Utilized for thousands of years for dandruff, toothaches, and food preservation, Apple Cider Vinegar continues to be a popular choice for many different ailments. Typically, vinegar is created through a long fermentation process that leaves the vinegar with antioxidant and antimicrobial properties and allows for the accumulation of a film known as the ‘mother’. The mother is comprised of acetic acid, bacteria, raw enzymes, and yeasts that are supposed to promote healing.
Many believe that vinegar with the “mother” in it is the most effective for any health goals. Advocates of this fermented product claim that it is beneficial for a myriad of health issues, however; only a few of these benefits are supported by science. Here we will share scientifically researched information about apple cider vinegar.
- High levels of Acetic Acid
The main component in apple cider vinegar is acetic acid, which is what makes vinegar smell the way that is does. This acid is helpful as an antimicrobial agent, can help to kill many types of bacteria making it a powerful way to preserve food throughout the ages, and has been utilized for various fungal infections, ear infections, and acne. While these claims have not been researched, scientists have found that apple cider vinegar is able to kill pathogens and bacteria.
- Apple Cider Vinegar and Diabetes
In a 2004 study published in the American Foundation of Diabetes, it was found that ingesting vinegar before eating increased patients insulin sensitivity while dramatically reducing glucose and insulin spikes that usually occur after meals.
This study was conducted using three groups of nine to ten people.
- 1/3 had no diabetic symptoms
- 1/3 had pre-diabetic symptoms
- 1/3 had been diagnosed with type two diabetes.
After ingesting apple cider vinegar, all three groups had improved blood glucose readings, something that was not found when the groups took a placebo. Those who had pre-diabetic symptoms had the most benefits as their blood glucose concentration was cut in half within thirty minutes of ingestion, lowering their glucose levels past the healthy participants. Those with type two diabetes were able to improve their blood glucose levels by twenty-five percent with vinegar, a smaller effect that is nonetheless an exciting and natural improvement.
Vinegar has numerous health benefits for blood sugar levels and insulin functions:
- A variety of studies have seen an increase in insulin sensitivity and lowered blood sugar responses during meals
- A reduction of blood sugar by up to 34% while eating fifty grams of white bread
- An improvement in insulin sensitivity during high carb meals
- Weight Loss Properties
Research published in 2009 in the Journal of Functional Foods also found lower blood glucose levels in participants who used apple cider vinegar before meals. They further stated that acetic acid might interfere with people’s ability to digest starch, which can aid you in shedding pounds. By interfering with starch digestion, there is less calories that are being broken down into your bloodstream. This can cause weight loss.
There have been other studies that show that vinegar can help you to feel satiated and help you to eat fewer calories and lose weight slowly. One particular Japanese study in obese patients showed a decrease in belly fat, waist circumference, BMI and an increase in general weight loss. This study showed:
- A 2.6 pound weight loss in those who ingested 15mL of vinegar before meals
- A 3.7-pound weight loss in those who ingested 30mL of vinegar before meals
- Heart health benefits
While there have been no scientific studies done with humans to prove that apple cider vinegar will improve the health of you heart, there have been multiple studies done on rats that show promise. These studies show that it lowers cholesterol and triglyceride levels as well as boosting their body’s chlorogenic acid levels.
While these studies have not been directly replicated in humans, there was an observational study done in Harvard that showed that women who used vinegar-based salad dressings had a lower risk of heart disease.
- High levels of Minerals
The mineral content of apple cider vinegar is great, with nutrients and enzymes that are crucial to your bodies health. It also includes minerals such a chlorine, calcium, iron, fluorine, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorous all of which boost your health in different ways. It is best known for its high level of potassium, something that many people are deficient in that helps to lower high blood pressure.
- Cancer Fighting Properties
There has been some studies on the effects of apple cider vinegar on cancer cells, however all tests were done on rats or in test tubes as well as with rice vinegar. With no studies done on humans, the results are not conclusive; however, there have been observational studies in China that show a decreased risk for esophageal cancer. There are also studies in Serbia that show an increased risk for bladder cancer as you increase your vinegar use. More research is necessary for definite results.
Potential Side Effects and Dosage
With many wide claims about the benefits of apple cider vinegar, it is wise to conduct research before relying on it for any important health issues, however; for less life-saving treatment, there is no reason to avoid testing it out on yourself. Many times science will catch up with folk remedies to find the scientific backing that a product needs to become a “legitimate” cure.
With no known side effects and its easy accessibility, utilizing apple cider vinegar internally (1 teaspoon to 2 tablespoons a day with eight ounces of water) or for external uses such as hair conditioning or acne treatment seems to be completely safe. While it is not a miracle cure, this vinegar does have a host of amazing benefits that you can benefit from.
It is recommended that you use unfiltered apple cider vinegar that still has the mother. Ensure that you talk with your doctor before you use this product for blood sugar control or weight loss.