According to the internet, the health benefits of apple cider vinegar are seemingly endless. People are using apple cider vinegar to treat everything from acne to the common cold. But does it really work? As it turns out, there is some scientific evidence to support the health benefits of apple cider vinegar, or vinegar in general.
Let’s take a look at some of the proven ways in which apple cider vinegar does the body good.
Controls blood sugar
Multiple studies have shown that vinegar minimizes blood sugar spikes, and can help control blood sugar in pre-diabetic and diabetic individuals. Vinegar was actually used to treat diabetes before diabetes drugs were invented.
But what if you’re not diabetic? Is there any reason you would want to minimize blood sugar spikes? Diabetic or not, when your blood sugar rapidly increases after a meal, your artery function also becomes impaired, and this reoccurring impaired artery function can lead to heart disease. So there is a major benefit to drinking vinegar to minimize blood sugar spikes.
There is a caveat, though. Vinegar only has an effect on blood sugar if you’re eating a meal that is high in refined sugar or refined carbohydrates, such as white bread. When you add vinegar to a food that’s high in fiber, such as whole grain bread, the vinegar has no effect on blood sugar.
So, if you really want to minimize your blood sugar spikes, the simplest method is to eliminate refined sugar and refined carbohydrates from your diet. But if you just can’t fight that craving for a doughnut, you could drink some apple cider vinegar to counteract the effects of the sugar and refined flour.
Promotes weight loss
Science does support the efficacy of apple cider vinegar as a weight loss assistant. When Japanese researchers instructed overweight people to drink either an apple cider vinegar drink or a placebo drink every day, the group that drank the apple cider vinegar lost weight (5 pounds over 12 weeks), while the placebo group gained weight.
Five pounds may not seem significant, but this drop in weight occurred without any changes to the participants’ diet or exercise routines. The likely reason that vinegar promotes weight loss is that vinegar contains acetic acid, which stimulates the body to burn fat.
Lowers blood pressure
There is some evidence that vinegar could lower blood pressure. The aforementioned study found that, in addition to losing weight, participants who drank apple cider vinegar also experienced a slight drop in blood pressure. It is possible, though, that the decrease in blood pressure was due to the weight loss, not directly due to the vinegar consumption.
Another study done on rats determined that vinegar was an effective treatment for hypertension (high blood pressure). An experiment like this has yet to be replicated in humans, however, so more research is needed to answer this question conclusively.
A study done on 19 patients found that apple cider vinegar may be an effective treatment for high cholesterol. This was a small sample size, however, so more research is required before we can say with certainty that apple cider vinegar lowers cholesterol.
There is, however, another dietary treatment for high cholesterol with plenty of evidence to back up its effectiveness: a plant-based diet. So if you’re looking to lower your cholesterol, fruits and vegetables are probably a safer bet than apple cider vinegar.
No studies have yet been done to investigate other uses for apple cider vinegar, but more research may be done in the future. In the meantime, there is no downside to consuming diluted apple cider vinegar, so if you feel it works for you, keep on drinking.
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