The internet has so many people jumping on different products with bogus health claims making them look like pixie dust. Apple cider vinegar is one of such products with so many purported health benefits, this doesn’t mean that all the claims on the benefits of apple cider vinegar are untrue. Apple cider vinegar has some proven benefits and we’ll look into those benefits and side effects in this article.
How Apple Cider Vinegar Is Made
Vinegar comes from the French word ‘vin aigre’, meaning sour wine. Apple cider vinegar is gotten from a process of ‘controlled spoilage’. The sugars in apple is digested by yeast thereby converting it into alcohol. Then a bacteria, acetobacter converts the alcohol into acetic acid which gives it a sour taste.
The combination of yeast and bacteria (mother) acts as a probiotic. The profile of apple cider vinegar which contains probiotics, acetic acid and other nutrients surely provides certain health benefits to the consumers.
1. Apple cider may help with blood sugar control
The exact mechanism behind this is not really known, but some studies suggest suppression of disaccharidase activity, delayed gastric emptying, enhanced glucose uptake and conversion to glycogen. It should be noted that apple cider vinegar does not cure diabetes and cannot take the place of medication and dietary aides to manage diabetes but can be used alongside medications and diet to help in the management of diabetes.
2. Apple cider may help boost weight-loss
Taking 1-2 spoons of apple cider vinegar may help in modest weight loss, this may be due to the satiety effect of apple cider vinegar as shown in some studies in which people who take apple cider vinegar eats about 250kcal lesser than their calorie requirements. It also helps to reduce oxidative stress and improve lipid profile but only in animal studies. Apple cider vinegar on its own won’t lead to weight loss, so don’t shove your meal plans and gym routines aside.
3. Apple cider helps control blood pressure
There are no sufficient scientific evidence to back this up yet. This may however be implied since it helps to reduce accumulation of fatty plaques in blood vessels, thereby improving blood flow.
4. Apple cider vinegar cures cancer
There is no scientific evidence to support this both in animal and human studies.
- It can alter insulin levels thereby possibly leading to hypoglycaemia if taken in high doses. Diabetic patients should be aware of this.
- It can damage the tooth enamel due to its high acidity. It should be diluted with water before use.
- It might lower potassium levels. People with hypertension who are on diuretics should be careful with usage.
Apple cider vinegar is almost like any other over-the-counter supplement. It won’t replace a healthy lifestyle and should be used with the guidance of a registered dietitian.