The Effectiveness of Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is a versatile cooking ingredient that can also be used as a natural cleanser. It has been credited with numerous health benefits, including weight loss, blood pressure reduction and heart health improvement. However, most of these claims are unproven and may be dangerous if used at full strength or inappropriately. As always, consult your healthcare provider before starting any dietary supplement.

Apple vinegar is a product made by fermenting crushed apples in the presence of yeast, which transforms the sugars into alcohol. Then bacteria is introduced to the mixture, which turns the alcohol into acetic acid, a key component of apple cider vinegar. It’s this acid that gives it its pungent odor and bitter taste. Vinegar also contains a number of other nutrients, including pectin; vitamins B1, B2, and B6 (also known as biotin); and folate, vitamin C, and pantothenic acid.

One of the most popular uses for vinegar is as a diet aid. In a small study, participants who consumed diluted apple cider vinegar before each meal lost more weight than those who didn’t. However, this was a very short-term study and the results need to be replicated in larger studies before apple cider vinegar can be recommended for weight loss.

Another benefit claimed for apple cider vinegar is its ability to lower cholesterol and triglycerides. But this effect has only been seen in lab animals and not in humans.

Some research has also shown that apple cider vinegar can help manage type 2 diabetes, though these findings need to be tested in human studies. A 2019 study found that when vinegar was consumed prior to a carbohydrate-rich meal, it improved fasting blood glucose and hemoglobin A1C levels. The exact mechanism is unclear, but scientists suggest it may be due to AMPK pathway activation, reduced lipogenesis, increased satiety post-meal, and delayed gastric emptying.

Apple cider vinegar has antimicrobial properties, which means that it can prevent the growth of harmful microorganisms like E coli and Staphylococcus aureus. It can also inhibit the growth of fungi like Candida albicans.

In addition to its potential for improving health conditions, apple cider vinegar is often suggested as a beauty treatment. Some people use it as a hair rinse to help ease dandruff and to remove product buildup. While there is no evidence that this is true, it does have the potential to promote healthy scalp and hair.

Keep in mind, that if you are taking prescription drugs or have serious health issues, consuming large amounts of apple cider vinegar could cause damage. Always dilute and never ingest pure, undiluted vinegar. Also, if you are using apple cider vinegar as part of your diet, be sure to check in with your doctor to ensure it is safe for you. If you do have the green light to begin using apple cider vinegar, make sure to add it to your cooking or use it in salad dressings and marinades. You can even put it in a cup of warm water to dilute the strong flavor and avoid burning your throat.