There are countless claims on the internet about seemingly miraculous health benefits of apple cider vinegar consumption, but is it all true? I hit the research journals to separate fact from fiction and proven claims from the internet-sustained myths.
I discovered that apple cider vinegar has many beneficial properties but most of the claims floating around in cyberspace are unfounded in research. Here are some of the evidence-based benefits of apple cider vinegar:
Improve Insulin Sensitivity in Diabetes
Several studies demonstrate vinegar’s ability to improve insulin sensitivity and lower blood sugar responses when eaten as part of meals or taken before bedtime, which may offer help in the treatment of diabetes. Here are links to a few of the studies, if you’re interested in learning more: Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism, European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, another European Journal of Clinical Nutrition study, and Diabetes Care.
Regulate Blood Chemistry in Diabetics
Improving insulin sensitivity isn’t the only way apple cider vinegar appears to help diabetics. It has been shown to help normalize other aspects of blood chemistry as well. Research showed that apple cider vinegar helped regulate blood chemistry of diabetic animals fed the vinegar as part of their regular diet for four weeks.
Reduce E. Coli on Produce
The Journal of Food Protection assessed the effects of spraying various solutions on lettuce inoculated with E. coli. While the apple cider vinegar did not kill the E. coli completely, it helped to reduce the numbers of the bacteria linked with food poisoning yet did not affect the taste of the lettuce or its crispness.
Regulate Effects of Dietary Cholesterol
In a study published in the Journal of Membrane Biology, researchers studied the effects of a high cholesterol diet on animals fed apple cider vinegar versus animals that only ate the high cholesterol diet. They found that the apple cider vinegar exerted a protective effect on the liver and kidneys, among other protective benefits.
Aids Weight Loss
While there are conflicting studies about apple cider vinegar’s effects on obesity and weight loss, according to research in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, apple cider vinegar can help reduce the number of calories eaten at a meal by between 200 and 275. Additional study results published in the journal Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry also showed that vinegar helped with weight loss in obese individuals.
Its Chlorogenic Acid May Help with Heart Disease
Apple cider vinegar contains the nutrient, chlorogenic acid which, according to the journal Biochemical Pharmacology, helps prevent LDL cholesterol, also known as the “bad cholesterol” from oxidizing, which is an important step in the progression of heart disease.
Reduce Bacteria in Oral Infections
A study published in the journal Oral Surgery, Oral Medicine, Oral Pathology, Oral Radiology and Endodontics found that apple cider vinegar demonstrated antibacterial activity against a bacteria known as E. faecalis, which can be linked to infection in root canals and elsewhere in the body.
There is a lot of internet hype about apple cider vinegar’s anti-cancer effects but the research doesn’t really support it. While some studies showed anti-cancer effects of rice vinegar and sugar cane vinegar in laboratory settings, there is little research on apple cider vinegar and whether it has any anti-cancer effects. So, it may have anti-cancer effects, but it might not. We’ll have to wait for the research to find out.
How to Benefit
Keep in mind that you should never drink apple cider vinegar undiluted. Always use it diluted in water or juice or mixed with oil in a salad dressing. The vinegar is an acid that can burn the delicate mucus membranes of the digestive tract. Most nutrition experts recommend choosing an unfiltered, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar with the “mother” left intact. This is the collection of beneficial microbes that convert apple cider into apple cider vinegar.
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