“Apple cider vinegar has lots of healthful properties, including antimicrobial and antioxidant effects” –Paul Ebeling
ACV is naturally acidic, and so for people with low stomach acidity, using ACV helps raise stomach acid levels to aid digestion. ACV is also an antimicrobial substance , meaning it helps kill bacteria in the stomach and/or intestines.
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is made via a 2-step process.
1st, the manufacturer exposes crushed apples to yeast, which ferments the sugars and turns them into alcohol.
2nd, adding bacteria further ferments the alcohol, turning it into acetic acid, the Key active compound in vinegar.
Acetic acid gives vinegar its strong sour smell and flavor. Researchers believe this acid is responsible for apple cider vinegar’s health benefits. Cider vinegars are 5–6% acetic acid.
Organic, unfiltered apple cider vinegar contains a substance called Mother, which consists of strands of proteins, enzymes, and friendly bacteria that give the product a murky appearance.
It is believed that the Mother is responsible for most of its health benefits.
While apple cider vinegar does not contain many vitamins or minerals, it offers a small amount of potassium. Good quality brands also contain some amino acids and antioxidants.
2. Can help kill harmful bacteria
Vinegar can help kill pathogens, including bacteria.
People have traditionally used vinegar for cleaning and disinfecting, treating nail fungus, lice, warts, and ear infections.
Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, used vinegar to clean wounds more than 2,000 yrs ago.
Vinegar is also a food preservative. Studies show that it inhibits bacteria like E. coli from growing in and spoiling food.
3. May help lower blood sugar levels and manage diabetes
To date, one of the most convincing applications of vinegar is helping treat type 2 diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes is characterized by high blood sugar levels caused by insulin resistance or the inability to produce insulin.
However, people without diabetes can also benefit from keeping their blood sugar levels in the normal range, as some researchers believe that high blood sugar levels are a major cause of aging and various chronic diseases.
The most effective and healthiest way to regulate blood sugar levels is to avoid refined carbs and sugar, but apple cider vinegar may also have a beneficial effect.
Research suggests that vinegar offers the following benefits for blood sugar and insulin levels:
- A small study suggests vinegar may improve insulin sensitivity by 19–34% during a high carb meal and significantly lower blood sugar and insulin response.
- In a small study in 5 healthy people, vinegar reduced blood sugar by 31.4% after eating 50 grams of white bread.
- A small study in people with diabetes reported that consuming 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar before bedtime reduced fasting blood sugar by 4% the following morning.
- Numerous other studies in humans show that vinegar can improve insulin function and lower blood sugar levels after meals.
The National Centers for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) says it is very important that people do not replace medical treatment with unproven health products.
If you are currently taking blood-sugar-lowering Rx meds, talk with your doctor before increasing your intake of ACV.
4. May aid weight loss
Perhaps surprisingly, studies show that vinegar could help people lose weight.
Several human studies show that vinegar can increase feelings of fullness. This can lead to eating fewer calories and losing weight.
For example, according to one study, taking vinegar along with a high carb meal led to increased feelings of fullness, causing participants to eat 200–275 fewer calories throughout the rest of the day.
Furthermore, a study in 175 people with obesity showed that daily apple cider vinegar consumption led to reduced belly fat and weight loss:
- taking 1 tablespoon (15 mL) led to a loss of 2.6 pounds (1.2 kg)
- taking 2 tablespoons (30 mL) led to a loss of 3.7 pounds (1.7 kg)
Long-term weight loss is created by adopting helpful and supportive diet and lifestyle habits.
Overall, apple cider vinegar may contribute to weight loss by promoting satiety, lowering blood sugar, and reducing insulin levels.
Apple cider vinegar only contains about 3 calories per tablespoon, which is very low.
5. Improves heart health in animals
Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death worldwide.
Several biological factors are linked to your risk for heart disease.
Research suggests that vinegar could improve several of these risk factors. However, many of the studies were conducted in animals.
These animal studies suggest that apple cider vinegar can lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels, as well as several other heart disease risk factors
Some studies in rats have also shown that vinegar reduces blood pressure, which is a major risk factor for heart disease and kidney problems
But, there is no good evidence that vinegar benefits heart health in humans. Researchers need to do more studies before reaching any strong conclusions.
6. May boost skin health
Apple cider vinegar is a common remedy for skin conditions like dry skin and eczema
The skin is naturally slightly acidic. Using topical apple cider vinegar could help rebalance the natural pH of the skin, improving the protective skin barrier.
Given its antibacterial properties, apple cider vinegar could help prevent skin infections linked to eczema and other skin conditions.
Some people use diluted apple cider vinegar in a face wash or toner. The idea is that it can kill bacteria and prevent spots.
Talk with your doctor before trying new remedies, especially on damaged skin. Avoid applying undiluted vinegar to the skin, as it can cause burns.
Dosage and how to use it
The best way to incorporate apple cider vinegar into your diet is to use it in cooking. It’s a simple addition to foods like salad dressings and homemade mayonnaise.
Some people like me like to dilute it in water and drink it as a beverage. Common dosages range from 1–2 teaspoons (5–10 mL) to 1–2 tablespoon (15–30 mL) per day mixed in a large glass of water.
It’s best to start with small doses and avoid taking large amounts. Too much vinegar can cause harmful side effects, including tooth enamel erosion and potential interactions with Rx meds.
Dietitians recommend using Organic, unfiltered apple cider vinegars that contain the Mother.
Bragg and Hain are the most popular brands, which are available online along with reviews and ratings and availavle in every grocery store in the nation.
The bottom line
Many websites and natural healthcare proponents claim that apple cider vinegar has exceptional health benefits, including boosting energy and treating disease.
Studies suggest it may offer some benefits, including killing bacteria, lowering blood sugar levels, and promoting weight loss.
It also has various other non-health–related uses, including as a natural hair conditioner, skin care product, and cleaning agent.
Eat healthy, Be healthy, Live lively