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The Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar

Updated: Jul 5, 2023

Man with a hat posing with baskets of apples in an orchard

Apple cider vinegar has been used in household for thousands of years. Vinegar has been used not only in cooking but as a home remedy for sunburns and itchy skin. In addition to being great in cooking, apple cider vinegar also has a variety of health benefits. Apple cider vinegar contains bioactive compounds such as phytosterols, carotenoids, phenolic compounds and vitamin C and E which are mostly found in fruits and vegetables.

So what is in it? Apple cider vinegar is made from apple juice and yeast which turns the fruit sugars into alcohol. During fermentation, bacteria turns alcohol into acetic acid. Studies show that the acetic acid in only 1 to 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar can help with a variety of health conditions. Apple cider vinegar is very acidic so the study recommends never drinking the liquid straight up. Instead, you can still get the benefits if you dilute a few tablespoons in a glass of water. We recommend you consult your MD prior to use!

Benefit #1: Weight loss

Weight loss can be tough. Apple cider vinegar has been recently recommended by celebrities and fitness gurus to help drop the unwanted pounds.

Adding 1 to 2 tablespoons of Apple Cider Vinegar to your diet can assist with weight loss. Animal studies suggest that the acetic acid in apple cider vinegar may lead to weight loss in a variety of ways including lowering blood sugar levels, decreasing insulin levels, improving metabolism, reducing fat storage, burning fat and suppressing your appetite.

Benefit #2: Regulates Blood Sugars

Maintaining healthy blood sugars can be quite tricky especially for people dealing with diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is characterized by high blood sugar levels due to insulin resistance or the inability for our bodies to produce insulin. Nonetheless, everyone can benefit from maintaining healthy blood sugar levels.

Human studies have shown that vinegar could improve insulin function and lower blood sugar levels after meals. By adding 1 to 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to 8 ounces of water before meals have been found to decrease blood sugar levels by an average of 31% after eating white bread. On the other hand, animal studies showed that rats supplemented with apple cider vinegar for four weeks had a significantly lower blood sugar levels.

Benefit #3: Lowers Cholesterol

With heart disease being the number one cause of death, lowering your cholesterol is essential to reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Cholesterol can build up in our arteries causing atherosclerosis and heart disease.

Apple cider vinegar can assist in promoting heart health by keeping cholesterol levels low. Animal Studies have shown than apple cider vinegar was able to reduce bad LDL cholesterol while also increasing beneficial HDL cholesterol.

Benefit #4: Lowers Blood Pressure

High blood pressure also known as hypertension is known as a risk factor for deaths caused by cardiovascular disease. Maintaining your blood pressure under control is essential for extending your lifespan.

One study done with hypertensive rats showed that the acedic acid in apple cider vinegar could lower blood pressure levels. Apple cider vinegar consumption has the ability to reduce blood pressure by suppressing the activity if renin, and enzyme that raises blood pressure.

Benefit #5: Protects Against Cancer

Fighting cancer is not easy. Therefore, protecting our bodies against cancer is essential. Cancer is known as an uncontrolled growth of cells. Although there is further research to be made, research suggests that cancer cells cannot grow in an acidic environment.

In a study involving stomach cancer cells from human and animal found that the acetic acid in apple cider vinegar killed the cancer cells in the test tubes. Although further research must be done in living humans, apple cider vinegar is an excellent source of acetic acid.

Benefit #6: Relieves Symptoms of Acid Reflux

Apple cider vinegar has been used for years to relieve acid reflux symptoms. Heart burn, nausea, blenching, regurgitation are just a few of the symptoms of acid reflux also known as GERD.

Individuals dealing with acid reflux may benefit from consumption of apple cider vinegar. Especially for those who may have too little stomach acid due to acid reflux. By consuming apple cider vinegar, you are adding back acidic acid to your stomach.

Benefit #7: Cold and Flu Remedy

Getting a simple cold or flu can really set us back. Although we try everything from getting enough sleep, eating healthy and exercising sometimes, we need an extra helping hand, especially during cold and flu season. Apple cider vinegar is loaded with immune boosting vitamins and antioxidants that can help keep our bodies healthy. Drinking 1 to 2 tablespoons diluted in 8 ounces of water can assist during cold and flu season. However, if drinking apple cider vinegar does not appeal you, today there is apple cider vinegar pills available. 

Benefit #8: Good Gut Health

Good gut health is essential for your overall health. Good gut bacteria has the ability to improve immune health, boost energy levels, improves cholesterol and supports a healthy weight.

Unpasteurized apple cider vinegar contains live bacteria known as “mother.” Fermented foods such as apple cider vinegar is a cheap, easy way to introduce bacteria to the gut. Apple cider vinegar is prebiotic. Prebiotics are essential to feed probiotics.

Benefit #9: Aids Digestion

Maintaining a right digestion tract is essential to the body’s overall well-being. Digestion is the method by which food is broken down into the form that can be absorbed into the blood systems and carried to cells throughout the body to provide nourishment and energy.

Apple cider vinegar can help improve digestion by increasing the stomach acid. Apple cider vinegar delays gastric emptying 1. Therefore, the stomach acids get more time to break the food down.

Benefit #10: Relieves Constipation

Constipation can cause many discomforts. For many individuals, constipation can lead to other complications such as hemorrhoids and anal fissures. As mentioned above, apple cider vinegar has the potential to aid digestion.

Although there is no research proving that consumption of apple cider vinegar aids constipation. Apple cider vinegar has the potential to act as a natural laxative. Due to the active components that can help improve gut health and overall digestion.

1. Con: Apple Cider Vinegar & Tooth Enamel

You may have heard that drinking a few teaspoons of undiluted apple cider vinegar can help you lose weight. However, according to a 2006 study featured in the journal, Medscape General Medicine, drinking apple cider vinegar as a health aid can cause damage to the lining of your esophagus as well as your tooth enamel.

2. Con: Apple Cider Vinegar and Gastroparesis

Putting all of your faith in a cure-all, like apple cider vinegar, to treat diabetes is a fool’s errand. According to diabetes lifestyle coaches from Tufts University, diabetes maintenance should be approached broadly, with a healthy lifestyle approach that emphasizes diet, exercise, and medication.

Additional studies link ingesting undiluted apple cider vinegar to gastroparesis, a condition prone to diabetics, which reduces the rate the stomach emptied. The reasoning is that apple cider vinegar increases acid production, which puts excess stress on the body and systems.

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