8 Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar
Many people claim that apple cider vinegar is like a drop of a miracle. And that it provides a variety of uses for cooking and medicinal purposes.
But are there any truths to these claims? Or is it all just a hype? Does apple cider vinegar have any nutritional value?
We’ll help you get answers.
In this post, you’ll learn about the health benefits of apple cider vinegar.
Let’s get started.
What is apple cider vinegar?
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is made from apple juice. The juice undergoes fermentation to create acetic acid.
This acid is the component in vinegar that is responsible for its robust and sour aroma and flavor.
You might have heard people prefer to buy a bottle of apple cider with the “mother vinegar.”
The mother vinegar consists of a ball of protein strands, enzymes, and good bacteria that floats in the bottle of organic, unfiltered apple cider vinegar.
This explains the murky appearance of the product.
It may look strange to some people. But it’s not something that you should worry about because it carries most of the health benefits that apple cider vinegar can give.
How is apple cider vinegar made?
Apple ciders are produced from ripe apples. The process starts by washing then crushing the apples.
Then, the crushed apples will undergo a squeezing process to extract the juice.
After the liquid is entirely squeezed out from its crushed pulp, it will proceed to a fermentation process.
Fermenting the apple juice involves the addition of yeast to convert the sugars to alcohol.
The next step of the fermentation process turns alcohol into vinegar. It does this by incorporating bacteria from the Acetobacter species – an acetic acid-forming bacteria.
What are the health benefits of apple cider vinegar?
Let’s go ahead and look at the health benefits of apple cider vinegar.
1. Contains antimicrobial properties
Over thousands of years ago, vinegar has been used as a disinfectant to treat wounds.
Apple cider vinegar was one of the oldest kind of vinegar used for this purpose.
In a recent study, apple cider vinegar has shown its potential antimicrobial activity against pathogens like the bacteria:
- Escherichia coli
- Staphylococcus aureus, and
- Candida albicans
Research has also confirmed that apple cider vinegar is also capable of preventing food from spoilage. It does this by inhibiting the growth of food-borne pathogenic bacteria.
Apple cider vinegar is known as one of the most common types of vinegar in preserving food to extend its shelf life.
2. Reduces blood lipid levels
Traditionally, apple cider vinegar is used as a treatment for hyperlipidemia.
Hyperlipidemia is a condition wherein your blood lipid levels, such as cholesterol and triglycerides, have exceeded the standard value.
Hypercholesterolemia is a type of hyperlipidemia when there’s a high level of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol in the blood – also known as the bad cholesterol.
It’s a condition where fat deposits to accumulate increasingly in the arteries.
In a 2012 study, the intake of apple cider has decreased the blood lipid levels, such as total cholesterol, LDL, and triglyceride levels of hyperlipidemic individuals for 8 weeks.
The study recommends the consumption of apple cider vinegar as a cost-effective treatment for patients with hyperlipidemia.
3. Lowers blood sugar levels
For people with Type 2 diabetes, research shows that apple cider vinegar (ACV) may help in the daily management of this condition.
Apple cider vinegar may help control the rise of blood sugar levels.
Just because you got some apple cider vinegar, it doesn’t give you the full guarantee that it will successfully normalize your blood sugar levels.
Note that you also need to reduce the consumption of sugars and refined carbohydrates in your diet to help regulate your blood sugar levels.
If you’re not diabetic, you can also benefit from taking apple cider vinegar. This will be an excellent remedy to keep your blood sugar at normal levels.
4. Helps with weight loss
This is one of the benefits of apple cider vinegar that many people get ecstatic.
Apple cider vinegar contains acetic acid, and is responsible for preventing fat deposition in the body.
In an in vivo study conducted on obese rats, the consumption of acetic acid from vinegar suppressed their appetites, altering their gut microbiome.
This contributed to a significant weight loss among obese mice.
Researchers tested the effects of apple cider vinegar on weight loss in a randomized clinical trial on 39 individuals.
The subjects divided into 2 groups, one group taking apple cider while the other none.
Researchers put both groups on a calorie-restricted diet for 12 weeks.
The study concluded that both groups have lost weight, but the group that took apple cider vinegar lost more.
5. Help women with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome.
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is a common hormonal disorder where women of reproductive age may have infrequent or prolonged menstrual periods or have high androgen levels.
It happens when the ovaries are unable to release eggs due to hormonal imbalance.
There is research that studied the effect of apple cider vinegar on the metabolic and hormonal indices and ovulatory function of seven PCOS patients that did not pursue pharmacological treatment.
Daily, they have to drink a beverage containing 15 g of apple vinegar for 90 to 110 days. Four of seven patients have their menses back within 40 days.
The study suggests that apple cider vinegar can possibly restore ovulatory function in PCOS patients.
6. Promotes healthy hair
Some natural shampoos contain apple cider vinegar because of its acetic acid content that naturally lowers the pH of the hair.
Research suggests that low pH shampoos of not more than 5.5 may cause less hair frizz.
As apple cider vinegar lowers the pH level of your hair, you will benefit from its antimicrobial properties as it helps to balance and clarify your hair.
7. Can improve some skin conditions
Though not necessarily used as a primary treatment for sunburns and skin infections.
The antibacterial ability of apple cider vinegar helps prevent these conditions by dabbing some drops of the liquid on the affected surface.
However, note that apple cider is acidic, and you should not use it for deep or severe burns.
A weaker apple cider vinegar solution can also help relieve itch and skin irritation caused by mosquito bites and jellyfish stings.
8. Lowers blood pressure
Apple cider vinegar may have the ability to help lower blood pressure by controlling the production of the hormone renin.
Renin is responsible for the constriction and dilation of blood vessels. An uncontrolled constriction of the blood vessels will result in the rise of blood pressure.
The acetic acid in apple cider vinegar will help the vessels relax and prevent blood pressure from rising.
In a study, researchers supplemented hypertensive rats with vinegar for a protracted period.
The effect of the acetic acid from the vinegar had decreased the production of renin, lowering their blood pressure.
Apple cider vinegar is truly a natural remedy for several health conditions.
Studies have shown that taking ACV has shown practical benefits for people with hyperlipidemia, diabetes, obesity, PCOS, hypertension, and for people with skin and scalp problems.
However, you shouldn’t treat ACV as medicine. This is because there is no ideal dosage to treat specific conditions.
Hence, do not rely on apple cider vinegar for your overall health.
Proper diet and seeing your physician is the best way to ensure you are getting the right treatment for whatever ailment you have.