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Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar on Total Health

Did you know that apple cider vinegar has many health benefits?.

For centuries, vinegar has been used for various household and cooking purposes. It is also an ancient folk remedy, claimed to help with all sorts of health problems.

The most popular vinegar in the natural health community is apple cider vinegar. The claims are that it leads to all sorts of benefits, some of which are actually supported by science.

This includes weight loss, lower blood sugar levels and improved symptoms of diabetes.

If you are considering including vinegar in your diet, make sure it is unfiltered and non-pasteurized apple cider vinegar and not white vinegar. White vinegar has no health benefits and is best used as cleaning fluid.

The Best Apple Cider Vinegar is:

Organic, unfiltered apple cider vinegar (like Bragg’s) which also contains the ” mother,” strands of proteins, enzymes and friendly bacteria that give the product a murky, cobweb-like appearance. Although there is no scientific prove The “mother” is believed to be responsible for most of the health benefits.

Why Is Apple Cider Vinegar Effective?

Apple cider vinegar acts on your system in different ways to help reduce weight gain. It has about 3 calories per tablespoon. One action is due to the compound content called pectin. Pectin assists in giving a feeling of ‘fullness’ in our stomach, which reduces our pangs of hunger.

Potassium

Apple cider vinegar does not have many vitamins or minerals in it, but it does contain potassium which is the mineral that claimed to provide most of its powers. Potassium is essential to good health and vitality. Apple cider vinegar also contains some amino acids and antioxidants.

  • It assists in nourishing our cells and keeping our tissues youthful.
  • A lack of potassium can show as an appearance of premature aging.
  • Potassium is critical to maintaining correct electrolyte balance in our cellular system.
  • From a weight loss perspective, it is especially helpful in removing excess sodium from our cells which can cause fluid retention. Although retained fluids are not fat they contribute to overall weight discomfort.

Many people are deficient in their potassium intake. Potassium is found in fresh fruit, notably apples and bananas. A big advantage of vinegar as a source is that it be stored in the cupboard for long periods, unlike fruit.

Acetic Acid

Apple cider is made by fermenting the sugars from apples, which turns them into acetic acid which is the active ingredient in vinegar.

Apples

The main substance in vinegar, acetic acid, can kill bacteria and/or prevent them from multiplying and reaching harmful levels. It has a history of use as a disinfectant and as a natural preservative also.

When mixed with food in the body, the acetic acid helps in promoting iron absorption. The better the absorption rate of iron in the body, the higher the metabolic rate, which equates to more calories burned. Anything which naturally increases the metabolic rate will help in overcoming feelings of sluggishness and raise energy levels.

Lowers blood sugar levels and fights diabetes

By far the most successful application of vinegar to date is in patients with type 2 diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes is characterized by elevated blood sugars, either in the context of insulin resistance or an inability to produce insulin. However, elevated blood sugar can also be a problem in people who don’t have diabetes. it is also believed to be a major cause of aging and various chronic diseases.

So, pretty much everyone should benefit from keeping their blood sugar levels stable. The most effective (and healthiest) way to do that is to avoid refined carbs and sugar, but apple cider vinegar may also have a powerful effect.

Vinegar’s benefits for insulin function and blood sugar levels:

End Diabetes

Improves insulin sensitivity during a high-carb meal by 19-34% and significantly lowers blood glucose and insulin responses.(1)

Reduces blood sugar by 34% when eating 50 grams of white bread (2).

2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar before bedtime can reduce fasting blood sugars by 4% (3).

For these reasons, vinegar can be useful for people with diabetes, pre-diabetes, or those who want to keep their blood sugar levels low to normal for other reasons.

Apple cider vinegar has shown great promise in improving insulin sensitivity and helping to lower blood sugar responses after meals.

If you’re currently taking blood sugar lowering medications, then check with your doctor before increasing your intake of apple cider vinegar.

Helps you lose weight by making you feel full

Given that vinegar lowers blood sugar and insulin levels, it makes sense that it could help you lose weight. Several human studies suggest that vinegar can increase satiety, help you eat fewer calories and even lead to actual pounds lost on the scale.

Vinegar along with high-carb meals can increase feelings of fullness and make people eat 200-275 fewer calories for the rest of the day (4, 5).

By reducing calorie intake, this should translate to reduced weight over time.

A study in obese individuals showed that daily vinegar consumption led to reduced belly fat, waist circumference, lower blood triglycerides and weight loss (6):

15 mL (1 tablespoon): Lost 2.6 pounds, or 1.2 kilograms.

30 mL (2 tablespoons): Lost 3.7 pounds, or 1.7 kilograms.

However… keep in mind that this study went on for 12 weeks, so the true effects on body weight seem to be rather modest.

That being said, just adding/subtracting single foods or ingredients rarely has a noticeable effect on weight.

It’s the entire diet/lifestyle that counts… you need to combine several effective methods to see results.

Overall, it seems like apple cider vinegar may be useful as a weight loss aid, mainly by promoting satiety and lowering glucose and insulin levels.

While it won’t work any miracles on its own studies suggest that vinegar can increase feelings of fullness and help people eat fewer calories, which can lead to weight loss.

Lowers cholesterol and reduces your risk of heart disease

Cardiovascular disease (heart disease and stroke) is currently the world’s biggest cause of death (7).

It is known that several measurable biological factors are linked to either a decreased or increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Several of these “risk factors” have been shown to be improved by vinegar consumption… but all of the studies were done in rats.

These rat studies showed that apple cider vinegar can lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels (8, 9).

Apple cider vinegar may also contain the antioxidant chlorogenic acid, which has been shown to protect LDL cholesterol particles from becoming oxidized, a crucial step in the heart disease process (10, 11).

There are also some studies showing that vinegar reduces blood pressure (a major risk factor) in rats (12, 13).

Unfortunately, what works in animals doesn’t always work in humans. The only human evidence is an observational study from Harvard showing that women who ate salad dressings with vinegar had a reduced risk of heart disease (14).

But this type of study can only show an association, it can not prove that the vinegar caused anything.

Several animal studies have shown that vinegar can reduce blood triglycerides, cholesterol and blood pressure, but this needs to be confirmed in human studies.

Mood Balance

Have you noticed that when you are emotionally stressed you tend to eat more? The usual foods people reach for when they are feeling stressed are usually salty or sweet foods. These are not the type of foods you want to be reaching for if you are trying to lose weight. Taking apple cider vinegar before you eat anything when you feel a craving coming on can significantly improve your mood as it facilitates a release of serotonin. The serotonin will help stop your mind and body from feeling stressed and allow you to make better and more rational food choices.

Please feel free to add a comment or ask a question below.

References:

1 http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/27/1/281.long

2 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7796781

3 http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/30/11/2814.full

4 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16015276

5 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16321601

6 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19661687

7 http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs310/en/

8 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16611381

9 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17485860

10 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8068036

11  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20387813

12 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11826965n

13 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15997099

14 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10232627

Pierre Schexneider

4 Comments

  1. Hi Pierre,
    I have read about the benefits of apple cider vinegar but this is the first time I read that it helps with weight loss. The bit on potassium is very good learning too as I never know what it does to our body until now. Thanks for sharing.

    • Hi Sharon,

      Thanks for the comment I use Bragg’s apple cider vinegar every day.  I mix 2 table spoons in four ounces of an organic concord grape fruit juice with no sugar added.  I take this 15 minutes before meals and it helps to curb you appetite.   

  2. I recently started using apple cider vinegar…I found that it kills my appetite…Taste like crap, so I just chugg it and get it over with. Nice thorough article, cited sources and everything.

    I love being able to go through the research myself. Thanks for a great article. Looking forward to reading more.

    • Hi Dave, I agree it taste like crap but it does work. I do the same as you just chug it like a shot of liquor.

       

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