Maybe you have a friend who insists on taking apple cider vinegar shots in the morning to burn fat. Or you may have seen apple cider vinegar drinks in the refrigerated section of your organic store. With the explosion in popularity of this pantry staple, you’re probably wondering what’s going on.
What exactly is apple cider vinegar?
First, let’s see what exactly apple cider vinegar, or ACV, is. Apple cider vinegar is a type of vinegar made from fermented apple juice. Like other cider and wine-based vinegars, it has an acidity of 5-6%.
You may notice that there are different types of apple cider vinegar available in stores. For example, you may be more familiar with distilled apple cider vinegar, which looks transparent in the bottle. But raw, unfiltered, or unpasteurized vinegar contains a cloudy substance that floats in the mixture. This is called the “mother”, which is formed by natural enzymes during fermentation. There’s no need to be wary of it: This stringy substance usually settles to the bottom of the bottle and is safe to drink.
Regardless of the variety, potato cider vinegar doesn’t need to be refrigerated, and it keeps for a very long time. Vinegar, in general, has an almost indefinite shelf life. Even if the appearance of the vinegar changes (it may be cloudier, for example), you can still use it.
Nutritionally, diluted apple cider vinegar contains an insignificant amount of calories per serving, almost no fat, carbohydrates or protein, and no fiber. Diluted apple cider vinegar is a great way to add a splash of flavor to foods without adding extra calories or salt. Apple cider vinegar isn’t just available in liquid form; you can also buy apple vinegar tablets, capsules, and gummies. Keep in mind, however, that apple cider vinegar supplements aren’t as potent as liquid apple cider vinegar and are likely more expensive.
What are the possible health benefits of apple cider vinegar?
Apple cider vinegar has gained superfood status, and its followers claim it can cure almost any ailment: weight gain, digestive issues, skin issues, and more. Meanwhile, some companies are touting apple cider vinegar pills as a powerful source of vitamins and minerals, or for aiding weight loss or “cleansing.”
Few studies support these uses, so while you can add apple cider vinegar to your diet without significantly increasing your risk of weight gain, it’s best to be realistic about it. Perhaps the main health benefits of apple cider vinegar are due to the amount of antioxidant polyphenols (or plant chemicals) it contains, thanks to the fermentation process. It is also rich in probiotics, which may benefit the digestive system and gut microbiome.
Apple cider vinegar and weight loss
Apple cider vinegar is very low in calories, so it can fit into your diet if you’re trying to lose or maintain weight. But you may also have heard that some people take a dose or a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to boost fat burning. In reality, taking apple cider vinegar is unlikely to change your body composition or your weight. This idea is not supported by scientific data and that the only way to lose weight is to eat a healthy diet and incorporate physical activity into your routine. This tip is a lot less flashy than such a trendy dietary supplement like apple cider vinegar, but it’s exactly what really works.
Apple cider vinegar and high cholesterol
Apple cider vinegar may benefit high cholesterol in certain groups. For example, a meta-analysis of nine studies conducted in June 2021 found that apple cider vinegar could lower blood cholesterol levels in participants with type 2 diabetes who took 15 milliliters (ml) of apple cider vinegar. of apple a day for more than eight weeks. The researchers noted, however, that more studies are needed to confirm this effect.
VCA and type 2 diabetes
Some research suggests that apple cider vinegar may benefit people with type 2 diabetes, although there is a lack of high-quality research on the subject. The June 2021 meta-analysis found that 15ml of apple cider vinegar, taken daily over a period of at least eight weeks, significantly reduced fasting blood sugar in participants with type 2 diabetes.
But the research is not uniform. A previous small study showed that 20ml of apple cider vinegar did not decrease the body’s blood sugar response after a high carbohydrate meal. Although some studies have suggested that potato cider vinegar may help lower blood sugar, it’s important to remember that results may vary and that potato cider vinegar is not a substitute for medications you may be taking. currently take. If you have type 2 diabetes, you should work closely with your healthcare team to find the best way to control your condition, rather than relying on apple cider vinegar.
Apple cider vinegar and ulcerative colitis
Taking diluted vinegar may help improve digestion, although there is a lack of research supporting its use in chronic autoimmune conditions like ulcerative colitis (UC). According to a preliminary study, giving diluted apple cider vinegar to mice with ulcerative colitis for a month reduced levels of inflammation in their colon and increased the amount of healthy bacteria in their gut. . However, this was only a single animal study, and researchers fall far short of recommending vinegar as a treatment.
Apple cider vinegar and inflammation
Some people suggest taking apple cider vinegar as a treatment to manage symptoms of inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA), multiple sclerosis (MS), and ankylosing spondylitis (AS). One explanation is that vinegar can reduce inflammation and ease symptoms. However, there are no studies that directly explore potato cider vinegar as a therapy for RA, MS, or AS. If you suffer from any of these conditions, talk to your doctor before trying potato cider vinegar.
Apple cider vinegar and skin problems
Using potato cider vinegar topically may have limited benefit for various skin conditions. But experts warn against applying undiluted vinegar directly to the skin, as this practice can cause chemical burns. Even diluted, apple cider vinegar can irritate the skin.
Although there is little to no scientific evidence that apple cider vinegar is helpful in treating eczema, it is possible that applying apple cider vinegar to the skin may help restore the natural barrier. pH of the skin, thanks to the natural acidity of cider vinegar.
If you suffer from scalp psoriasis, applying organic apple cider vinegar to the affected area may help alleviate itching caused by scaly patches, a common symptom associated with this autoimmune disease. There are a few considerations to make before using it: Use diluted vinegar to reduce the risk of burning, and don’t apply the vinegar to an area of skin that is cracked or bleeding.
When is using apple cider vinegar for the treatment of an illness risky?
Apple cider vinegar is not a cure-all, and there are no studies to back up claims about its disease-fighting abilities. For example, there is no evidence that apple cider vinegar lowers high blood pressure, or hypertension.
There is also the unsubstantiated claim that apple cider vinegar can support the treatment of schizophrenia. Although understanding of the role the gut microbiome plays in psychiatric disorders is beginning to be understood, it is difficult to assume that apple cider vinegar can improve gut health in such a way that it could have a direct effect on symptoms. Rather, such claims might relate to research into the potential benefits of apple cider vinegar in relieving gastrointestinal upset sometimes caused by medications used to treat schizophrenia.
Another internet rumor claims that vinegar can help treat cancer. If you have cancer, see a doctor for treatment. To date, no studies have established a direct link between apple cider vinegar and the successful treatment of any cancer.
Dosage of apple cider vinegar
There is no universally accepted dosage for apple cider vinegar, and suggestions on how much to take vary depending on who you ask.
Harvard Health Publishing points out that most recommendations for consuming diluted apple cider vinegar are 1 to 2 teaspoons before or during meals. The University of Washington, on the other hand, recommends that if you’re taking apple cider vinegar as a supplement (by the spoonful), you should stick to a limit of 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time. As noted, the ingredient is also used in topical creams and can come in tablet form; check package for dosage.
Regardless of the method of administration or the amount, there is no guarantee that apple cider vinegar will have beneficial effects on health or weight loss. In other words, more research is needed.
A Final Word on Using Apple Cider Vinegar
You can use apple cider vinegar on other ingredients besides salads. This ingredient can help you control your blood sugar and can be part of a healthy diet. It is also very useful around the house for many cleanings. But don’t rely on it just yet as a magic bullet for weight loss or for treating chronic health conditions.
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