Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar

Here’s a look at the current research about the health claims for apple cider vinegar.

One of the most talked about natural treatments, apple cider vinegar (ACV) is purported to cure just about anything that ails you. Trouble is, the science to back up these claims is sadly lacking. So here’s a look at current research findings for this liquid gold elixir, something to consider before you start sipping the cure.

Blood Sugar Remedy. Maybe.

Several preliminary reports find that eating foods with small amounts of vinegar (a vinaigrette, a pickled food) can help reduce after-meal blood sugars or blunt the impact of carb-rich foods that typically ratchet up blood sugar (rice, white bread, sugar.) One hitch for diabetics: the chromium in vinegar can alter insulin levels so talk to your doctor first before trying any vinegar remedies.

Weight Loss Aid: No

Sorry to bust this weight loss myth. But drinking a small amount of ACV at meals won’t burn fat or kill your appetite despite what some folks claim. What it will do, if you sip it straight, is irritate your throat and esophagus. What about ACV pills? They’re probably a waste of money. Studies show that supplements contain wildly varying amounts of vinegar or sometimes none at all. 

Wart, Lice, & Fungus Destroyer. No

Hippocrates, the father of medicine, may have used vinegar to treat wounds and infections back in 400 BC. But scientific studies today show ACV's a  bust when it comes to treating head lice, toenail fungus and warts. Still want to try a vinegar cure? A word of caution: ACV is a strong acid that can burn the skin if not diluted. 

While apple cider vinegar may not be a proven health remedy, it’s certainly a fat-free, sodium-free way to add flavor to recipes and a versatile ingredient to keep on hand in the kitchen.

Recipe: Apple Cider Vinaigrette

 

Maureen Callahan, MS, RD
Jan, 2014
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