed into water. Baby wipes, cotton balls or pads, small towels, or cotton rags can be dipped into the solution, wrung out, and used to wipe the bottom of the feet.
Wipes can be made ahead and stored in an airtight container.
Although a vinegar scent will be noticeable, it often dissipates when the vinegar solution has dried. Avoid wearing shoes made from materials leather that can be damaged by the acidity.
An apple cider vinegar solution can also help to neutralize odor-causing armpit bacteria. Typically, cotton pads, towelettes, or cotton rags are lightly spritzed with a very weak solution and swiped onto the armpits. The vinegar smell should dissipate as it dries.
It's a good idea to test the apple cider vinegar solution in a smaller area first and to avoid using it if you're wearing delicate fibers, silk.
Apple cider vinegar is a popular household ingredient, which may lead you to believe that it's completely safe. While there may be no cause for alarm if you are generally healthy, there are some potential effects to be aware of, particularly if the concentration is too strong or is in contact with your body for too long.
Apple cider vinegar, for instance, may cause chemical burns. There have been case reports of chemical burns after apple cider vinegar was used for warts and a skin condition known as molluscum contagiosum.
Although apple cider vinegar is widely touted as a home remedy to whiten teeth or freshen breath, exposing your teeth to the acidity may erode tooth enamel and lead to cavities.
When taken internally, ACV may result in decreased potassium levels, hypoglycemia, throat irritation, and allergic reactions. It is an acid (a pH less than 7 is an acid, and many apple cider vinegar products have a pH of 2 to 3) and can cause burns and injury to the digestive tract (including the throat, esophagus, and stomach), especially when taken undiluted or in large amounts.
Apple cider vinegar may interact with certain medications, including laxatives, diuretics, blood thinners, and heart disease and diabetes medications.
Apple cider vinegar shouldn’t be used as a nasal spray, sinus wash, or in a neti pot, and it shouldn’t be added to eye drops. Vinegar won't help in the treatment of lice.
Apple cider vinegar is available as a liquid and in supplement capsules. There is no standard dose for ACV supplements, so follow the package directions and check with your healthcare provider.
When using vinegar, most suggested uses involve diluting apple cider vinegar before applying it to the body. However, the safety of different vinegar-to-water ratios isn't known. A 1:10 ratio has been suggested when applying it directly to skin, however, it should be weaker (or avoided entirely) on weak or delicate skin.
Although a teaspoon to a tablespoon mixed into 8 ounces of water is often suggested as a reasonable amount for internal use, the safety of various doses isn’t known.
You can try to use it highly diluted, but the amount of acetic acid in commercial apple cider vinegar varies (un white vinegar, which is 5% acetic acid) making it impossible to be sure of the true strength.
Apple cider vinegar is available filtered or unfiltered. Filtered apple cider is a clear light brown color.
Unfiltered and unpasteurized ACV (such as Bragg's apple cider vinegar) has dark, cloudy sediment at the bottom of the bottle.
Known as “mother of vinegar” or simply “the mother,” this sediment consists mainly of acetic acid bacteria. Apple cider vinegar is also available in tablet form.
When buying apple cider vinegar in supplement form, read the product label to ensure that apple cider vinegar is listed in the ingredients rather than acetic acid (white vinegar).
There are many anecdotal uses and some preliminary evidence suggesting that it may help certain conditions. While you might find that you benefit from its properties, large-scale clinical trials are needed before it can be recommended as a treatment for any health condition.
If you’re considering using apple cider vinegar for any health purpose, be sure to speak with your healthcare provider to see if it’s right for you, rather than self-treating and avoiding or delaying standard treatment. People with certain conditions (such as ulcers, hiatal hernia, Barrett’s esophagus, or low potassium) may need to avoid apple cider vinegar entirely.
Apple Cider Vinegar Health Benefits – A Nutritionist Debunks Apple Cider Vinegar Benefits
- As a dressing on veggies, apple cider vinegar can reduce your risk of chronic disease.
- Drinking it alone won't help you lose weight and may irritate your digestive system.
- Use vinegar for salads, not as a supplement.
Apple cider vinegar has gotten some serious hype lately for its supposed health benefits — and if you love apple cider vinegar so much that you're using it as a salad dressing or produce topping, by all means, go for it! Vinegar contains zero calories, enhances flavor, and poses a low health risk, except for acid reflux-sufferers and diabetics.
But if you're solely sipping the stuff for its purported effects, science says you're luck.
Those claims that ACV will reverse everything from diabetes to weight gain simply don't have the research behind them — at least for now — so there's no need to swallow spoonfulsor waste money on apple cider vinegar pills.
You're probably better off just eating an actual apple instead, which will provide fiber and high levels of antioxidants.
Here's what apple cider vinegar actually can and can't do for your health.
Using it as a dressing may reduce your risk of chronic disease
Using apple cider vinegar regularly may improve your health overall, but it's not for the reason you think. When splashed on vegetables, it's the antioxidant compounds in the produce that actually help reduce the risk of chronic disease, including cardiovascular illness, diabetes, cancer, and cognitive decline.
With that in mind, it's difficult for scientists to determine the amount of beneficial antioxidants in the vinegar itself, which is made by adding bacterial cultures and yeast to apple juice. Since produce, pulses, nuts, and seeds provide a slew of well-established benefits, you're 100% better off getting your immune-boosting nutrients from nature's best foods.
It could lower cholesterol.
Due to acetic acid's possible link to reduced cholesterol levels, fruit-based vinegar may help prevent cardiovascular disease, especially clot formation.
However, the science isn't substantial enough to make a definitive statement. Researchers don't fully understand role of polyphenols, the antioxidants found in plant-based foods that protect cells from damage.
Your best bet is swapping creamy, sugary dressings for apple cider vinegar instead.
It doesn't give you a free pass on carbs or fat.
Sorry, but drinking apple cider vinegar doesn't mean you can go all in on bagels and chicken fingers. Some small studies linked the liquid to limiting the negative effects of high-carb, high-glycemic-index meals and reducing fat production in the liver, but you should avoid those processed carbs and fried foods anyway!
It won't significantly lower your blood sugar
It could help, but don't bet on it. Some studies linked acetic acid with a mild reduction in blood sugar spikes after meals. However, current research relies on hyper-specific populations, small sample sizes, or rats, not humans. Diabetics should proceed with caution when using vinegar since it may affect how much insulin is needed for a meal or snack.
Drinking apple cider vinegar won't make you lose weight
While I wish it were true, just one tablespoon or shot glass of apple cider vinegar cannot help with weight loss. The only research linking vinegar to weight loss used a tiny sample size and poor controls. Plus, the subjects in the study were on a weight-loss diet to begin with.
And it won't make you eat less.
Sorry, but nope! In fact, drinking apple cider vinegar on an empty stomach can be tough on your digestive system and cause heartburn or nausea. Steer clear of supplements, tonics, and elixirs that make this hunger-killing claim, and fill up on breakfasts that combine fiber and protein instead.
Apple cider vinegar is not a recommended cure for constipation.
Some people recommend apple cider vinegar as a home remedy for, um, getting a little backed up, but no research supports this usage. Take caution before using any food to treat a medical condition, and speak to your healthcare provider if you have concerns.
It won't keep you from getting sick
Simply because “acid” is a byproduct of vinegar production doesn't mean vinegar is a germ-killer, nor does it “detox” any vital organs. The antimicrobial claims made about apple cider vinegar stem from the fermentation process.
Science can point to a reduced risk of foodborne illness, not the colds, infections, and stomach bugs caused by bacteria and viruses. Staying hydrated, sleeping well, and filling up on veggies will stave off sickness much more effectively.
It doesn't contain a lot of probiotics
Probiotic properties of apple cider vinegar are minimal at best. Since most commercially available vinegars are highly processed, good bacteria is hard to come by. Foods Greek yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, miso, and tempeh are all better sources with the added benefit of filling you up.
The Bottom Line: Vinegar is for salads, not supplements. Your best bet is to fill up on plant-based foods, which will provide everything you need to stay healthy.
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Debunking the health benefits of apple cider vinegar
The Internet would have you believe apple cider vinegar is the new pixie dust due to its health benefits. It’s tempting to believe the Internet claims about apple cider vinegar (ACV). They sound so fantastic — even doctors can fall victim to them.
ACV is not pixie dust, but it’s also not snake oil. For those who want to try ACV, it does have some proven health benefits. Here are a few of those health benefits — and limitations — straight, no chaser.
Where does ACV come from?
Vinegar comes from the French phrase vin aigre, meaning sour wine. The sourness comes from the acetic acid. Making apple cider vinegar entails taking advantage of controlled-spoilage.
Yeast digests the sugars in apples and converts them into alcohol. A bacteria, acetobacter, then turns the alcohol into acetic acid.
I don’t want to get too technical, but you can call this process fermentation. The “mother” refers to the combination of yeast and bacteria formed during fermentation.
If you look at an apple cider vinegar bottle, you can see strands of the “mother” floating around.
Many people attribute apple cider vinegar’s effects to the “mother.” There’s some truth to this since the mother counts as a probiotic. But, the importance of the mother has not been established with research. Aside from probiotics, ACV has a vitamin profile similar to apple juice. Hence, the sour drink is ripe with B-vitamins and polyphenols (plant-based antioxidants).
All in all, the probiotics, acetic acid, and the nutrients in ACV are responsible for its health benefits.
ACV may have a modest effect on weight loss, but don’t get rid of your gym membership.1. Apple cider vinegar can help with blood sugar control.
It’s no secret that diabetes is common in the United States. Is ACV a reasonable weapon in the fight against diabetes?
It is, according to some studies. One example is a small study published in the Journal of the American Association of Diabetes in 2004. The study entailed giving participants a meal composed of a bagel, OJ, and butter. After the meal, the participants received 20 grams of apple cider vinegar or a placebo. The researchers checked blood glucose levels 30 and 60 minutes after the meal.
They found that ACV significantly lowered post-meal blood glucose levels. Several other studies report similar findings.
Bottom line: ACV won’t cure diabetes, but it may moderately lower blood glucose levels. It won’t take the place of any medications for diabetes, but it’s a safe enough addition to a diabetes treatment plan (as long as you don’t have kidney disease).
2. Apple cider vinegar may keep the bacteria on your salad from getting control.
In 2005, a study assessed vinegar’s anti-microbial properties by inoculating arugula with Salmonella. The researchers treated the tainted arugula with either vinegar, lemon juice, or a combination of them both. The researchers sought to see if these interventions could reduce bacterial growth.
They found that both lemon juice and vinegar decreased the growth of Salmonella. In fact, the ACV/lemon juice mixture decreased Salmonella to undetectable levels (I wouldn’t bank on this at home, though).
Bottom line: Nowadays, it seems there’s a recall for lettuces at least once per week. Throwing some ACV on your salad may serve a purpose beyond adding flavor. Even if you use ACV, you still have to use common sense. If you dip raw chicken in your spinach, the vinegar won’t stop the b diarrhea that’s coming.
3. Apple cider vinegar may help boost weight loss.
Everyone wants to lose weight. Supplements that facilitate weight loss are in high demand. And as it turns out, a randomized, clinical trial recently published in the Journal of Functional Food showed that ACV might help with weight loss.
The participants drank 15ml of ACV with lunch and dinner (a total of 2 tablespoons). They also ate a diet that was 250 calories less than their daily estimated requirements. The researchers found that ACV significantly reduced weight.
In fact, the people in the ACV group lost an average of 8.8 lbs over 12 weeks. On the other hand, the participants who did not receive ACV only lost 5 lbs over the 12 week study period.
The researchers also found that ACV decreased cholesterol levels.
Bottom line: ACV may have a modest effect on weight loss, but don’t get rid of your gym membership. Keep in mind that the people in this study were on a calorie restricted diet and they exercised. The researchers argued that ACV affects weight by lowering one’s appetite.
4. Apple cider vinegar will not control your high blood pressure.
One popular myth is that ACV can be used for controlling blood pressure. In my research, I found one small study in rats that showed a decrease in systolic blood pressure in rats fed a diet containing acetic acid compared to those without it. There weren’t any studies using ACV for high blood pressure in people.
Bottom line: High blood pressure is nothing to play with. I’ve seen people have strokes in real-time from high blood pressure. If you have high blood pressure, there’s simply not enough data to support using ACV as a blood pressure medication. Eat a healthy diet, exercise, and take your meds if you need them.
5. Apple cider vinegar will not cure cancer.
A few studies show that vinegar may have anti-cancer properties. Most of these studies involved culturing cancer cells and exposing them to vinegar or acetic acid. The limitation of these studies is obvious; we can’t directly pour ACV on cancers inside of people. Further, you definitely can’t give someone an ACV IV infusion without causing serious harm or death.
Yet, a large population study from China found lower rates of esophageal cancer in people who frequently consumed vinegar. It’s worth noting that the people in the study were ly consuming rice vinegar, not ACV.
Bottom line: ACV is not going to cure esophageal cancer, unfortunately. As a GI doctor, I’m typically the first person to tell someone they have esophageal cancer. I wish I could tell people all they have to do is drink some vinegar. Sadly, things aren’t that easy.
If you are concerned about the risk of esophageal cancer, then don’t smoke and don’t drink a lot of alcohol. Talk to your doctor if you have chronic heartburn because you may need screening for Barrett’s esophagus.
Overall, ACV is safe. Everything has a possible downside, even ACV. Before you start guzzling apple cider vinegar, here are a few negative possibilities.
- The acid in apple cider vinegar may erode your teeth enamel. You may want to guzzle some water after drinking it.
- Anecdotally, acidic foods or liquids vinegar may exacerbate acid reflux.
- If you have chronic kidney disease, your kidneys may not be able to process the excess acid that comes along with drinking apple cider vinegar.
any supplement, ACV won't replace a healthy lifestyle. It may have some benefits to our bodies, but overall, we need more studies to truly understand the health benefits and side effects associated with ACV.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is mostly apple juice, but adding yeast turns the sugar in the juice into alcohol. This is a process called fermentation. Bacteria turn the alcohol into acetic acid. That’s what gives vinegar its sour taste and strong smell.
Apple cider vinegar has a long history as a home remedy, used to treat things sore throat and varicose veins. There isn’t much science to support the claims. But in recent years, some researchers have been taking a closer look at apple cider vinegar and its possible benefits.
Some people say the “mother,” the cloud of yeast and bacteria you might see in a bottle of apple cider vinegar, is what makes it healthy. These things are probiotic, meaning they might give your digestive system a boost, but there isn’t enough research to back up the other claims.
Vinegar is used in cooking, baking, and salad dressings and as a preservative. There’s a lot of acid in it, so drinking vinegar straight isn’t recommended. It can cause problems, eroding the enamel of your teeth, if you get too much.
If you’re looking to use it for health reasons, most people say to add 1 to 2 tablespoons to water or tea.
Vinegar has been used as a remedy for centuries. The ancient Greeks treated wounds with it. In recent years, people have explored apple cider vinegar as a way to lose weight, improve heart health, and even treat dandruff.
Research doesn’t back most of these claims. But some studies have found that the acetic acid may help with a variety of conditions:
Vinegar also has chemicals known as polyphenols. They help stop the cell damage that can lead to other diseases, cancer. But studies on whether vinegar actually lowers your chances of having cancer are mixed.
Because of its high acidity, drinking a lot of apple cider vinegar can damage your teeth, hurt your throat, and upset your stomach. Also:
- Though some studies have been promising, there’s still little to prove that drinking apple cider vinegar helps you lose weight.
- It may also cause your potassium levels to drop too low. Your muscles and nerves need that nutrient to work the way they should.
- Another study of people with type 1 diabetes found that apple cider vinegar slows the rate food and liquids move your stomach to your intestines. Slower digestion makes it harder to control your blood sugar level.
- It might cause some medications to not work as well. These include diabetes and heart disease drugs as well as diuretics (medicines that help your body get rid of water and salt) and laxatives.
- And of course, its strong taste might not be for everyone.
In short, apple cider vinegar probably won’t hurt you. You can try it because it’s calorie-free, adds lots of flavor to food, and has health benefits. But it isn’t a miracle cure.
University of Washington, The Whole U: “Beyond the Hype: Apple Cider Vinegar as an Alternative Therapy.”
Medscape General Medicine: “Vinegar: Medicinal Uses and Antiglycemic Effect.”
AOL Lifestyle: “15 ways apple cider vinegar can benefit your health and home.”
The Ohio State University Extension: “Making Cider Vinegar at Home.”
Bioscience, Biotechnology and Biochemistry: “Vinegar intake reduces body weight, body fat mass, and serum triglyceride levels in obese Japanese subjects.”
Journal of Diabetes Research: “Vinegar Consumption Increases Insulin-Stimulated Glucose Uptake by the Forearm Muscle in Humans with Type 2 Diabetes.”
Annals of Cardiology and Angiology: “Anti-obesogenic effect of apple cider vinegar in rats subjected to a high fat diet.”
Mayo Clinic: “Drinking apple cider vinegar for weight loss seems far-fetched. Does it work?”
Dutch Journal of Dentistry: “Unhealthy weight loss. Erosion by apple cider vinegar.”
BMC Gastroenterology: “Effect of apple cider vinegar on delayed gastric emptying in patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus: a pilot study.”
Cleveland Clinic: “Probiotics.”
University of Chicago Medicine: “Debunking the health benefits of apple cider vinegar.”
© 2019 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.
Apple cider vinegar diet: Does it really work?
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People search for information on a wide variety of health topics in Google and other search engines. That’s no surprise.
But I was surprised to learn that “apple cider vinegar weight loss diet” was among the fastest-rising health topic searches for Google in 2017. And then I found out that apple cider vinegar has been used medicinally for centuries!
Why the renewed interest? And, more importantly, does it work?
What is the apple cider vinegar diet?
Apple cider vinegar comes from apples that have been crushed, distilled, and then fermented. It can be consumed in small quantities or taken as a supplement. Its high levels of acetic acid, or perhaps other compounds, may be responsible for its supposed health benefits. Although recommendations for “dosing” vary, most are on the order of 1 to 2 teaspoons before or with meals.
What can the apple cider vinegar diet do for you?
For thousands of years, compounds containing vinegar have been used for their presumed healing properties. It was used to improve strength, for “detoxification,” as an antibiotic, and even as a treatment for scurvy. While no one is using apple cider vinegar as an antibiotic anymore (at least, no one should be), it has been touted more recently for weight loss. What’s the evidence?
Studies in obese rats and mice suggest that acetic acid can prevent fat deposition and improve their metabolism. The most widely quoted study of humans is a 2009 trial of 175 people who consumed a drink containing 0, 1, or 2 tablespoons of vinegar each day.
After three months, those who consumed vinegar had modest weight loss (2 to 4 pounds) and lower triglyceride levels than those who drank no vinegar. Another small study found that vinegar consumption promoted feeling fuller after eating, but that it did so by causing nausea.
Neither of these studies (and none I could find in a medical literature search) specifically studied apple cider vinegar.
In all, the scientific evidence that vinegar consumption (whether of the apple cider variety or not) is a reliable, long-term means of losing excess weight is not compelling. (On the other hand, a number of studies suggest that vinegar might prevent spikes in blood sugar in people with prediabetes and type 2 diabetes by blocking starch absorption — perhaps that’s a topic for another day.)
Is there a downside to the apple cider vinegar diet?
For many natural remedies, there seems to be little risk, so a common approach is “why not try it?” However, for diets with high vinegar content, a few warnings are in order:
- Vinegar should be diluted. Its high acidity can damage tooth enamel when sipped “straight” — consuming it as a component of vinaigrette salad dressing is a better way.
- It has been reported to cause or worsen low potassium levels. That’s particularly important for people taking medications that can lower potassium (such as common diuretics taken to treat high blood pressure).
- Vinegar can alter insulin levels. People with diabetes should be particularly cautious about a high vinegar diet.
If you are trying to lose weight, adding apple cider vinegar to your diet probably won’t do the trick.
Of course, you’d never suspect that was the case by the way it’s been trending on Google health searches. But the popularity of diets frequently has little to do with actual evidence.
If you read about a new diet (or other remedy) that sounds too good to be true, a healthy dose of skepticism is usually in order.