Apple cider vinegar (ACV) has been known for its health benefits for centuries. It has been shown to be effective in treating numerous conditions, including diabetes, lowering cholesterol levels, normalizing the body’s alkaline levels, preventing cancer and even weight loss.
In this article, I will discuss these uses, with a list of additional benefits at the end.
Apple Cider Vinegar May Be a Useful Treatment For Diabetes
One of its most promising uses is as a treatment for diabetes.
Researchers from the Department of Nutrition at Arizona State University have discovered, that drinking ACV decreases the rate that blood sugar levels increase, after consuming a high carbohydrate meal.
In this study of 29 individuals, participants were fed a breakfast consisting of a bagel plus orange juice containing a total of 87 grams of carbohydrates.
Two minutes before starting the meal, half of the participants were given approximately 4 teaspoons of ACV, mixed with 40 grams of water and 1 teaspoon of saccharine. The other group was given a placebo drink.
To analyze these results, participants were divided into three groups.
The first group included 10 people with type 2 diabetes, the second group included 11 people that were prediabetic, and the last group included 8 healthy individuals.
In all three groups, it was found that ACV slowed the rate at which blood sugar rose after consuming this high carbohydrate breakfast.
For the prediabetic group, their blood sugar levels dropped 34% after the meal.
For the diabetic group, their blood sugar levels dropped by 19% after the meal.
Apple Cider Vinegar Can Help with Weight Loss
One of the oldest uses of apple cider vinegar is for weight loss. It was first popularized for this use in the book: Folk Medicine: A Vermont Doctor’s Guide to Good Health, written by D.C. Jarvis in 1958.
He claimed that individuals regularly consuming ACV tended to burn fat, rather than store it.
Furthermore, in 2005, a small study found that those eating a piece of bread with a small amount of ACV, felt more full and satisfied than those eating the bread alone.
To achieve optimum results, it should be mixed with water.
But for best results, it works best when taken in conjunction with an exercise program, and a sensible diet.
Always consult your doctor before undertaking any new exercise regimen.
Apple Cider Vinegar has Been Shown To Lower Cholesterol Levels
As ACV contains pectin, it is thought to absorb fat and cholesterol from food, thereby helping the body to eliminate these two substances.
In addition, it is thought that it functions to neutralize some of the harmful LDL cholesterol that it doesn’t absorb.
Recently, a Japanese food manufacturer reported that consumption of 3 teaspoons of ACV daily, could significantly lower cholesterol levels in a person’s blood.
Moreover, in a 2006 study, laboratory rats that were fed acetic acid (the main ingredient in apple cider vinegar) saw significantly lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
However, further research on humans needs to be done to see if this cholesterol-lowering capability applies to them.
Apple Cider Vinegar has the Potential To Prevent Cancer
There have been a few laboratory studies indicating that ACV has the potential to kill cancer cells, or slow their growth.
It’s anti-cancer capabilities can be attributed to the many nutrients it contains that are powerful cancer fighters.
For example, it contains beta-carotene, a strong antioxidant; it contains flavonoids, another type of antioxidant; and pectin, a type of soluble fiber that binds to cancer-causing compounds, helping the body to eliminate them.
Conversely, there is another study indicating that drinking ACV puts you at greater risk for developing esophageal cancer.
Apple Cider Vinegar may also Normalize the Body’s Alkaline Balance
Many practitioners of alternative medicine recommend taking ACV to restore normal alkaline balance in the body.
It is thought that the blood’s normal pH ranges between 7.35 and 7.45.
After eating, and foods become metabolized, these foods release either an acid or alkaline base into the blood.
Foods that people typically over eat — dairy products, grains, meat and sugar — produce acid.
The proponents of the alkaline-acid theory claim that a diet high in foods that produces large amounts of acid, leads to reduced energy levels, excessive production of mucus in the respiratory tract, anxiety, headaches, sore throats and more.
Although ACV is basically an acidic solution, it functions to have an alkalizing effect on the body, when taken regularly.
Apple cider vinegar contains over 40 different vitamins and minerals and has been shown effective for the following conditions:
- High Blood Pressure
- Muscle Cramps
- Sore Throats
- Urinary Tract Infections
- Yeast Infections
Overall, the risk of taking ACV in small amounts, occasionally, is low. However, taking it in larger doses for extended periods, could prove harmful.
First, long-term use of ACV causes a reduction of potassium levels, translating to a loss of bone density, which could potentially lead to osteoporosis.
For diabetics, it could possibly interact with any medicines they are currently taking.
Apple cider vinegar is a well-known, old-timey, home remedy, having been used for centuries.
Since 400 B.C., the father of modern medicine, Hippocrates, used it as a energizing healing tonic. You can find anecdotal evidence of its effectiveness for just about any condition you can think of on the ‘net.
If you can get over its taste, it could be a healthy addition to your daily routine. According to Dr. Jarvis, it is even more effective when mixed with honey.
While it doesn’t cure all of the ailments that some proponents claim it can, it appears to be useful for some of the above-mentioned conditions.
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