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Apple Cider Vinegar and Health: Is it Really a Cure-All?

 

 

Written By: Dr. Eeks

Apple Cider Vinegar and Health…we hear so many things, but what is supported by evidence and what isn’t?

I have met people who use Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) for everything- from warts to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome to preventing COVID. If you google Apple Cider Vinegar (Which is a weak acid, Acetic Acid), you’ll see that it is good for everything. Google is an optimist like that! But it’s not just Google. My best friend from home swears by it for preventing the flu and common colds. She tells me that when she starts to feel the least bit tired and her nose starts to drizzle, she immediately takes a spoonful of Apple Cider Vinegar, and it keeps her well. I have another friend who told me he uses it for pink eye. He told me that it’s the only thing that clears it up super-fast. I have a relative who says that since she’s started taking a spoonful of Apple Cider Vinegar a day, she feels less tired and more energetic. A lot of folks I know use it to “detox,” but they usually can’t define what exactly it is they are “flushing” out of their bodies. You won’t catch me claiming they are wrong. Anecdotes have their place.

I use Organic Apple Cider Vinegar (with the mother) on a regular basis, but I don’t think it’s a super food or a super nutrient or a super vinegar. I don’t believe it’s a panacea. I don’t think any food or food-related item is super, nor do I think any food is 100% bad. Those are privileged first-world distinctions. I mean, what’s a “super food” in a starving, developing nation? Usually anything edible that they can safely eat.

What does published research tell us about Apple Cider Vinegar and Health?

Based on the studies I’ve read, I use Apple Cider Vinegar after big, carbohydrate dinners or sugary desserts. One study in Type Two Diabetic patients showed that ingesting vinegar (*note: Any kind of Vinegar) after meals that rank high on the glycemic index (meals that contain heavy carbs & sugars) significantly reduces blood glucose levels. But the study was small and included only 16 people, so it would be great to repeat the study with a larger sample one day. Vinegar has also been shown to reduce post-meal insulin levels as this meta-analysis shows. Reducing blood glucose levels after meals, especially in Type 2 Diabetics, helps lower your risk of obesity, metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease. Metabolic syndrome is what you want to avoid. In general, Metabolic Syndrome is classified by a cluster of events: Insulin Resistance, Abdominal Obesity, Dyslipidemia and Endothelial Dysfunction (or when the lining of your blood vessels malfunctions). Getting Metabolic Syndrome sets you up for a devastating cardiac event. Now, I’m not a Type 2 Diabetic, but I’m paranoid of getting Metabolic Syndrome and like to keep my sugar on the low side. A couple other animal and apple cider vinegar studies support the notion that regularly taking Apple Cider Vinegar not only improves short-term glucose control but long-term too, as measured by the HA1C values. (HA1C is Hemoglobin A1C, and it tells you how well someone is managing their diabetes or glucose control for the long-term.)

Here is a graphic of the proposed mechanism: 

 

Apple Cider Vinegar and Health

How Much Should You Take?

I mix 4 tsp of Apple Cider Vinegar with 8 tsp of water. (If you are using it to help control your Type 2 Diabetes this way, you want to keep ingesting this consistently after meals. That said, your primary focus should not be on Apple Cider Vinegar after meals but eating meals that are low on the glycemic index.)

Other Research:

Apple Cider Vinegar may also improve cholesterol levels and triglyceride levelsIt may even slow down dangerous fat build-up in our livers.   NO published research specifically states that Apple Cider Vinegar helps you lose weight, however…I can see how better glucose regulation could help control weight gain. If you want to lose weight, you’re better off exercising and cutting calories than depending on Apple Cider Vinegar to do it. I know it’s not sexy, but that’s life. Losing weight and keeping it off requires time, work and commitment.

In my research on Apple Cider Vinegar and health, I saw a lot of patents pending for the use of Apple Cider Vinegar to fight Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), though I couldn’t find any legitimate evidence, aside from personal testimony, that it works for this. Personal anecdotes have value, but they are not strong data. One patent claimed that the combination of Apple Cider Vinegar and garlic works against GERD. I have no idea. If it works for your GERD, great, just don’t burn your esophageal lining. A lot of folks don’t dilute their dose of Apple Cider Vinegar with water and end up burning themselves. Speaking of burns…, a lot of the literature on Apple Cider Vinegar is cautionary case studies of individuals using Apple Cider Vinegar to remove warts, skin tags, pimples, etc., and accidentally burning themselves. Don’t do that.

In closing, if Apple Cider Vinegar works for you, awesome. Keep doing what you’re doing, as long as you’re safe, logical and not delusional. But despite all the hype, it’s still not a panacea no matter how much you want to believe it is. In fact, nothing is.

Thanks for reading!

Eeks

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One Response to “Apple Cider Vinegar and Health: Is it Really a Cure-All?”

  1. Great article. A few points:

    1. I guess this one’s covered, generally speaking, by abdominal obesity, but I feel it’s worth pointing out specifically the common finding regarding ACV (I imagine this may be true of any vinegar, as you similarly pointed out) on fat cells. My understanding is that this includes fat cells in general, not just those around the midsection.

    This point leads on to the next…

    2. Yes, focusing on better eating and a more active lifestyle, especially with regards to regular exercise and workouts is going to be more effective than simply taking ACV every day. But isn’t there a possibility that doing ALL of these things can have the best effects of all?

    I suppose I’ll find out. I’ve started taking at least a shot of ACV, chased directly by water. This is in addition to FLOGging each day (3 weeks straight now!) and a workout schedule.

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