I keep hearing people discussing the health benefits of apple cider vinegar and proclaiming how it is the new “miracle cure”. I tend to be a skeptic when it comes to any new supplement that is supposed to cure everything so I decided to do a little research and draw my own conclusions, then share them with you.
Apple cider vinegar is made by fermenting apples, which is the process of using yeast to turn the sugar in the apples into alcohol, and then having bacteria convert the alcohol into acetic acid. Acetic acid is another name for vinegar which has anti-microbial and anti-oxidant properties. The resulting apple cider vinegar contains yeast and bacteria from the fermentation process and also anti-oxidants and B vitamins from the apples. The probiotics, nutrients and acetic acid are responsible for the health benefits from apple cider vinegar.
Apple cider vinegar is being investigated for its effect on improving insulin sensitivity and decreasing blood sugar spikes after meals. There have been some small studies that have shown a beneficial effects, including a randomized crossover study from 2015. Keep in mind that these effects have been small and the best way to control diabetes is to eat a high fiber diet with an appropriate mix of carbohydrates, proteins and healthy fat along with regular physical activity.
The claim that apple cider vinegar may aid in weight loss isn’t totally off base. There has been a study that showed that taking apple cider vinegar with a meal may delay stomach emptying and increase the feeling of fullness. This, combined with the beneficial effects on blood sugar may lead to a modest amount of weight loss. It is important to note that the reason people lose weight is not due to some magic “metabolism boost” but is instead linked to eating less because of feeling fuller.
Some of the other health claims that are made about apple cider vinegar are less well researched. There have been claims that it lowers high blood pressure based on a few animal studies but there have been no humans studies to back this up. I would not rely on apple cider vinegar to treat something as potentially serious as high blood pressure. Other people claim it has benefits in treating cancer but once again this has not been backed up with any sort of studies in humans.
Side effects from apple cider vinegar include tooth enamel erosion, nausea and lowered blood potassium. The best way to avoid these effects are to always dilute it and don’t consume it in large doses. There may be some drug interactions with medications like digoxin and certain diuretics that also lower potassium, and people on insulin may have to adjust their dose.
So what is the takeaway from all of this? I think cooking with apple cider vinegar and using it in salad dressings may be beneficial when trying to lose weight. The anti microbial activity of apple cider vinegar may also be useful in salad dressing because some bacteria tend to like to hang out on lettuce, which is why there have been so many bagged lettuce recalls lately. I would not advise paying money for expensive apple cider vinegar supplements, I don’t think the evidence supports their use. Remember that there is no magic pill to help achieve better health, daily lifestyle changes are the best way to get there. If you need help making these changes or fitting them into your life give me a call today!
Add paragraph text here.