6 Reasons Why Drinking Apple Cider Vinegar Is Good For Your Health
- What Is Apple Cider Vinegar?
- 6 Science-Backed Health Benefits Of Apple Cider Vinegar
- Apple Cider Vinegar Dosage and Uses
- Is It Healthy To Drink Apple Cider Vinegar Every Day?
- Is Drinking Apple Cider Vinegar In The Morning Healthy?
- Can Apple Cider Vinegar Benefit Your Gut Health?
- Can Apple Cider Vinegar Benefit Women’s Health?
- Side Effects
Apple cider vinegar is believed to have a variety of health benefits, from improving scarring and acne and losing body weight to aiding heartburn and lowering blood sugar levels. However, not all benefits of this vinegar are backed by science.
So, in this article, we’re going to explain what apple cider vinegar is, in what ways it can benefit your health and can be used, in what quantities it should be consumed, and what side effects it may cause. So, without further ado, let’s get to it.
What Is Apple Cider Vinegar?
Apple cider vinegar is made from apple cider by adding yeast to the juice, which converts the sugar into alcohol. Then bacteria is added to convert the alcohol into acetic acid, and that’s how apple cider vinegar gets its strong, characteristic smell and sour taste. This process is known as fermentation.
As a result of this process, enzymes and probiotics are formed, which gives apple cider vinegar fewer calories and a smaller amount of sugar than apple juice or apple cider.
As we already said, apple cider vinegar has been used in different health practices for centuries for various purposes, such as improving the immune system and detoxifying blood and the liver. Hippocrates, in ancient Greece, prescribed this vinegar in a combination with honey to help treat colds and coughs.
And today, apple cider vinegar has started growing in popularity again. People commonly add it to marinades and salad dressings and use it as a natural disinfectant and a home remedy to treat different conditions.
6 Science-Backed Health Benefits Of Apple Cider Vinegar
It May Help Control Type 2 Diabetes and Reduce Blood Sugar Levels
One study found that consuming vinegar led to reduced glucose response by 31,4 percent after eating portions of white bread containing 50 g of carbs (1).
Furthermore, one animal study, in which diabetic rats were fed with animal food which contained apple cider vinegar over the period of 4 weeks, indicated that there was a considerable decrease in the glycated haemoglobin in these rats. The vinegar also increased their HDL cholesterol, also known as “good” cholesterol, and lowered their levels of serum triglycerides. So, it turns out that apple cider vinegar can be helpful in controlling the diabetic complications in diabetic rats (2).
Then, in type 2 diabetes mellitus condition, there’s relative deficiency of insulin as well as insulin resistance (3). One study has found that vinegar increases insulin sensitivity to a meal which is high in carbohydrates in people who have type 2 diabetes or who are resistant to insulin (4).
Additionally, one study, which included 7 women and 4 men with type 2 diabetes who were asked to consume either water or two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar before going to sleep, found that fasting glucose was decreased by four percent in those participants who consumed the vinegar (5).
And last but not least, one 2017 study has suggested that vinegar can be a helpful tool for lowering levels of insulin and postprandial glucose, showing that it could be helpful in improving glycemic control (6).
Nevertheless, there’s one important thing we’d like to emphasize here and that is that those who have diabetes should not replace their prescription medications with other health products. So, if you are taking medications for reducing blood sugar levels, consult your doctor prior to increasing your consumption of vinegar.
It May Improve Skin Health
One animal study suggested that acidification of the surface of the skin had a therapeutic effect on skin conditions like atopic dermatitis. Mice were treated with different vinegar creams and the results showed that applying topical acids, irrespective of the material of their source, prevents atopic dermatitis lesions from developing by maintaining the function of the skin barrier and the pH value of the skin surface (7).
It’s worth mentioning that some people to prevent spots and destroy bacteria dilute apple cider vinegar in face toners and face washes.
Nevertheless, in one 2019 study, 22 participants were told to soak one of their forearms in water and the other forearm in diluted apple cider vinegar for ten minutes every day for two weeks. The study found that apple cider vinegar soaks didn’t have a considerable effect on the integrity of the skin barrier and it caused irritation of the skin in most participants (8).
So, if you have atopic dermatitis, acne, eczema, or other skin conditions, consult your doctor prior to treating them with apple cider vinegar. And one more thing – do not apply undiluted vinegar directly to your skin because it can damage it and cause burns.
It Contains Healthy Substances
According to science, vinegars offer a variety of benefits which are due to different micronutrients and polyphenols present in them which, in turn, contribute to their antihypertensive, antimicrobial, antiobesity, antioxidative, and antidiabetic properties (9).
In addition, unfiltered apple cider vinegar has a compound known as the “mother” which is actually the combination of bacteria and yeast that is made during the fermentation process. The mother has friendly bacteria, enzymes, and proteins which cause the vinegar to have a murky appearance.
According to many people, the majority of health benefits of apple cider vinegar can be attributed to the mother, although this hasn’t been backed by science yet.
Although apple cider vinegar is low in minerals and vitamins, it does contain B-vitamins and a small amount of magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, calcium and manganese.
It Can Help Destroy Bad Bacteria
Apple cider vinegar has antimicrobial potential, a study has shown. The study which examined the antimicrobial properties of apple cider vinegar against Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, and Candida albicans found that this vinegar can have various antimicrobial effects on these bacteria (10).
Many people recommend vinegar for treating acne, ear infections, nail fungus, scarring, warts, and lice. Even in ancient times, the father of modern medicine, Hippocrates, recommended vinegar for fighting infections, such as for treating sores and cleaning ulcerations (11).
Moreover, vinegar can be also used to preserve food. In one 2016 study, scientists evaluated the antimicrobial actions of vinegar, i.e. acetic acid, on E.coli and murine norovirus in raw green lavers which were experimentally contaminated while they were stored at 4°C for 7 days. The results showed that vinegar can be used as a compound that has antimicrobial properties against Escherichia coli and norovirus (12).
Additionally, another study has found that vinegar prevents the growth of food-borne pathogenic bacteria as well as enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli. Moreover, the study also found that the combination of sodium chloride and vinegar at an appropriate temperature during treatment was beneficial to preventing food poisoning (13).
It May Promote Weight Loss
It turns out that those who are trying to shed a few pounds should include apple cider vinegar in their diet.
One study showed that a meal containing vinegar and white wheat bread increased feelings of satiety, which, in turn, can lead to decreased intake of food and enhance weight loss (14).
Then, another study showed that consuming 500 milliliters of vinegar a day decreased levels of serum triglycerides, body fat mass, and weight in Japanese who had obesity (15).
Nevertheless, it should be noted here that eliminating or adding certain ingredients or foods to one’s diet rarely promotes weight loss. You can lose weight by adopting a healthy, balanced diet and making positive changes to your lifestyle, such as exercising regularly.
All things considered, consuming apple cider vinegar may promote weight loss by increasing feelings of fullness and decreasing insulin and blood sugar levels.
It Benefits Heart Health in Animals
One study showed that the main ingredient of vinegar, acetic acid, lowered triacylglycerols and serum cholesterol in rats that had a diet rich in cholesterol (16).
Then, another study performed on rabbits found that the combination of cholesterolemic diet and vinegar led to a considerable decrease in total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol in these animals. As a result of this, vinegar might have an impact on risk factors of atherosclerosis (17).
Additionally, one animal study indicated that vinegar and acetic acid lowered blood pressure in rats with hypertension. The study also suggested that the antihypertensive actions of vinegar were attributed to its main component – the acetic acid (18).
Nevertheless, it hasn’t been scientifically proven yet whether vinegar can have the same effect in humans.
Apple Cider Vinegar Dosage and Uses
As we already said, apple cider vinegar is commonly used in cooking, salad dressings, marinades, homemade mayonnaise, baking, and as a food preservative.
Some people also prefer to drink apple cider vinegar water. To make this drink, dilute one to two teaspoons or one to two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in a glass of water. However, avoid consuming this vinegar in large quantities as it may erode your tooth enamel and interact with some prescription medications.
Some people recommend consuming unfiltered apple cider vinegar because it has the above-mentioned “mother.”
Is It Healthy To Drink Apple Cider Vinegar Every Day?
Although consuming apple cider vinegar can benefit your health in various ways, drinking it in significant amounts every day over the course of several years can have an adverse effect on your health and it’s been associated with osteoporosis and low levels of potassium in the blood.
Is Drinking Apple Cider Vinegar In The Morning Healthy?
Although there isn’t research to prove this, many people believe that drinking apple cider vinegar first thing in the morning promotes feelings of satiety, helps you shed pounds, and helps your body eliminate toxins.
Can Apple Cider Vinegar Benefit Your Gut Health?
Consuming apple cider vinegar may help increase stomach acidity in those who have low stomach acid levels in order to improve digestion. This could also prevent bloating and gas, which are usually caused by slow digestion.
Can Apple Cider Vinegar Benefit Women’s Health?
It certainly can. Apple cider vinegar is believed to contribute to women’s health in the following ways:
- It combats itchiness, dandruff, and inflammation of the skin.
- It can help ease cramps, bloating, and irritability during menstrual period or PMS.
- It prevents body odors.
- It may help control levels of blood sugar, particularly after a meal rich in carbs.
- It may help reduce triglyceride and total cholesterol levels.
- It may improve digestion.
- It promotes weight loss.
- It improves skin and hair health
Drinking apple cider vinegar is normally safe. However, if it is consumed in large amounts, it may cause side effects, such as:
- It can lead to tooth enamel erosion and delayed stomach emptying and it may hurt your throat.
- It may slower your digestive system.
- If you apply apple cider vinegar directly to your skin, it may cause burns.
- It may decrease your levels of potassium, which your nerves and muscles need to function properly.
- It may interfere with some medications, so people who are taking diuretics, Digoxin, or heart disease and diabetes medications should avoid drinking apple cider vinegar.
- And last but not least, not everyone can like its strong taste and smell.
- Apple cider vinegar has different uses and it also offers a variety of health benefits.
- Apple cider vinegar is made by the process of fermentation.
- Apple cider vinegar has the following science-backed health benefits: It may help control type 2 diabetes, reduce blood sugar levels, improve skin health, destroy bad bacteria, promote weight loss, and benefit heart health, and it contains healthy compounds as well.
- If it is consumed in large quantities, apple cider vinegar can cause side effects.