The Truth (and Myth) About Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is in the spotlight right now as a health supplement. But did you know it has been around for thousands of years? Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, used it to clean wounds in 400 B.C., well before the discovery of germs.
Today, many claim it helps people lose weight, prevent cancer and diabetes, and lower blood pressure. But can this one ingredient really do all that? Let’s look into the research and see which benefits are backed by science.
Does apple cider vinegar kill germs?
YES. The acetic acid in apple cider vinegar can be effective in slowing the growth of bacteria such as E. coli. One study found that fruit washed in a solution with apple cider vinegar reduced the number of bacteria by 90% and the number of viruses by 95%.
Because it can slow food spoilage caused by viruses and bacteria, this vinegar is helpful as a food preservative.
Unpasteurized and unfiltered apple cider has a substance in it called “mother,” which gives it a cloudy appearance. The mother is a combination of proteins, enzymes, and helpful bacteria that may have immune-boosting properties.
Anecdotally, people have found that gargling or drinking a mixture with apple cider vinegar can help a sore throat.
Does apple cider vinegar prevent cancer?
INCONCLUSIVE. No research so far has investigated whether consuming apple cider vinegar can prevent cancer.
Scientists have done preliminary studies of the effect of apple cider vinegar on existing cancer, but only in tissue samples or in animals. In one study, researchers found that apple cider vinegar killed stomach cancer cells from rats and humans that were in a test tube.
This finding suggests apple cider vinegar may have some application for fighting cancer, but much, much more research is needed.
How about diabetes?
PROBABLY NOT. Scientists have seen that consuming apple cider vinegar can improve insulin sensitivity for people who already have type 2 diabetes. One study showed that drinking a solution of apple cider vinegar and water after a high-carb meal improved the patients’ sensitivity to insulin by 34%.
Another study found that ingesting apple cider vinegar before bed can lower the fasting blood sugar level of people with type 2 diabetes. However, it’s important to know that the people who participated in the study already had type 2 diabetes that was well controlled.
There’s no evidence that apple cider vinegar can prevent you from developing type 2 diabetes, but it could potentially be one part of your plan to manage the condition.
Will apple cider vinegar help me lose weight?
PROBABLY, but only in conjunction with an active lifestyle and healthy diet. One study of obese adults in Japan found that participants who drank apple cider vinegar daily saw a bigger drop in weight and waist circumference than those who didn’t drink the solution. They also saw that those who consumed apple cider vinegar had lower levels of triglycerides in the blood.
This study was conducted over three months, so while apple cider vinegar may give you a little boost, it won’t melt the weight off.
Does consuming apple cider vinegar lower blood pressure?
PROBABLY, but it won’t completely control hypertension. One study of rats found that the subjects that drank apple cider vinegar (as opposed to plain water) showed a decrease in blood pressure after 6 weeks on the regimen.
More research is needed to see if apple cider vinegar would have a similar effect in humans.
For most people, consuming apple cider vinegar is safe. And the science behind it is promising for a number of health conditions.
If you try it, make sure it’s diluted so it doesn’t erode the enamel on your teeth or exacerbate acid reflux.
While apple cider vinegar may benefit our bodies, we really need more research to understand what it can and cannot do.
Let’s stay healthier, together,
Your friends at Santo Remedio
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