I bet you’re wondering about the health benefits of apple cider vinegar. ACV has been all the rage lately and here we will weight the dangers and the benefits of apple cider vinegar so you know what the fuss is all about.
I bought apple cider vinegar a few months ago. I don’t know why. I tend to buy things on impulse. I heard it’s really good for you and I’ve been meaning to buy it even though I wasn’t entirely sure of the reason behind it. That’s what happens when Kammie has a little extra money to spend. I don’t go blow it on clothes or shoes… I spend it on health food. Yep, that’s me – a total health nut over here. And I’m totally fine with that 😉 I didn’t actually really know very much about the benefits of apple cider vinegar though.
So the first time I ever heard of apple cider vinegar was when my old roommate was talking about it as a possible treatment for sinus issues during winter. She had horrible sinus problems and I had some slight headaches because of it. She said she knew apple cider vinegar was supposedly the cure for it, even though it tastes like crap – apparently if you drink 1 Tbsp of it with water, it’s supposed to give you great relief. So she bought some and she said it helped a bit. I used it once because a vegan PB&J cupcake recipe I was making originally called for it.
That was the end of that, until I saw more and more bloggers talking about apple cider vinegar as this amazing product to drink upon waking. Laura, PowerCakes, and Jenn have all talked about taking it straight… so I bought it. Yes, bloggers really do have a large influence over me haha. I trust all of you guys, especially if a product appears on multiple blogs! I bought it without really knowing too much about it. I think it’s about time I actually do some of my own research and figure out what all the fuss is about apple cider vinegar!
Apparently a lot of clean eating bloggers went crazy for apple cider vinegar when Tosca Reno announced she used it as a way to chase bloat. Apparently, taking 2 Tbsp before each meal allowed her to no longer be bloated after a meal and therefore get flatter abdomen! Some bloggers, like Brittany, have used it and got some nice skin clearing benefits from the mocktail, while others like Erica did not experience any benefits at all, quite the opposite – she couldn’t stand the taste and had to get off the wagon!
I have been drinking a little drink many mornings from the past month or two… no specific measurements, just apple cider vinegar (probably a Tbsp), some cold lemon juice, and orange stevia mixed with water. It does not taste bad, surprisingly! To me, it just tastes like lemonade. I’m used to drinking water + lemon juice combo on mornings so this was just another addition to the regimen and a surprisingly pleasant tasting, in my opinion. I did this before actually knowing all of the benefits of ACV so let’s get right to it:
Apple Cider Vinegar Benefits
- Diabetes. The effect of vinegar on blood sugar levels is perhaps the best-researched and the most promising of apple cider vinegar’s possible health benefits. Several studies have found that vinegar may help lower glucose levels. For instance, one 2007 study of 11 people with type 2 diabetes found that taking two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar before bed lowered glucose levels in the morning by 4%-6%. This is one of the strongest benefits of drinking apple cider vinegar.
- High cholesterol. A 2006 study showed evidence that vinegar could lower cholesterol. However, the study was done in rats, so it’s too early to know how it might work in people.
- Blood pressure and heart health. Another study in rats found that vinegar could lower high blood pressure. A large observational study also found that people who ate oil and vinegar dressing on salads five to six times a week had lower rates ofheart disease than people who didn’t. However, it’s far from clear that the vinegar was the reason.
- Cancer. A few laboratory studies have found that vinegar may be able to kill cancer cells or slow their growth. Observational studies of people have been confusing. One found that eating vinegar was associated with a decreased risk of esophageal cancer. Another associated it with an increased risk of bladder cancer.
- Weight Loss. For thousands of years, vinegar has been used for weight loss. White vinegar (and perhaps other types) might help people feel full. A 2005 study of 12 people found that those who ate a piece of bread along with small amounts of white vinegar felt fuller and more satisfied than those who just ate the bread.
- Skin health – When diluted with water 50/50 it is often used as a toner for the face. A bath of apple cider vinegar is said to reduce the effects of sunburn. The vinegar soaked on a cloth and applied to sunburn may also be used. A reported treatment for warts is to soak the affected area for 20 minutes per day in a 50/50 mixture of vinegar and water.
- Dandruff – It is said to treat dandruff by destroying the fungus Malassezia furfur and restoring the PH balance of the scalp. Some people recommend applying a 50/50 mixture of water and vinegar, applying it to the scalp, and leaving it to dry. Others suggest applying a couple of tablespoons of straight vinegar to the scalp and leaving it on for an hour or two before rinsing.
People don’t seem to talk much about the risks that may also accompany using apple cider vinegar, such as:
- Apple cider vinegar is highly acidic. The main ingredient of apple cider vinegar is acetic acid. As the name suggests, it’s quite harsh. Apple cider vinegar should always be diluted with water or juice before swallowed. Pure apple cider vinegar could damage the tooth enamel and the tissues in your throat and mouth. One study found a woman who got an apple cider vinegar supplement stuck in her throat. She seemed to have suffered lasting damage to her esophagus. Vinegar has been known to cause contact burns to the skin.
- Long-term use of apple cider vinegar could cause low potassium levels and lower bone density. If you already have low potassium or osteoporosis, talk to your doctor before using apple cider vinegar.
- Apple cider vinegar could theoretically interact with diuretics, laxatives, and medicines for diabetes and heart disease.
- If you have diabetes, check with your doctor before using apple cider vinegar. Vinegar contains chromium, which can alter your insulin levels.
- Caution should be used when applying as cider vinegar to the skin because it is very dangerous to the eyes.
Well, as with anything – there are pros and cons. I guess I should make sure to not drink too much of it and ensure not to drink it straight (which would never happen anyway…. yuck). It’s probably best if I drink it on and off as I have been for the past month or two. Have I personally noticed anything particular about it in terms of benefits or anything like that? Truthfully… not really. I haven’t seen any major difference in how I feel or how I look. I do find that I go to the bathroom sooner though on the days that I do drink it, but it could be the combination of all kinds of things I do in the morning..
My mornings usually include: workout, probiotic, ACV drink, breakfast, tea == pretty good combo for a good jump in metabolism and digestion, I’d say, no?
On a semi-related note: Check out my Ultimate Guide to Natural Probiotics.
Questions for you:
- Have you jumped on the ACV wagon?
- What are your thoughts on ACV?
Leave your comments below!