Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)

The health benefits of using apple cider vinegar (ACV) to promote weight loss is grossly overrated compared to the amount of research done on it.

Most studies are done on animals.

Studies in humans are small and the trials are not well designed.

There are also reports of using ACV in horses and dogs to reduce the formation of large mineral salts lumps in the intestines (enterolith).

There are concerns that you don’t get what you pay for.

Analysis done on various brands of ACV tablets and capsules showed a very large variation in the contents and acidity levels.

The acetic acid level was found to be as low as 1% to as high as 10%.To get a quick one-minute summary on the health benefits of ACV see The Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar.

Or continue reading the full comprehensive review.

Table of Contents

Evidence of Benefits

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Diabetes / Type 2 Diabetes

The pectin in ACV has been reported to help lower blood sugar levels in healthy individuals. Several studies completed shows positive results.

However, larger studies will need to be done to confirm the health benefits of ACV in lowerig blood sugar levels.

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Vaginitis / Yeast Infection / Candida

There is one report that an ACV bath mixture can cure vaginal yeast infections.

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Weight Loss / Appetite Suppressant

ACV is hyped in the media that it can promote weight loss without all the risks associated with taking a diet pill containing ephedra or caffeine.

In a recent study, rats fed a high-fat diet and acetic acid gained 10% less weight than those fed the same diet and given water.

It is heavily promoted as one of the natural cures for suppressing appetite and loosing weight. Unfortunately, research studies do not show ACV to be helpful in weight loss, except in rats.

Currently, there's a lot of talk about the benefits of taking garcinia cambogia to help suppress appetite and promote weight loss.

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High Cholesterol

A study completed in 2006 showed that taking apple cider vinegar could lower cholesterol in rats.

Further studies in human subjects will be required to confirm this.

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High Blood Pressure

A study performed in rats show that it could lower blood pressure.

Helpful

Sore Throat

Mixing 1 teaspoon (5 mL) of ACV to a cup of hot water and some honey may be useful to reduce the pain of sore throat. There are only anecdotal reports but this is easy enough for you to verify its effectiveness.

To get a comprehensive and detailed list of natural remedies you can use, see Remedies for Sore Throat.

Warts

There’s no scientific evidence that an ACV solution treats warts.

Anecdotal reports suggest applying a solution of apple cider vinegar on a cotton ball kills the warts in as little as 10 days.

Arthritis / Osteoarthritis

There’s no scientific evidence that ACV is helpful in reducing the pain and inflammation from arthritis. See Osteoarthritis Remedies for a list of natural remedies for treating this debilitating condition.

Migraine Headaches

We were not able to find research to show that ACV is useful in preventing or treating migraine headaches.

Facts about Apple Cider Vinegar

Cider vinegar comes from the fermented juices of crushed apples.

ACV contains large quantities of acetic acid and citric acid. It also contains vitamins B1, B2 and B6, biotin, folic acid, niacin, pantothenic acid and vitamin C.

It is also high in pectin, a form of dietary fiber as well as the mineral potassium.

Suggested Benefits and Traditional Uses

Orally

Food and Beverages

  • It is used in food preparation such as salad dressing.

Side Effects, Toxicity and Warnings

There are very few reported side effects of taking ACV. As it is acidic, it might cause irritation of the throat and stomach and could damage the teeth.

If you have a previous history of heartburn problems, acid reflux, other reflux disorders, esophagus disorder or GERD avoid taking ACV (or dilute it down with water first before drinking).

Taking apple cider vinegar as a long-term therapy could cause low potassium in your blood and osteoporosis (low bone density).

Safety - It is regarded as safe when taken in the quantities normally used in food preparation.

Common Drug & Health Condition Interactions

Insulin - theoretical

Diuretic Medications - caution - HydroDIURIL (hydrochlorothiazide), Lasix (furosemide), Hygroton (chlorthalidone)

Lanoxin (digoxin) - caution

As using large amounts of ACV can cause excess potassium loss and decrease blood potassium levels. This could be worsen when combined with diuretics, Lanoxin (digoxin) or insulin.

Dosage & How to Take It

There is no typical oral dosage of ACV. Some people drink one to two teaspoons daily diluted in a glass of water or juice.

For treating vaginitis or yeast infections, add 3 cups of ACV to hot bath and soak allowing the water to enter the vagina.

Bottom Line

Should I drink apple cider vinegar?

It is unfortunate that there are little good scientific evidence for the health benefits of taking apple cider vinegar.

Indeed it has been around for hundreds of years and not surprisingly it has been elevated to a status of a cure-all natural remedy.

we are not convinced that it offer much benefits.

Moreover, there is so much variation in the actual amount of apple cider vinegar found among different products that you won't even know how much you are getting.

As for its reported benefit of weight loss, there are many other supplements that offer a greater chance to help you lose weight.

See Health Benefits of Weight Loss to find a list of natural remedies to help you shed pounds.

Related to Apple Cider Vinegar

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Selected References for Apple Cider Vinegar

Revised: February 8, 2014

 

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