Apple cider vinegar is touted as the magic cure for just about every health issue, ranging from hang nail to high blood pressure. Is this truth or fiction? We examine the facts.
Apple Cider Vinegar: Weight Loss
In one study, overweight people who drank 1 or 2 ounces of vinegar (diluted with other liquid) lost weight at a slightly faster rate. And they lost belly fat. But there’s no evidence that lots of vinegar will help you drop lots of pounds, or do it quickly.
Lower Blood Sugar
Vinegar can help someone with diabetes control the amount of glucose in their blood after a meal as well as their A1c, a measure of “average” blood sugar for the past few months. A couple of teaspoons in water or food at mealtime works best. High blood sugar over time will lead to heart disease, kidney disease, stroke, and blindness.
Vinegar can also help keep insulin levels lower after you eat. Your cells need this hormone to take glucose from your blood to use for energy. But too much insulin released too often can make your body less sensitive to it, a condition called insulin resistance that can lead to type 2 diabetes.
Apple cider vinegar will kill some germs because of the acetic acid in it. It works best in your food. It’s not very good at disinfecting a cut or wound. And because it’s an acid, there’s a chance it can chemically burn delicate skin.
Apple Cider Vinegar: Dandruff
It’s long been suggested, for different reasons, to use as a rinse to heal a flaking scalp. But there’s no evidence to confirm that vinegar kills yeast bacteria or fungus. Stick to products made to treat dandruff, and follow the instructions. If the problem persists, see a dermatologist.
Apple cider vinegar is touted to get rid of lice. There is no scientific proof. Even when tested against other home remedies, such as rubbing alcohol, olive oil, mayonnaise, melted butter, and petroleum jelly, vinegar came in last.
Apple Cider Vinegar: Whitens Teeth
Vinegar may brighten your teeth, but it also wears away their enamel, the thin, hard, outer layer of protection. In fact, wait for at least 30 minutes after you eat or drink diluted vinegar to brush your teeth. If your teeth are discolored, look for whitening toothpaste or products approved by the American Dental Association, or talk to your dentist about getting a whitening treatment.
The murky, thicker liquid that collects at the bottom of some vinegars, called the “mother,” is made up of the fermenting bacteria and their harmless waste. Most brands warm vinegar to kill the bacteria before packaging, but mother can develop once air hits the product. Some say the mother gives vinegar more health benefits because the live bacteria act as “probiotics,” but there’s no scientific evidence yet.
Hemorrhoids are really painful. Is a little apple vinegar cider smeared on your butt, the cure? There is no evidence to support this claim. On the contrary, it can burn your and make your symptoms worse. Sitz baths and medication are better choices. Get medical attention if your home remedies fail.
Apple cider vinegar contains polyphenols which protect cells from damage linked to cancer and several other chronic diseases.
Lowers Blood Pressure
Apple cider vinegar lowers blood pressure. The reduction is moderate, but enough to decrease hypertension.
Curbs Your Appetite
This drink does give you a feeling of satiety and fullness. Therefore you can go longer without experiencing hunger pangs. Overall, weight loss is moderate.
More Can Be Dangerous
Usually, 1-2 tablespoons a day is plenty to drink. There’s little evidence that more can help, and too much can cause stomach problems, wear away your teeth, and lower potassium levels. It will also affect the way some drugs work, including water pills (diuretics), laxatives, and medicines for heart disease and diabetes. Get a medical opinion before you start drinking apple cider vinegar.
Watch this video on apple cidar vinegar and draw your own conclusions.