Apple cider vinegar has become more popular in recent years as a health tonic and a natural remedy for everything all the way from inflammation, acne to even some chronic diseases.
But what is it, exactly? What do we know about how apple cider vinegar actually works in the body? What is the science behind the claims that apple cider vinegar has health benefits galore?
In this article, you will learn about seven proven, science and research-backed benefits of apple cider vinegar.
In addition, here’s something else you will learn that no one likes to talk about – the side effects. Does apple cider vinegar have any side effects? If yes, what should you watch out for?
Be sure to read all the way through to the end for a high-value apple cider vinegar free offer you can’t refuse.
What Is Apple Cider Vinegar, Exactly?
This is an easy one and you are going to love the answer. Apple cider vinegar is simply the fermented juice from fresh apples!
And wait until you hear what the active ingredient is. It is sugar. That’s right – plain sugar.
As the apples ferment, it is the sugar that feeds the hungry bacteria that keeps the fermentation process going strong until you get that tangy flavor ACV (apple cider vinegar) is known for.
Sometimes commercial manufacturers also add in extra beneficial bacteria to speed along the fermentation process. Either way, it is the acetic acid – a powerful naturally produced chemical with beneficial anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties – that gives apple cider vinegar its unmistakable tang.
7 Proven Apple Cider Vinegar Benefits
In this section, we introduce you to seven proven uses for apple cider vinegar that have known health benefits.
However, it is always smart to talk with your doctor or holistic care provider if you have additional questions about the health benefits and uses for apple cider vinegar.
1. Apple cider vinegar can protect you from bad bacteria that cause infection
You’ve already learned that apple cider vinegar has natural anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. So it is no surprise that using apple cider vinegar can potentially protect you from harmful or bad bacteria that can lead to infections, including staph.
Happily, research to date appears to support this. A study published through Scientific Reports showed that apple cider vinegar could effectively neutralize two bacterial strains responsible for staph infections.
According to Medical News Today, several other test tube research studies also support these results.
How to use apple cider vinegar to protect against bacterial infection
What is not yet clear is exactly how best to use apple cider vinegar to obtain these same results outside of a laboratory setting.
One easy suggestion is to wash and disinfect your fresh produce in an apple cider vinegar solution. This can kill pathogens present on the surface of fruits, vegetables and greens.
2. Apple cider vinegar can also fight off fungal infection
In the same research study mentioned earlier here, researchers discovered that apple cider vinegar can also be effective in killing off one of the main fungal culprits in many yeast infections, Candida albicans.
The reason people are so excited about these study results is because of the growing problem of antibiotic resistance around the world.
The study results support apple cider vinegar health benefits as a possible treatment for antibiotic-resistant infections.
How to use apple cider vinegar to fight off fungal infection
Here again, what isn’t quite clear as of yet is exactly how best to use apple cider vinegar to fight fungal infections. For oral infections such as thrush, a gargle solution of one part vinegar to nine parts water may be effective.
Taking a warm bath with added apple cider vinegar may help with other types of yeast infections as long as the drying impact doesn’t cause problems elsewhere.
3. Apple cider vinegar can help stabilize blood sugar
Apple cider vinegar’s main claim to fame has come from widespread reports that it aids in weight loss. While this is exciting news, the research to support this has come from very small sample sizes and delivered unclear results.
What research to date does support is apple cider vinegar’s benefits for stabilizing blood sugar. When blood sugar levels remain fairly even and do not spike or plunge, this helps you to feel full for longer and eases food cravings.
And since most food cravings tend to result in trips to the vending machine or deep dives into the chip bag or candy jar, it isn’t surprising that blood sugar stabilization is positively correlated with weight loss and weight maintenance.
Harvard Medical School highlights research linking the use of apple cider vinegar with blood sugar stabilization for patients who have been diagnosed with pre-diabetes or diabetes Type 2.
Taking apple cider vinegar orally appears to be the best way to get the blood sugar-stabilizing benefits.
How to use apple cider vinegar to stabilize blood sugar
You can start out by drinking one teaspoon mixed in water right before eating.
If you tolerate that well, Healthline suggests you can take as much as four teaspoons in water before a meal to stabilize blood sugar after eating.
4. Apple cider vinegar may prevent weight gain
As Health reports, preliminary research studies with animal models show that apple cider vinegar has promise as a weight management tool.
When mice were fed a diet high in fat that included a daily supplement of apple cider vinegar, post-study results showed these mice had 10 percent less body fat than mice who ate the same diet but didn’t take apple cider vinegar.
The study, published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, indicates acv benefits may include the ability to activate dormant genes that control fat breakdown and block weight gain.
A follow-up study with human study participants was published by the National Institutes of Health in 2009. Study results showed that drinking one-half to one ounce of apple cider vinegar daily had a lower percentage of belly fat and smaller waists.
How to use apple cider vinegar to fight weight gain
Along with apple cider vinegar’s ability to stabilize blood sugar levels to control against cravings, you now have an additional reason to give ACV a try. But how should you use it?
The best way is to get the apple cider vinegar benefits is to try drinking one-half to one ounce of apple cider vinegar daily, preferably diluted in water to protect your tooth enamel and sensitive internal tissues. Alternately, you might try adding this amount of ACV to your food, such as in a salad dressing or smoothie.
5. Apple cider vinegar may help regulate hormones in women
An interesting study published through the National Library of Medicine highlighted a Japanese study of women suffering from Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome or PCOS.
Here, apple cider vinegar’s benefits are linked to a potential to improve the body’s sensitivity to insulin and thus to regulate the production of hormones that lead to normal menstrual cycles.
While this study is exciting, it is far from conclusive and more research is needed to replicate and confirm this effect.
How to use apple cider vinegar to regulate hormones
The study participants drank one tablespoon of ACV with seven ounces of water right after dinner each night for a minimum of 90 days. Some study participants continued on to 110 days.
If you have PCOS and are taking any medications to treat this condition, be sure to talk with your doctor before adding apple cider vinegar to your daily routine.
6. Apple cider vinegar helps replenish the good gut bacteria
With all the talk of beneficial gut bacteria and the microbiome, apple cider vinegar’s potential to restore good gut bacteria certainly is worth considering.
Here, the hero seems to be the acetic acid in vinegar. The study used animal models. The mice drank a small quantity of acetic acid and water daily. The researchers then tested their levels of good gut bacteria and found that the levels increased.
However, it is worth pointing out that the study results, published by ACS (American Chemical Society), used white vinegar.
How to use apple cider vinegar to improve gut health
Both white vinegar and apple cider vinegar contain acetic acid and it is easy to guess which one tastes better.
While the study didn’t specify how much a human should drink daily to achieve similar effects, you could start with one teaspoon mixed in a glass of water to get the benefits of apple cider vinegar for gut health.
7. Apple cider vinegar is chock-full of beneficial nutrients for overall wellness
Even if you don’t struggle with any of the health issues mentioned thus far here, there are still plenty of benefits to be gained from taking apple cider vinegar regularly.
As Medicine Net points out, apple cider vinegar is made from fresh apples, which are loaded with beneficial nutrients. These include all of the following:
- B vitamins.
- Folic acid.
- Vitamin C.
As Self Nutrition Data highlights, apple cider vinegar offers each of the following important trace minerals and nutrients:
- Potassium: 174 mg
- Calcium: 16.7 mg
- Magnesium: 12 mg
- Iron: 0.5 mg
- Phosphorus: 17.1 mg
- Sodium: 12 mg
- Zinc: 0.1 mg
- Selenium: 0.2 mg
- Manganese: 0.6 mg
Adding apple cider vinegar to water can also help you drink more water daily, especially if you get tired of the taste of plain water.
How to use apple cider vinegar to get the health benefits
This is the fun part, because apple cider vinegar can be a great addition to marinades, salad dressings, green smoothies and pasta dishes. It is tasty served with vegetables or pickled vegetables.
You can get creative about how you add apple cider vinegar to your daily diet and have fun mixing it up.
The Bitter Truth About Apple Cider Vinegar Side Effects
Does apple cider vinegar have any side effects? Here, it is important to remember that natural remedies don’t mean side effect-free remedies.
Practically everything can create unpleasant side effects if used to excess or improperly. Apple cider vinegar is no exception.
Here is what you need to watch out for in terms of potential apple cider vinegar side effects:
- Apple cider vinegar can be extremely drying to skin and tissues.
- Apple cider vinegar can erode tooth enamel over time and lead to cavities.
- Apple cider vinegar has been known to cause chemical burns.
- Apple cider vinegar can cause throat irritation and gastric distress.
- Apple cider vinegar has been known to cause allergic reactions.
- Apple cider vinegar may decrease potassium levels (VERY important to know if you are taking high blood pressure medication like diuretics!).
- Apple cider vinegar has some known medication interactions, including a potential interaction with insulin for diabetic patients.
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