If you think apple cider vinegar is only useful for adding tang to salad dressings, then you might not be aware of it’s health benefits.
But, are all the health claims true? Keep reading to find out more.
What makes apple cider vinegar (ACV) different?
Natural Apple Cider Vinegar is made by crushing fresh, organically grown apples and allowing them to mature in wooden barrels. This boosts the natural fermentation qualities of the crushed apples, which differs from the refined and distilled vinegars found in supermarkets. When the vinegar is mature, it contains a dark, cloudy, web-like bacterial foam called mother, which becomes visible when the cider is held to the light. Natural vinegars that contain the mother have enzymes and minerals not found in grocery store vinegars due to over-processing, over-heating, and filtration. For this reason, it is recommended that you purchase only unpasteurized, unfiltered, organic Natural AppleCinder Vinegar, with an ideal acidity (pH) level of 5 to 7.
Truth behind the claims of health benefits?
As far back as 400 B.C., Hippocrates the father of medicine, is alleged to have prescribed ACV to treat a variety of illness. Today, the internet is buzzing with the phenomenal healing benefits of ACV, but how true are they.
Here is what I found:
Inhibits bacteria like E. Coli
With the various food scares that keep happening, it might be useful to know that ACV’s anti-bacterial properties inhibit bacteria like E. coli. In a study where various methods of washing vegetables were conducted only the vinegar wash reduced the numbers of viruses significantly (ca. 95%).
Effective as an antibacterial in oral infections
The Journal Oral Surgery, Oral Medicine, Oral Pathology, Oral Radiology and Endodontics published a study which found that ACV demonstrated antibacterial activity against a bacteria known as E. faecalis. This bacteria is often linked to infection in root canals and elsewhere in the body.
Lowers Blood Sugar levels
Apple cider vinegar has shown great promise in improving insulin sensitivity and helping to lower blood sugar responses after meals. In fact, one study recommends that fermented foods or food products with added organic acids should be included in the diet in order to reduce glycaemia and insulin demand.
This is great news for people with type 2 diabetes which is characterized by elevated blood sugars, either in the context of insulin resistance or an inability to produce insulin.
However, elevated blood sugar can also be a problem in people who don’t have diabetes… it is believed to be a major cause of ageing and various chronic diseases. With this in mind, adding ACV to your diet could provide a boost to your over-all health.
Please note: If you’re currently taking blood sugar lowering medications, then it is advisable to check with your doctor before increasing your intake of ACV.
Cardiovascular health benefits
Some sites claim that ACV can help improve cardiovascular health, and as stated above ACV does have over all health benefits, this claim is inconclusive.
There are several measurable biological factors linked to either a decreased or increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Several of these “risk factors” have been shown to be improved by vinegar consumption… but all of the studies were done in rats.
Aids with weight loss
Studies suggest that ACV can increase feelings of fullness and help people eat fewer calories, which can lead to weight loss but, the research is conflicting.
One study in the in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, states that ACV can help reduce the number of calories eaten at a meal by between 200 and 275. This is decrease in calories in small. So, although one may lose weight due to feeling full which may lead to eating less, there appears to be little benefit regarding calories.
At this time there is limited scientific support for the claim that ACV can promote weight loss.
Although the internet abounds with reports of ACV’s anti-cancer effects, the research doesn’t support it. Some studies have shown anti-cancer effects of rice vinegar and sugar cane vinegar in laboratory settings, but there is little research on apple cider vinegar having anti-cancer effects.
The bottom line:
There is strong evidence that ACV does help to improve insulin sensitivity and helping to lower blood sugar. Included in these studies is evidence that ACV may have an over-all positive effect of one’s health. But, it is not clear whether ACV is beneficial for the other ailments that some claim.
A little extra ACV in your food preparation may just be that ounce of prevention you need.
It is wise to use caution when taking ACV as undiluted ACV, in liquid or pill form, may damage the esophagus and other parts of the digestive tract. ACV drinks may damage tooth enamel if sipped.
Cheers to your health!