15 Benefits Of Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar, otherwise known as cider vinegar or ACV, is a type of vinegar made from cider or apples, resulting in a pale to medium amber color. Apple cider vinegar can be found in both natural home products and recipes for its many health benefits.
Apple cider vinegar has a combination of essential vitamins, and trace elements that make it a powerful ingredient, and product additive, for everyone to use. Here are just some of the impressive benefits of apple cider vinegar.
Chances are, you’ve got a bottle of apple cider vinegar sitting in your pantry. Beyond salad dressing, did you know that apple cider vinegar has many other uses? Scientific studies support a wide range of health benefits from lowering cholesterol to aiding in weight loss.
For maximum health benefits, look for organic, unfiltered apple cider vinegar that contains the “mother,” which are strands of proteins, enzymes, and friendly bacteria. Start off by taking one to two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar a day mixed in a glass of water before meals or in the morning. Read on to learn more amazing health benefits of apple cider vinegar.
While the uses for white vinegar are plentiful, apple cider vinegar has arguably even more trusted applications. Its wide-ranging benefits (rivaling the number of uses for tea tree oil and other nifty natural helpers) include everything from curing hiccups to alleviating cold symptoms, and some people have turned to apple cider vinegar to help with health concerns including diabetes, cancer, heart problems, high cholesterol, and weight issues. Read on for more reasons to keep apple cider vinegar handy in your pantry.
1. Weight Loss
Apple cider vinegar has a high amount of acetic acid. Acetic acid has been shown to suppress appetites, and ultimately reduce water retention. Other studies have also reported that apple cider vinegar aids in breaking down fat. For weight loss, incorporate apple cider vinegar into your daily foods by doing something as simple as adding two tablespoons to your salad.
2. Cellulite Reduction
Apple cider vinegar aids in the proper storage and breaking down of fat, both being important factors in cellulite reduction. For increased cellulite reduction, add one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar and two teaspoons of oil, such as coconut oil, and gently massage problem areas in circular movements.
3. Blood Sugar Regulation
The effect of apple cider vinegar on blood sugar levels is immense. As mentioned, apple cider vinegar interferes with starch or carb digestion and slows down absorption of sugar into the bloodstream. With this, there is stabilization of blood sugar levels. Several research studies have also concluded that any vinegar may help lower glucose levels. For prevention of blood sugar spikes, take two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar before bed.
4. Healthy Heart
The apple cider vinegar’s high acetic acid content can also reduce blood pressure and LDL – or bad – cholesterol. Apple cider vinegar has also been shown to decrease levels of triglycerides and low density lipoproteins (LDL) in your blood and increase the levels of high density lipoproteins (HDL), or good cholesterol. Add flavor to your dishes and work toward a health heart by adding apple cider vinegar to your daily meals.
5. Free Radicals
Many of us have heard of healing antioxidants that reduce free radicals in our body. Some example of these antioxidants are various fruits and vegetables. Free radicals are highly reactive molecules that can damage cells and tissue. Sprinkle apple cider vinegar on fresh fruit and vegetables for boosting antioxidant benefits, and added flavor too.
The antioxidant properties of apple cider vinegar can also help slow down aging. Apple cider vinegar slows down aging by maintaining the stability of the acid-base balance in our bodies. Besides incorporating it into your daily foods, you could also use apple cider vinegar as a tonic to the face by placing some in a spray bottle and diluting it with water.
7. Treats Blemishes
The tonic properties of apple cider vinegar also help exercise your pores, and treat blemishes. Apply diluted apple cider vinegar on a cotton pad and dab on the blemishes to dry them out and speed up the healing process.
8. Osteoporosis Treatment
Apple cider vinegar aids in the nutrient absorption of calcium, an important mineral in the prevention of Osteoporosis. Include it in meals to enable proper absorption of calcium to build stronger bones.
9. Sore Throat Remedy
Due to its antiviral and antibacterial properties, apple cider vinegar can also be used to soothe a sore throat. Gargle a diluted apple cider solution for immediate relief.
10. Sinus Relief
Apple cider vinegar’s potassium and acetic acid both aid in congestion relief. Mix one teaspoon (or up to one tablespoon) in a glass of water and drink it to drain your sinuses.
11. Hiccup Cure
Apple cider vinegar can restore the acid balance in your stomach, a common cause of a hiccup. Gargle with a diluted solution for relief.
13. Hair Health
Recycle an old shampoo bottle and fill it with half a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and a cup of cold water. Rinse through your hair several times a week after shampooing for the removal of shampoo deposits.
14. Bad Breath Prevention
As mentioned, apple cider vinegar has antibacterial properties, some of which may aid in preventing bad breath. Swirl some in your mouth at least once a day.
15. Indigestion Relief
Drink one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar with one teaspoon of honey mixed in a small glass of warm water 30 minutes before you dine.
These statements are not intended to diagnose, treat and cure or prevent disease. Always consult with your professional health care provider before initiating or modifying your exercise and diet plan.
6 Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar, Backed by Science
Apple cider vinegar is the most popular type of vinegar in the natural health community.
It is claimed to lead to all sorts of benefits, many of which are supported by science.
This includes weight loss, reduced cholesterol, lower blood sugar levels and improved symptoms of diabetes.
It is also an ancient folk remedy, and has been used for various household and cooking purposes.
Here are 6 health benefits of apple cider vinegar that are supported by scientific research.
1. High in Acetic Acid, With Potent Biological Effects
Apple cider vinegar is made in a two-step process, related to how alcohol is made (1).
The first step exposes crushed apples (or apple cider) to yeast, which ferment the sugars and turn them into alcohol.
In the second step, bacteria are added to the alcohol solution, which further ferment the alcohol and turn it into acetic acid — the main active compound in vinegar.
In French, the word “vinegar” actually means “sour wine.”
Organic, unfiltered apple cider vinegar (like Bragg’s) also contains “mother,” strands of proteins, enzymes and friendly bacteria that give the product a murky appearance.
Some people believe that the “mother” is responsible for most of the health benefits, although there are currently no studies to support this.
Apple cider vinegar only contains about three calories per tablespoon, which is very low.
There are not many vitamins or minerals in it, but it does contain a small amount of potassium. Quality apple cider vinegar also contains some amino acids and antioxidants.
SUMMARYApple cider vinegar is made by fermenting the sugar from apples. This turns them into acetic acid, which is the active ingredient in vinegar.
2. Can Kill Many Types of Harmful Bacteria
Vinegar can help kill pathogens, including bacteria (2).
It has traditionally been used for cleaning and disinfecting, treating nail fungus, lice, warts and ear infections.
Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, used vinegar for wound cleaning over two thousand years ago.
Vinegar has also been used as a food preservative, and studies show that it inhibits bacteria (like E. coli) from growing in food and spoiling it (2, 3, 4).
If you’re looking for a natural way to preserve your food, then apple cider vinegar could be highly useful.
There have also been anecdotal reports of diluted apple cider vinegar helping with acne when applied to the skin, but I didn’t find any strong research to confirm this.
SUMMARYThe main substance in vinegar, acetic acid, can kill harmful bacteria or prevent them from multiplying. It has a history of use as a disinfectant and natural preservative.
3. Lowers Blood Sugar Levels and Fights Diabetes
By far, the most successful application of vinegar to date is in patients with type 2 diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes is characterized by high blood sugar levels, either because of insulin resistanceor an inability to produce insulin (5).
However, high blood sugar can also be a problem in people who don’t have diabetes. It is believed to be a major cause of aging and various chronic diseases.
Pretty much everyone should benefit from keeping their blood sugar levels in the normal range. The most effective (and healthiest) way to do that is to avoid refined carbs and sugar, but apple cider vinegar can also have a powerful effect.
Vinegar has been shown to have numerous benefits for blood sugar and insulin levels:
• Improves insulin sensitivity during a high-carb meal by 19–34% and significantly lowers blood sugar and insulin responses (6).
• Reduces blood sugar by 34% after eating 50 grams of white bread (7).
• 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar before bedtime can reduce fasting blood sugar in the morning by 4% (8).
• Numerous other studies in humans show that vinegar can improve insulin function and lower blood sugar levels after meals (9, 10).
For these reasons, vinegar can be useful for people with diabetes, pre-diabetes, or those who want to keep their blood sugar levels low for other reasons.
If you’re currently taking blood-sugar-lowering medications, check with your doctor before increasing your intake of any type of vinegar.
SUMMARYApple cider vinegar has shown great promise in improving insulin sensitivity and helping lower blood sugar responses after meals.
4. Helps You Lose Weight and Reduces Belly Fat
Surprisingly, studies also show that vinegar can help you lose weight.
Several human studies show that vinegar can increase satiety, help you eat fewer calories and lead to actual pounds lost on the scale.
For example, if people take vinegar along with a high-carb meal, they get increased feelings of fullness and end up eating 200–275 fewer calories for the rest of the day (11, 12).
A study in 175 people with obesity showed that daily apple cider vinegar consumption led to reduced belly fat and weight loss (13):
• 15 mL (1 tablespoon): Lost 2.6 pounds, or 1.2 kilograms.
• 30 mL (2 tablespoons): Lost 3.7 pounds, or 1.7 kilograms.
However, keep in mind that this study went on for 3 months, so the true effects on body weight seem to be rather modest.
That said, just adding or subtracting single foods or ingredients rarely has a noticeable effect on weight.
It’s the entire diet/lifestyle that counts and you need to combine several effective methods to see results.
Overall, it seems like apple cider vinegar is useful as a weight loss aid, mainly by promoting satiety and lowering blood sugar and insulin levels.
But it won’t work any miracles on its own.
SUMMARYStudies suggest that vinegar can increase feelings of fullness and help people eat fewer calories, which leads to weight loss.
5. Lowers Cholesterol and Improves Heart Health
Heart disease is currently the world’s most common cause of premature death (14).
It is known that several biological factors are linked to either a decreased or increased risk of heart disease.
Several of these “risk factors” can be improved by vinegar consumption, but many of the studies were done in animals.
These animal studies suggest that apple cider vinegar can lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels, along with several other heart disease risk factors (15, 16, 17).
There are also some studies showing that vinegar reduces blood pressure in rats, which is a major risk factor for heart disease and kidney problems (18, 19).
The only human evidence so far is an observational study from Harvard showing that women who ate salad dressings with vinegar had a reduced risk of heart disease (20).
But this type of study can only show an association, it cannot prove that the vinegar caused anything.
As mentioned above, human studies also show that apple cider vinegar can lower blood sugar levels, improve insulin sensitivity and help fight diabetes. These factors should also lead to reduced risk of heart disease.
SUMMARYSeveral animal studies have shown that vinegar can reduce blood triglycerides, cholesterol and blood pressure. This could lead to a reduced risk of developing heart disease.
6. May Have Protective Effects Against Cancer
Cancer is a terrible disease characterized by the uncontrolled growth of cells.
There is a lot of hype online about the anti-cancer effects of apple cider vinegar.
In fact, numerous studies have shown that various types of vinegar can kill cancer cells and shrink tumors (21, 22, 23).
However, all of the studies on this were done in isolated cells in test tubes, or rats, which proves nothing about what happens in a living, breathing human.
That said, some observational studies in humans have shown that vinegar consumption is linked to decreased esophageal cancer in China, but increased bladder cancer in Serbia (24, 25).
It is possible that consuming apple cider vinegar may help prevent cancer, but this needs to be researched more before any recommendations can be made.
SUMMARYSome studies in test tubes and rats have shown that vinegar can slow the growth of cancer cells and shrink tumors.
Dosage and How to Use
The best way to incorporate apple cider vinegar into your diet is to use it in your cooking — for salad dressings, homemade mayonnaise and that sort of thing.
Some people also 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 tablespoons (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, because too much vinegar can cause harmful side effects.
It is recommended to use organic, unfiltered apple cider vinegar with the “mother.”
Bragg’s seems to be the most popular option, which is available on Amazon along with tons of interesting testimonials and reviews that are fun to browse through.
SUMMARYA common dosage for apple cider vinegar ranges from 1 teaspoon to 2 tablespoons per day, either used in cooking or mixed in a glass of water.
The Bottom Line
There are a lot of wild claims about apple cider vinegar on the internet.
Some say that it can increase energy levels and have all sorts of beneficial effects on health.
Unfortunately, many of these claims are not supported by science.
Of course, absence of proof isn’t proof that something isn’t happening and anecdotes often end up becoming supported by science down the line.
However, I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for more studies, since research on natural health products like these are both few and far between.
From the little evidence available, I think that apple cider vinegar may be useful and is definitely a good candidate for some experimentation if you’re interested in it.
At the very least, apple cider vinegar seems to be safe as long as you don’t go overboard and take excessive amounts.
Apple cider vinegar also has various other non-health related uses like hair conditioning, skin care, dental care, pet use and as a cleaning agent (to name a few).
These can be highly useful for people who like to keep things as natural and chemical-free as possible.
At the end of the day, apple cider vinegar appears to be very healthy.
It’s not a “miracle” or a “cure-all” like some people seem to believe, but it does clearly have some important health benefits, especially for blood sugar and weight control.