Apple cider vinegar (ACV) has been around for thousands of years, but it wasn’t until more recently that it skyrocketed in popularity, for its reported benefits in treating a variety of ailments, helping people lose weight, and helping lower blood sugar.
Those are just a few of its reported benefits of this drink, though, so let’s dig in a bit deeper to see what ACV is really all about, and whether or not it’s something you should actually consider taking.
Organic Apple Cider Vinegar Benefits
There are a number of reported benefits associated with this stuff, so let’s take a look at the top 5 things that people use apple cider vinegar for.
1. Weight Loss
This may be the number one reason people decide to research ACV – it can reportedly help people lose weight. According to one Japanese study, nearly 200 people with obesity issues were given either apple cider vinegar or water. During the study, they were required to eat and drink stuff that was nearly the same. When the study had concluded, the people who had used the vinegar instead of water had lost more weight than those who did not. The organic vinegar drinkers lost between 1 and 2 pounds over three months.
While most of the participants gained the weight back after the study had finished, the researchers concluded that the apple cider vinegar may help activate genes that help break down fats.
The one takeaway here is that while ACV may help in some way with weight loss and weight management, you’re not going to magically melt off the pounds just by slugging back some vinegar.
2. Blood Sugar Control
According to Carol Johnston, a doctor with Arizona State University has been studying this delicious liquid for more than a decade and says apple cider vinegar’s impact on blood sugar is pretty similar to various diabetic medications. She has reportedly documented ACV’s anti-glycemic effect and says it’s so effective because it helps block some starch digestion, even it doesn’t block it 100%. As a result of the starch not being digested, the blood sugar doesn’t elevate.
In contrast to Johnston’s findings, there are other experts out there who caution about putting too much stock in the whole ACV-diabetes treatment options. Doctor Michael Dansinger with Tufts University even says that drinking vinegar could potentially put a strain on your bones and kidneys, even it has been diluted with water – which is another factor to consider.
With this in mind, you should never use apple cider vinegar to treat your diabetes, without talking to your doctor first. They’ll be able to work with you to develop the right plan for helping you manage your diabetes, including deciding which medications you should or shouldn’t take.
3. Do You Need the Mother?
…and can it help with digestion?
Many people who are searching for the best apple cider vinegar, also want ACV that contains “mother.” What the heck is the mother? Well, that’s a good question, actually – I certainly didn’t know when I first started researching this stuff. The mother is sort of a cloudy blob that is found in unfiltered apple cider vinegar. The mother is apparently packed with probiotics and other kinds of “good” bacteria. For some folks, this may help aid the digestion process, and can even reportedly aid with constipation.
This would seem to indicate that if you’re looking for the “right” kind of organic apple cider vinegar, then the one containing the mother may be the way to go, especially if you’re looking for the probiotic effect.
According to some, ACV has even been used in the treatment of hiccups. The worst part about hiccups is when you just can’t seem to get them to go away, no matter what you do. Apple vinegar may be just the remedy you were looking for – it turns out that a teaspoon of ACV could be all you need to get rid of your hiccups. The ACV’s acidic properties may help kill the hiccups by preventing the spasms that cause them in the first place.
5. Can it Lower Cholesterol?
Some suggest that apple cider vinegar may have an antioxidant in it called chlorogenic acid. This stuff has reportedly been shown to help defend LDL cholesterol from oxidization, which can apparently help prevent some of the factors associated with heart disease.
In addition to this, some of the other risk factors linked to heart disease have also been demonstrated to improve with vinegar drinking. This particular study, however, was used on rats, so further tests would need to be done before deciding whether or not these beneficial properties would have the same effect on humans.
Are there Side Effects?
Because of its acidic nature, apple cider vinegar can potentially cause irritation or a burning feeling in your throat, or even on your skin if you were to accidentally spill it on yourself. For this reason, it is typically recommended that you dilute your ACV before consuming it. On the flip side, people have also reportedly used vinegar to treat moles and other skin infections, so this “burning” effect may also have some minor benefits as well.
In some cases, ACV may make gastroparesis worse and make blood sugar control harder, for type 1 diabetics. Because it is also an appetite suppressant, some people have also reported feeling like they had an upset stomach.
While there aren’t any official studies linking too much ACV to osteoporosis and lowered potassium, there was one report of a young woman who had slugged back about 8 ounces of apple cider vinegar almost every day for six years. She even diluted the ACV with water, but still wound up in the hospital with lower potassium, and some other red flags were indicated on her blood panel. She was also found to be suffering from osteoporosis, which isn’t often seen in someone who is just 28 years old.
Her doctors seemed to think that the large doses of daily vinegar caused minerals to be leached from her bones, so her body could ward off her acidic blood.
It’s important to keep in mind here that the amount of apple cider vinegar she was drinking was a lot more than what is normally recommended, and she had continued on this path every single day for six full years – something that isn’t going to be recommended by a medical professional.
Beyond that, there are some other possible side effects that I have come across in my research including potential damage to tooth enamel and possible drug interactions. For these reasons, it’s always recommended that you talk to your doctor before trying apple cider vinegar.
If you want to consume apple cider vinegar safely, you should be careful with the amount of it that you drink. It’s recommended to start with smaller amounts, and then slowly work your way up so your body can get used to it. Recommendations I have seen say a max of two tablespoons per day, but you should also follow the instructions of whatever product you decide to try, along with following the guidelines your medical professional gives you. You can also protect your teeth by diluting the ACV with water and using a straw when you drink it. After consuming it, it helps to give your mouth a quick rinse with water.
You can also protect your teeth by diluting the ACV with water and using a straw when you drink it. After consuming it, it helps to give your mouth a quick rinse with water.
There are plenty of great apple cider vinegars out there, but most people seem to think Bragg’s is one of the best. Learn more about them on their official Amazon page.