Apple cider vinegar (AVC) has gained popularity for its multitude of health benefits. The advantages of apple cider vinegar are numerous. It has long served as a home remedy.
Still, in recent years apple cider vinegar has gained traction for its ability to support weight loss, lower blood sugar levels, reduce cholesterol, and improve symptoms of diabetes. People also use it for various household and cooking purposes.
In this article, we will take a look at what apple cider vinegar is, the advantages of apple cider vinegar, side effects of apple cider vinegar, how it might help with weight loss, and how to use it.
What is Apple Cider Vinegar?
Vinegar originates from the French phrase “vin aigre” which means sour wine. The sourness comes from acetic acid.
Apple cider vinegar is a liquid produced throughout the fermentation of apple cider. During this process, the sugar in apples is fermented by yeast, which then transforms it into alcohol and, finally, into vinegar.
Similar to other types of vinegar, the essential component in apple cider vinegar is acetic acid. Apple cider vinegar also carries other substances such as lactic, citric, and malic acids, and bacteria (1).
Acetic acid represents about 5–6% of apple cider vinegar. It is ranked as a “weak acid,” but still has reasonably strong acidic properties when it is concentrated.
In addition to acetic acid, vinegar includes water and trace quantities of other acids, vitamins, and minerals (1).
For ages, apple cider vinegar has been used as a home treatment for many health ailments and as a disinfectant and natural preservative.
Apple cider vinegar comes from apples that have been crushed, purified, and then fermented.
What are the advantages of apple cider vinegar?
Several studies demonstrate the advantages of apple cider vinegar. Apple cider vinegar has many healthful properties, including antimicrobial and antioxidant effects. Furthermore, evidence recommends it may offer health benefits, such as helping weight loss, reducing cholesterol, burning belly fat, promoting hair and skin health, lowering blood sugar levels, and enhancing the symptoms of diabetes.
1- Apple Cider Vinegar Is Rich in Healthy Substances
According to researchers, apple cider vinegar includes 5–6% acetic acid, a substance that is responsible for its strong sour smell and flavor and gives its health benefits.
Organic, unfiltered apple cider vinegar also includes a substance called mother, which consists of elements of proteins, enzymes, and beneficial bacteria that give the product a murky appearance.
Some think that the mother is responsible for most of its health benefits, even though there is currently no research to support it. These things are probiotic, suggesting they might give your digestive system a boost.
While apple cider vinegar does not include many vitamins or minerals, it contains a small amount of potassium, some amino acids and antioxidants.
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2- Apple cider vinegar may have antibacterial properties
Maybe one of the most well-known advantages of apple cider vinegar is its antimicrobial activity.
We live in a world where antibiotic resistance is becoming increasingly prevalent. Antibiotics can also be inefficient at reaching the intracellular structures in which their targets can hide.
A 2018 study discovered that apple cider vinegar was successful in killing Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus, the bacteria that causes staph infections.
Another study observed that apple cider vinegar was also successful at killing Enterococcus faecalis, being a 5 percent sodium hypochlorite. This bacteria happens naturally in the bowel and gut of healthy individuals; however, it can cause serious infections.
3- Apple cider vinegar can help you with blood sugar management.
Research published in the Journal of the American Association of Diabetes in 2004 found that apple cider vinegar significantly lowered post-meal blood glucose levels.
Research issued by the American Diabetes Association discovered that taking two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar before bed can decrease fasting blood sugar.
The researchers observed individuals given a meal. After the meal, the participants got 20 grams of apple cider vinegar or a placebo. The researchers monitored blood glucose levels 30 and 60 minutes after the meal.
They discovered that apple cider vinegar significantly reduced post-meal blood glucose levels.
A 2007 study led by Arizona State University researchers observed that people with type 2 diabetes who received two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with one ounce (29 grams) of cheese at bedtime had lower fasting glucose the next morning compared with when they consumed water with their cheese before bed.
Note that the patients were not using insulin; however, they continued to take their oral medications for type 2 diabetes throughout the study if they were on them.
The experts concluded that the anti-glycemic effect of apple cider vinegar might have been especially beneficial for individuals who tended to have relatively high fasting glucose.
4- Apple cider vinegar may help with hunger Control.
In a randomized controlled trial, 12 volunteers were examined and given one of three levels of vinegar: 18, 23, or 28 mmol of acetic acid. Participants were then served about 50 g of carbohydrates through some white bread. The control group ate the white bread without the addition of vinegar.
The blood samples taken about 120 minutes post-meal revealed that higher quantities of the acetic acid resulted in lower blood glucose and insulin levels.
In addition to reducing blood sugar, participants, given the higher amounts of vinegar, also reported higher satiety – a sense of feeling full.
Researchers found that the acetic acid found in apple cider vinegar help reduce blood glucose and insulin, and improved the participants’ rating of satiety.
5- Apple cider vinegar help kill harmful bacteria on your salad.
Apple cider vinegar is regarded by many as a miracle ingredient in the kitchen for its health benefits. You may use it in salad dressings, marinades, and food preservation.
A study observed that vinegar might help kill pathogens, including bacteria.
People have traditionally utilized vinegar for cleansing and disinfecting, treating ear infections, nail fungus, lice, warts.
For instance, Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, used vinegar to clean and disinfect wounds over 2,000 years ago.
Apple cider vinegar is also a natural way to preserve your food.
You can also use apple cider vinegar for food preservation because it can kill pathogens like harmful bacteria in food. Based on studies, it inhibits the growth of certain types of bacteria like E. coli, so that way, food does not spoil. Other people also use it as a disinfectant because of this property.
Research shows that it represses bacteria like E. coli from growing in and spoiling food.
6- Apple cider vinegar may help promote weight loss.
There is no definitive answer on whether apple cider vinegar is efficient in aiding weight loss. However, there has been some evidence that vinegar may also help in increasing the feeling of fullness when taken with a high-carb meal, which could support your weight loss journey by preventing you from overeating later in the day.
A randomized clinical trial recently published in the Journal of Functional Food revealed that apple cider vinegar might help with weight loss and affects weight by lowering your appetite.
The participants took 15ml of apple cider vinegar with lunch and dinner (a total of 2 tablespoons). They also consumed a meal that was 250 calories less than their daily estimated requirements. The researchers observed that apple cider vinegar significantly reduced weight.
On the one hand, individuals in the apple cider vinegar group lost an average of 8.8 pounds (4 kg) over 12 weeks. On the other hand, people who did not take apple cider vinegar only lost 5 pounds (2.3 kg).
The researchers also discovered that apple cider vinegar decreased cholesterol levels.
Harvard Medical School experts also point to information that suggests a potential link between vinegar and weight loss: they demonstrate that apple cider vinegar contains acetic acid, which “has been found to reduce absorption of starches and slow digestion, which can lead to a sensation of a full stomach.”
A 2018 small study found that apple cider vinegar consumption, alongside a restricted-calorie diet, decreased body weight, BMI, hip circumference, and plasma triglyceride concentration for the 39 participants. The individuals studied also shown the benefit of appetite reduction.
Several studies have concluded using apple cider vinegar for weight loss actually works. They also observed it works even without dietary changes. However, for a better result, experts recommend drinking apple cider along with adopting a healthy lifestyle.
However, more studies are needed to fully determine the connection between weight loss and apple cider vinegar.
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7- Apple cider vinegar may help cure hiccups.
If you have hiccups, try a teaspoonful of apple cider vinegar; it might prevent hiccups.
According to a case report in a 2015 edition of the Journal of Palliative Medicine, one participant who developed persistent hiccups the day after undergoing chemotherapy observed substantial improvement after taking vinegar.
The researchers noted, “Hiccups stopped or decreased in intensity or rate per minute after sipping vinegar.” While that is just one individual with a specific illness, it might be worth considering. More studies are needed to determine better apple cider vinegar’s role in decreasing hiccups.
8- Apple cider vinegar may help reduce heart risks.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one person dies every 37 seconds in the United States of America from cardiovascular disease, and about 1 in 4 deaths in the United States is caused by heart disease.
With such frightening statistics, improving and sustaining good cardiovascular health should be your top priority.
Apple cider vinegar can help decrease cholesterol and triglyceride levels, which are known to raise the risk of heart disease if they are too high.
A clinical trial found that alpha-linolenic acid (which Apple cider vinegar is high in) may reduce the risk of heart disease in women.
Regular physical activity is one the best way to reduce the risk of dying prematurely from Cardiovascular Disease. According to the New York State Department of Health less active and less fit people have a 30-50 percent greater risk of developing high blood pressure.
Learn and understand your fat burning heart rate to help you reach your weight loss and fitness goals faster.
9- Apple cider vinegar may improve hair health
Apple cider vinegar is a popular ingredient found in natural shampoos. It may be because it includes acetic acid, which aids in naturally lowering pH.
Apple cider vinegar may improve balance and clarify your hair as well as potentially help hair to fight off bacteria.
10 – Apple cider vinegar may help treat dandruff
The vinegar possesses a certain level of acid content that reduces itching and flaking and soothes down the reaction to Malassezia yeast.
One of the advantages of Apple cider vinegar is that it has natural antibacterial and antifungal properties, which makes it pretty powerful in killing and even preventing dandruff-causing yeast on the scalp.
A 2015 study concluded that apple cider vinegar has antifungal properties.
Try mixing apple cider vinegar with water and apply it to your scalp before shampooing. Let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing it out.
11- Apple cider vinegar may prevent nighttime leg cramps.
Leg cramps might usually be a sign that you are low in potassium.
Because one of the several apple cider vinegar benefits is that it contains potassium, one home remedy recommends mixing two tablespoons apple cider vinegar and one teaspoon honey to a glass of warm water, then drinking to alleviate nighttime leg cramps.
A 1998 study recommends one teaspoon to six teaspoons per day.
12- Apple cider vinegar may be a source of probiotics.
If you are allergic to dairy products such as yogurt, kefir, and buttermilk also known for their probiotic traits, apple cider vinegar may be an alternative.
A 2017 study found that apple cider vinegar may be a source of probiotics.
13- Apple cider may help keeps insulin levels in check.
Insulin is a hormone created by your pancreas to balance sugar levels in your blood after a meal. Blood sugar control is specifically crucial for individuals with diabetes who either do not produce sufficient insulin (type 1) or have decreased sensitivity to insulin (type 2).
A small study issued in the Journal of American Diabetes Association revealed that apple cider vinegar increased insulin sensitivity in participants with type-2 diabetes and significantly decreased fluctuations in both blood sugar and insulin levels.
A small 2007 study on diabetes patients found that taking two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar before bed may reduce blood fasting glucose by 4%.
Taking two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar before bed may help improve insulin levels and insulin function, which is an excellent benefit for individuals who have type 2 diabetes.
14- Apple Cider Vinegar and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).
Apple cider vinegar’s benefits on insulin sensitivity may also be of particular interest to females who experience polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), one of the leading causes of irregular menstruation.
Even though PCOS can have many causes, insulin resistance may be one of them. In a 2017 small study, seven females with PCOS received 15 grams of apple cider vinegar per day for 90 to 110 days.
Researchers observed ovulatory menstruation in 4 out of the seven females within 40 days, which suggested that apple cider vinegar be able to restore ovulatory function in PCOS participants.
15- Apple cider vinegar may help fight bad breath.
If your usual brushing and mouthwash do not do the trick, try the home remedy of utilizing apple cider vinegar to fight bad breath.
Dilute some with water, then rinse with it or drink a teaspoon. This remedy may kill odor-causing bacteria.
It also appears to have another oral health benefit; a 2015 research issued in the Journal of Prosthodontics observed that “apple cider vinegar showed antifungal properties,” particularly against oral mucous membrane inflammation that can happen under a denture.
16- Apple cider vinegar may help reduce belly fat.
A 2009 Japanese study concluded that vinegar consumption reduces body weight, body fat mass in obese individuals.
A 12-week study in Japan observed that acetic acid contained in apple cider vinegar helped decrease body weight, BMI, and visceral fat in obese individuals.
How does apple cider vinegar aid with fat burning? Most individuals overeat because they do not feel full. Apple cider vinegar boosts your satiety (your feeling of fullness), which will help you stay on track with your healthy diet. Particularly at the beginning of your weight loss journey, you need a little bit of help to begin and stay on track.
17- Apple cider vinegar may boost skin health.
Apple cider vinegar is a common treatment for skin conditions such as dry skin and eczema.
The skin is naturally slightly acidic. Applying topical apple cider vinegar could help rebalance the natural pH of the skin, enhancing the protective skin barrier (1).
Given its antibacterial characteristics, apple cider vinegar could, in theory, may limit skin infections associated with eczema and other skin conditions.
Some individuals use diluted apple cider vinegar in a facewash or toner. The idea is that it may kill bacteria and prevent spots (1).
Discuss with your physician before trying new remedies, particularly on damaged skin. Try to avoid using undiluted vinegar to the skin, as it can cause burns.
18- Apple cider vinegar may aid lower cholesterol and triglycerides.
High triglyceride and cholesterol levels may increase an individual’s risk of stroke and heart attack. Moreover, a high total cholesterol level raises the risk of heart issues.
Some studies recommend that using apple cider vinegar could help reduce both total cholesterol and triglycerides levels.
A 2018 study examined the effects of consuming apple cider vinegar in people on a low-calorie diet. The researchers observed that participants who took apple cider vinegar lost more weight compared to those who took a placebo but similarly had lower triglycerides and total cholesterol levels.
19- Apple cider may help fight fungal infections.
Fungal infections can vary from minor issues to life-threatening problems. Most commonly, men and women get fungal infections in the mouth, throat, and vagina.
Individuals with type 2 diabetes may be at a higher risk of developing fungal infections, mainly if they do not regulate their blood sugar levels well.
Some study advises that apple cider vinegar may have potential as an antifungal remedy.
One study reports that a male with type 2 diabetes who had a persistent fungal infection in the mouth due to Candida. The individual used apple cider vinegar to the mouth twice a day for seven days. After treatment, there was a 94 percent decrease in the fungal count concerning the mouth.
In a 2017 case report, a female had chronic vaginal Candida for five years that did not respond to medication. Applying apple cider vinegar cleared up her fungal infection.
A study also discovered that apple cider vinegar, including 4 percent maleic acid, can kill the Candida species that cause denture stomatitis, a fungal infection in the mouth that can appear when an individual wears dentures.
Side Effects of Apple Cider Vinegar
After exploring the advantages of apple cider vinegar, I think that it is essential to acknowledge the potential risks—especially those that may occur with daily consumption.
20- Apple cider vinegar may cause diabetes complications.
As discussed in the advantages of apple cider vinegar section, ACV can slow down your stomach emptying rate. This may cause issues for people with type 1 diabetes, the majority of whom already have a slower stomach emptying rate. Because individuals with type 1 diabetes depend on insulin injections to regulate their blood sugar levels after a meal, and a slower rate can make it challenging to predict when the blood sugar will rise.
Experts usually suggest those diabetic patients taking apple cider vinegar to monitor their blood sugar levels closely and frequently.
21- Apple cider vinegar may cause tooth erosion.
Daily consumption of apple cider vinegar may cause tooth erosion. A study concluded that if you consume a glass of apple cider vinegar daily, it may cause tooth erosion.
22- Apple cider vinegar may cause gastrointestinal issues.
Many people suggest vinegar as a natural weight loss aid.
Research indicates that it supports decreasing the rate at which food leaves the stomach, which can lead to suppressing your appetite by making you feel fuller for longer.
However, keeping food in the stomach can cause unwanted side effects. In a study investigating the potential for vinegar to control the appetite, many participants reported feelings of nausea and indigestion after taking vinegar with breakfast.
Because of the acidity, taking undiluted apple cider vinegar can also make symptoms worse in people with digestive issues, such as stomach ulcers or acid reflux.
23- Apple cider may cause skin burns.
The acidity of vinegar indicates that using it directly on your skin can cause burns and irritation, mainly if the vinegar is undiluted.
The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology illustrates how a 14-year-old sustained chemical burns on her nose after using apple cider vinegar to remove “ugly moles.” She used several drops of apple cider vinegar daily for three days straight to the moles on her nose. By the second day, vital irritation appeared on her skin.
24- Apple cider vinegar may cause low potassium.
According to Harvard Health Publishing, apple cider vinegar has been reported to cause or worsen low potassium levels.
The medical appellation for low potassium is hypokalemia. An individual with mild hypokalemia may not present any symptoms. But, moderate or severe hypokalemia may cause muscle weakness and paralysis, which can influence many parts of the body.
If a person experiences muscle difficulties, particularly issues relating to the heart or breathing, they should seek medical attention quickly.
Best way to drink or apply apple cider vinegar.
Overall, apple cider vinegar may be safe for you; however, like anything in life, using or drinking apple cider vinegar has both advantages of apple cider vinegar as well as disadvantages.
Let’s explore some quick suggestions on how to add apple cider vinegar to your diet:
- Begin small: The simplest way to use apple cider vinegar is to sprinkle a small quantity to your salad. If you prefer to drink it, begin with one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in 8 ounces (227 grams) of water.
The safest way to drink apple cider vinegar is to apply it in small and diluted quantities in food and dressings. Apple cider vinegar is acidic; thus, using it undiluted can damage your teeth, irritate your throat and eyes, and cause burns on your skin.
Based on your tolerance level, you can increase the quantity later; however, you should always consider diluting it with water and spread out the doses throughout the day. Try not to take more than 2 tablespoons a day to avoid any issues.
- Wash your mouth after using apple cider vinegar: You can prevent damage to your tooth enamel by rinsing your mouth after taking apple cider vinegar. You can also try to drink it through a straw.
Apple cider vinegar remains highly acidic. As a result, it may irritate your throat if you drink it regularly or in high quantities.
- Test by applying it on a small area of your skin: When applying apple cider vinegar topically, always use it with a cotton ball. It is best to begin by testing a small area of skin and feel for any possible burning sensations or other adverse reactions. If any burning happens, wash immediately.
When you apply apple cider vinegar on the skin, use it utilizing a cotton ball and permit it to dry. Also, try not to keep it on your skin with compresses and do not regularly apply apple cider vinegar (use it no more than once per day).
- Remember to wash it off immediately and talk to a doctor if burning happens.
- Discuss with a trusted doctor: Apple cider vinegar may not be suitable for you, particularly if you have special medical conditions – particularly interactions with your current medications. Contact your doctor if you are not sure.
Additional research with human subjects is needed to accurately measure the advantages of apple cider vinegar as well as its disadvantages. As for 2020, most of the studies were conducted on animals or clinal trials. In this article, I did not include any animal-related studies.
Always remember that there is no magic bullet for weight loss. Try to be skeptical of any program that claims you can lose weight without reducing calories or increasing physical activity.
Like any supplement, apple cider vinegar will not replace a healthy lifestyle. It may have some benefits to your body, but overall, we need more research to fully understand the health advantages of apple cider vinegar as well as its side effects associated.
Taking apple cider vinegar is generally harmless for most people. Just make sure to limit your daily dose to 1–2 tablespoons diluted in a glass of water and do not forget to wash your mouth with water afterward to prevent you from dental erosion.
When purchasing apple cider vinegar, read the product label to assure that apple cider vinegar is noted in the ingredients rather than acetic acid (white vinegar).
What are your favorite ways to enjoy apple cider vinegar? Please share with us in the comments below!
Please share this article and tips with your friends and family for others to benefit from apple cider vinegar’s health properties.