Apple cider vinegar is a popular home remedy. People have used it for centuries in cooking and medicine.
Many people claim it can relieve a wide range of health complaints, but you may wonder what the research says.
Apple cider vinegar has various healthful properties, including antimicrobial and antioxidant effects.
What’s more, evidence suggests it could possibly offer health benefits, such as:
- aiding weight loss
- reducing cholesterol
- lowering blood sugar levels
- improving the symptoms of diabetes
However, little research exists, and further studies are needed before it can be recommended as an alternative therapy.
Vinegar can help kill pathogens, including bacteria
People have traditionally used vinegar for cleaning and disinfecting, treating nail fungus, lice, warts, and ear infections.
Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, used vinegar to clean wounds more than 2,000 years ago.
Vinegar is also a food preservative. Studies show that it inhibits bacteria like E. coli from growing in and spoiling food
If you’re looking for a natural way to preserve your food, apple cider vinegar could help.
Anecdotal reports also suggest that diluted apple cider vinegar could help with acne when applied to the skin, but there doesn’t seem to be any strong research to confirm this.
May help lower blood sugar levels and manage diabetes
To date, one of the most convincing applications of vinegar is helping treat type two diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes is characterized by high blood sugar levels caused by insulin resistance or the inability to produce insulin.
However, people without diabetes can also benefit from keeping their blood sugar levels in the normal range, as some researchers believe that high blood sugar levels are a major cause of aging and various chronic diseases.
The most effective and healthiest way to regulate blood sugar levels is to avoid refined carbs and sugar, but apple cider vinegar may also have a beneficial effect.
Research suggests that vinegar offers the following benefits for blood sugar and insulin levels:
- A small study suggests vinegar may improve insulin sensitivity by 19–34% during a high carb meal and significantly lower blood sugar and insulin response.
- In a small study in 5 healthy people, vinegar reduced blood sugar by 31.4% after eating 50 grams of white bread.
- A small study in people with diabetes reported that consuming 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar before bedtime reduced fasting blood sugar by 4% the following morning.
- Numerous other studies in humans show that vinegar can improve insulin function and lower blood sugar levels after meals.
The National Centers for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) says it’s very important that people do not replace medical treatment with unproven health products.
If you’re currently taking blood-sugar-lowering medications, talk with your doctor before increasing your intake of any type of vinegar.
Aids in weight loss
Several human studies show that vinegar can increase feelings of fullness. This can lead to eating fewer calories and losing weight.
For example, according to one study, taking vinegar along with a high carb meal led to increased feelings of fullness, causing participants to eat 200–275 fewer calories throughout the rest of the day.
Furthermore, a study in 175 people with obesity showed that daily apple cider vinegar consumption led to reduced belly fat and weight loss:
- taking 1 tablespoon (15 mL) led to a loss of 2.6 pounds (1.2 kg)
- taking 2 tablespoons (30 mL) led to a loss of 3.7 pounds (1.7 kg)
However, keep in mind that this study went on for 3 months, so the true effects on body weight seem to be rather modest.
That said, simply adding or subtracting single foods or ingredients rarely has a noticeable effect on weight. Long-term weight loss is created by adopting helpful and supportive diet and lifestyle habits.
Overall, apple cider vinegar may contribute to weight loss by promoting satiety, lowering blood sugar, and reducing insulin levels.
Apple cider vinegar only contains about three calories per tablespoon, which is very low.
Boosts skin health
Apple cider vinegar is a common remedy for skin conditions like dry skin and.
The skin is naturally slightly acidic. Using topical apple cider vinegar could help rebalance the natural pH of the skin, improving the protective skin barrier.
On the other hand, alkaline soaps and cleansers could irritate eczema, making symptoms worse.
Given its antibacterial properties, apple cider vinegar could, in theory, help prevent skin infections linked to eczema and other skin conditions.
Some people use diluted apple cider vinegar in a face wash or toner. The idea is that it can kill bacteria and prevent spots.
However, one study in 22 people with eczema reported that apple cider vinegar soaks did not improve the skin barrier and caused skin irritation.
Talk with your doctor before trying new remedies, especially on damaged skin. Avoid applying undiluted vinegar to the skin, as it can cause burns
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