If you have vinegar and athletic tape you can pretty much treat, clean, or fix anything. At least is seems that way. Apple cider vinegar is a favorite natural and ancient folk remedy. Hippocrates used it to treat wounds.
Does apple cider vinegar really have health benefits, and if so, how does it work?
Apple cider vinegar uses are many and there is scientific evidence that apple cider vinegar does possess health benefits. We will review five of them in this post. Apple cider vinegar can:
- lowers blood sugar and improve insulin sensitivity.
- facilitates weight loss.
- has antibacterial properties.
- lowers cholesterol.
- kills cancers in the laboratory.
What is Apple Cider Vinegar?
Apple cider vinegar is fermented juice from apples. Apples have many health benefits and it would seem to follow so would apple cider vinegar. It is high in vitamins B1, B2, and B6, folic acid, niacin, pantothenic acid, and vitamin C. It also contains some pectin and high quantities of acetic acid and citric acid.
Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar
Let’s now review the proven benefits of apple cider vinegar.
Apple cider vinegar lowers blood sugar
Lowering blood sugar is the best document medical use of apple cider vinegar.
- Vinegar improves insulin sensitivity 19% to 34% on par with some prescription diabetic medications.
- Reduces blood sugar elevation 34% after eating 50 grams of white bread.
- Taking 2 tablespoons of vinegar before bedtime reduces morning fasting blood sugars 4%.
Apple Cider Vinegar Weight Loss
Apple cider vinegar increases satiety which means you eat less. Individuals consuming vinegar with a high carbohydrate meal eat 200 to 275 fewer calories. But, that’s not all.
Insulin is a fattening hormone and vinegar improves insulin sensitivity which means less insulin is needed also contributing to fat loss.
Daily vinegar consumption in obese patients has been shown to reduce belly fat, waist circumference, and triglycerides. Here is the study.
It Kills Bacteria
There is a reason why vinegar has been used as a disinfectant for centuries. It works. It kills some bacteria. It was used 2,000 years ago for wound cleaning. It has been used as a food preservative because it inhibits bacteria from growing on food.
Vinegar is high in acetic acid and many bacteria do not tolerate a acidic environment. Apple cider vinegar contains friendly probiotics which enhances our natural immune systems. Seventy percent of our immune system resides in the gut. Vinegar promotes gut healthy bacterial growth.
Cholesterol Lowering Effects of Vinegar
Two apples a day in one study was shown to lower LDL cholesterol as much as statin drugs. This cholesterol lowering effect has to due with pectin, a soluble fiber, found in apples. As we highlight above apple cider vinegar contains some pectin.
The vinegar also contains chlorogenic acid. Chlorogenic acid is an antioxidant. It is the cholesterol that gets oxidized that is the culprit in heart disease. Chlorogenic acid prevents LDL cholesterol oxidation.
At least in rats, vinegar reduces blood pressure. (I wonder how they get tiny blood pressure cuffs on rats arms/legs).
One observational study from Harvard University found women who ate salad dressings containing vinegar had
Anti Cancer Effects of Apple Cider Vinegar
Vinegar has been shown to kill cancer cells in the laboratory but that has yet to be proven outside the lab. The potential anti-cancer effects of vinegar are likely to be related to more than one mechanism. Cancer cells need sugar to grow and vinegar lowers blood sugar. It is possible the acidic environment created by vinegar may limit cancer growth as well.
How Should I Take Apple Cider Vinegar
The easiest way to incorporate apple cider vinegar is to use in salad dressings. It can also be consumed mixed with water. Usually 1-2 teaspoons to 1-2 tablespoons are added to water.
Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar is the most popular brand out there. Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar is organic, unfiltered, and contains the “mother” which are the cobweb-like strands of protein, enzymes, and probiotics found in the vinegar. Consuming it undiluted or not on foods can cause GI upset if consuming too much. For health reasons there is probably no reason to consume more than 2 tablespoons (30 milliliters) of apple cider vinegar a day.