Need to know 5 benefits of apple cider vinegar? The benefits of apple cider vinegar have been said to include everything from fighting cancer to reversing aging, promoting weight loss and more. While it’s no miracle cure, apple cider vinegar, which is formed when the sugars in pulverized apples ferment with the assistance of bacteria and yeast, does have both proven and potential benefits. Research is still being conducted, but below are five areas in which the benefits of apple cider vinegar look promising.
- Apple cider vinegar may have a positive effect on diabetes. Research has been done on how vinegar affects blood sugar levels; this is a proven benefit of apple cider vinegar. Several studies have found that vinegar may lower glucose levels and reduce the glucose response to carbohydrates in both healthy individuals and people with diabetes. The American Diabetes Association points to a 2005 study that suggests adding vinegar to the diet can help control blood glucose and insulin levels, while a 2007 study published by the National Institute of Health showed eleven people with type 2 diabetes who took two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar every night had four to six percent lower glucose levels in the morning.
- The same properties that influence glucose levels suggest that apple cider vinegar may have benefits for weight loss. Vinegar has been proven to affect satiety, and a relationship has been established between how long a person feels full and the acetic acid content of their meal. The American Diabetes Association says adding a little vinegar to your diet may help you feel full longer, based on a study where people who ate bread with vinegar felt full longer than when they ate bread alone. Similarly, the National Institute of Health reported a separate trial that proved healthy adult women consumed fewer total calories on the days they had vinegar with breakfast.
- Science suggests apple cider vinegar’s benefits may include fighting cancer. While laboratory studies have shown vinegar may be able to slow the growth of cancer cells, or even kill them, observational studies have been contradictory. In some cases, consuming vinegar seems to decrease the risk for cancer, while in others the risk seems to increase. However, an article published by the National Institute of Health confirms that the acid in vinegar forms acetate ions that may have antitumor effects. Vinegar is also a proven source of polyphenols, which, when consumed by humans, enhance antioxidant protection and reduce the risk of cancer.
- While research looks encouraging, the benefit apple cider vinegar has on high cholesterol is still up for debate. A study published by the National Institute of Health reports that evidence linking vinegar use to reduced risk for hypertension is equivocal, and scientists are still exploring the possibilities. A 2006 study showed evidence that vinegar could lower cholesterol in rats, but additional research on humans is required.
- Similarly, research is still needed to prove that apple cider vinegar can lower blood pressure and promote heart health. Again, because studies have been conducted on rats only, the National Institute of Health cites there is no scientific evidence vinegar affects human blood pressure. However, it has been proven to lower blood pressure in rats. Even more exciting is an observational study of humans that showed people who ate oil and vinegar salad dressing five to six times a week had lower rates of heart disease than people who didn’t. While there was no conclusive proof that vinegar was entirely or even partly responsible for that result, additional studies are underway.
While the benefits of apple cider vinegar are coming to light, the risks must also be considered. As with any supplement, consult your doctor before you begin taking apple cider vinegar. Because it’s highly acidic, apple cider vinegar may damage tooth enamel and throat and mouth tissue, so it should always be diluted. Using a small amount of apple cider occasionally appears to be safe, but over the long term, it can lower bone density and potassium levels, and, as discussed, it may alter your insulin levels. It may also interact with diuretics, laxatives and medication for heart disease and diabetes.