Apple Cider Vinegar: Just How Healthy Is It?

There has been a recent rise in the use and popularity of apple cider vinegar to aid with weight loss program and overall general health and wellness. You’ve probably heard of it before, or have maybe even tried it for yourself. People use apple cider vinegar to help curb hunger pangs, neutralize skin pH levels, normalize blood pressure levels, and more.

In fact, apple cider vinegar has a wide range of uses. Historically, it has been used as a disinfectant, a preservative, and a home remedy for various ailments, with the oldest known medical use of it dating back to Hippocrates in 400 B.C. apple cider vinegar has also been prescribed, mixed with honey, to treat illnesses such as the common cold.

However, a lot of apple cider vinegar’s benefits aren’t exactly proven infallible. It would be smart not to rely on it solely. But just how healthy is apple cider vinegar? That’s what we will attempt to clear up.

Today, Evolve Daily explores the benefits of using apple cider vinegar, as well as what science has to say about it.

 

What is Apple Cider Vinegar?

Apple cider is basically apple juice that has been sweetened and concentrated. It turns into apple cider vinegar through a two-step fermentation process, with the first step being the addition of yeast and the second being the addition of an acetic acid-forming bacteria called acetobacter.

 

What are the benefits of using apple cider vinegar for health?

Apple cider vinegar owes its popularity to its ties to improving health. Some of the many benefits of using apple cider vinegar are clear and backed by evidence, while others are a bit less so. Here are some things apple cider vinegar can help you with:

  • Blood sugar control: Apple cider vinegar has shown to significantly lower post-meal glucose levels. While it won’t cure diabetes, it may be used to supplement a treatment plan by regularly incorporating it into meals.
  • Disinfection: Due to its acidic nature, apple cider vinegar helps inhibit the growth of bacteria. It has antimicrobial and antioxidant effects. This effect is boosted when mixed with lemon juice, so why not use a lemon juice vinaigrette for your next salad? It’s great to put on fresh crisp vegetables.
  • Weight loss: This is one of the touted benefits of apple cider vinegar, but don’t get rid of your gym membership just yet. A study found that apple cider vinegar boosted weight loss, but only if the participants are in a calorie deficit in the first place. Still, apple cider vinegar is loads of goodness for you. Couple that with its ability to reduce cholesterol, and lower blood sugar, it’s worth a try.

 

What are the downsides?

apple cider vinegar

The advantage of self-medicating with natural remedies is that there are minimal associated risks compared to pharmaceutical drugs. Of course, there are still a few things to watch out for.

  • Vinegar, in general, is highly acidic and corrosive to the tooth enamel. If you’re consuming any form of vinegar, it’s best to dilute it to minimize this.
  • It can interact with medical treatment for conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes, so it’s best for people with underlying conditions to consult their doctor first to avoid complications.
  • While it may diminish your appetite, it can also cause nausea, indigestion, and throat irritation in some people.

 

What does science say?

Lots of people all over the world have benefited from the use of apple cider vinegar. There is no shortage of anecdotal evidence on the health benefits of apple cider vinegar, and from ancient history until now, people have found reason after reason to incorporate it into their diets, but what does science say about it? 

There are studies that prove using apple cider vinegar promoted fat burning and weight loss, improved cholesterol levels, and decreased blood sugar levels by increasing insulin sensitivity. The acetic acid in it gives apple cider vinegar its particularly powerful sour smell and flavor. Studies have also shown that this acid could be responsible for apple cider vinegar’s benefits.

Another key component is a substance called “Mother”, which consists of proteins, enzymes, and friendly bacteria, and is responsible for apple cider vinegar’s murky appearance. It also contains trace amounts of potassium and amino acids.

It could be the miracle cure to obesity, heart disease, and diabetes—except, of course, like all good things, there is a catch. These studies were conducted on mice.

That’s not to say that there weren’t any human studies. In humans, apple cider vinegar slowed gastric emptying times (i.e., it took longer to get hungry), which is partly the reason for associated weight loss and lowered cholesterol levels.

In short, apple cider vinegar may have its uses, particularly with regard to its nutritional value and disinfecting capability. However, weight loss, heart health, and better blood sugar control are unproven benefits as of yet. You may incorporate it into your weight loss diet to take advantage of its effects on delaying hunger, but don’t expect it to be a miracle cure to answer all your prayers.

 

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