Apple Cider Vinegar: Should you be taking it?
Let's face it, apple cider vinegar doesn't taste good at all. While not the best tasting, it has been found to offer several benefits, but how do you know if it can benefit you? Apple cider vinegar has been used for centuries as a home remedy and in recent years it has become a more common supplement for your health. It’s most well known to help with blood sugar control and weight loss.
What is Apple Cider Vinegar and How Its Made
First of all, what is apple cider vinegar (ACV)? Apple cider vinegar is made from the fermented juice of crushed apples, by combining crushed apples and yeast. It contains significant quantities of acetic acid, making up around 5–6% creating that sour taste familiar with ACV. It’s classified as a “weak acid” but still has fairly strong acidic properties when it is concentrated. In addition to acetic acid, ACV contains trace amounts of vitamins and minerals.
Why Do People Take It?
Apple cider vinegar has many uses which is why it has become such a popular supplement across all age groups. While it’s always wise to speak to your health care physician about your supplements, here are some reasons people take ACV supplements.
- May help control blood sugar
- May aid in weight loss
- May help kill harmful bacteria
This product works best paired with regular exercise and a healthy diet just like any other dietary support supplement.
May Help Control Blood Sugar
For those with type 2 diabetes or prediabetes, ACV has been shown to help aid with blood sugar levels and further manage diabetes. Although not a cure, the acetic acid in ACV appears to better break down starch found in meals making it easier on the body.
Research supports that ACV can aid in lowering blood glucose levels. One study, in particular, published by the American Association of Diabetes in 2004, had participants who were insulin sensitive (control), insulin resistant, and had type 2 diabetes. Their research showed just 30 minutes after a meal containing a bagel, orange juice, and butter, then taking ACV or a placebo, participants who were insulin resistant or type 2 diabetes had significantly lower blood glucose levels.
While ACV has shown it can help with blood sugar control, there is a popular myth that it can also aid high blood pressure, but there hasn’t been further research to support this. If you have high blood pressure, the best option is to begin a healthy diet, exercise, and talk to your health care professional if medication is needed.
In the end, ACV won’t cure diabetes but can help with blood sugar control. It’s important to note, it’s always recommended to consult with a doctor before taking ACV supplements when you have diabetes or prediabetes as it may have negative effects when taken with diabetes medication. The most effective and healthy way to manage your diabetes is to avoid refined carbs and sugar, but ACV supplements may aid you in your efforts.
May Aid in Weight Loss
While you shouldn’t be canceling your gym memberships or changing up your healthy diets to start taking ACV, it has been shown to help with weight loss. ACV can help you feel more full, and as a result lead you to eat fewer calories during the day, losing weight.
In many reports, it is shown that with daily consumption of around 15ml of ACV a subject has more feelings of fullness and satiety and ate around 250 calories less than their normal requirements. While simply adding ACV supplements to your diet might not make the full difference it can be that extra support you’re looking for when paired with a healthy diet and regular exercise.
Some people, when used for weight loss, tend to consume more than they need of ACV, so remember to read and follow the directions on the supplement bottle and not exceed the recommended dosage.
May Help Kill Harmful Bacteria
Vinegar has been used for years to clean, sanitize, and disinfect. Hippocrates was even known to use it to clean wounds! Needless to say, ACV may actually be useful in preventing the spread of bacteria on foods.
Research suggests that vinegar can be used to aid in killing off a majority of bad bacteria, such as the bacteria found on food, like E. Coli found on lettuce. This is made possible from the main component in vinegar, acetic acid, it has a good reputation of being a disinfectant and a more natural preservative.
Other Things to Know
When it comes to ACV you might also have heard about the “mother” or the “mother of vinegar” These are the small sediments you might see in the unfiltered liquid form of ACV and it mostly consists of acetic acid. So when your looking for a supplement and would like the added benefits of acetic acid make sure to check if ACV is listed as an ingredient
Please remember that even though encapsulated or in gummy form, ACV supplements are still ACV which some people may not react well to. So if you start to feel sick, stop taking it and talk to your health care professional on whether it is a supplement you would benefit from.
If you’re not interested in an ACV supplement but are still looking for the benefit of ACV, you can always incorporate it into your cooking, like vinaigrettes or homemade mayo.
Although more research can be done on the benefits of ACV, the benefit it has for diabetes and weight loss might be helpful support. If you’re looking into ACV supplements consider asking your healthcare provider to see if it can be beneficial for you!