Apple cider vinegar has been used for centuries to treat a wide range of health issues. It is also widely used as a disinfectant and natural preservative. It is probably best known today as a weight loss aid and a way to help control your blood sugar.
When apple cider is fermented, apple cider vinegar is produced. Bacteria or yeast interact with the sugar in apples during this process. The cider ferments into alcohol, which then ferments into vinegar.
Some people drink vinegar or use it as a condiment, such as salad dressing. Others consume capsules or gummies.
This article explains which benefits are scientifically supported and which are not. It also lists some of the potential side-effects you may encounter.
Acetic acid is found in apple cider vinegar. It also has bacteria as well as lactic, citric, and malic acids. These acids are responsible for the vinegar's tart flavour.
Apple cider vinegar is thought to be beneficial to your health in a variety of ways. Here's what the research has to say about its advantages.
Vinegar's acetic acid may inhibit enzymes that aid in starch digestion. Starchy foods like bread, pasta, and rice can cause an increase in blood sugar after eating.
As a result, taking apple cider vinegar may result in a lower blood sugar spike after starchy meals.
According to a 2017 research review published in Diabetes Research & Clinical Practice, taking vinegar with meals reduced insulin levels. Insulin is a hormone that aids your body's use of sugar, and it is elevated in diabetics. Vinegar also reduced blood sugar levels after meals. 1
Try a splash of apple cider vinegar on salads or in marinades, vinaigrettes, and sauces.
Proponents claim that taking vinegar before or with a meal can help you feel full faster and lose weight faster.
Over a 12-week period, a small study published in 2018 tracked weight loss in two groups of people. Both groups cut back on their caloric intake. In addition, one group consumed 30 millilitres of apple cider vinegar per day.
The vinegar group lost more weight at the end of the study. They also lost a greater amount of visceral fat. 2 This is the fat that surrounds your organs in your abdomen, and it has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease.
When taking apple cider vinegar for weight loss, people tend to use more of it. Some people even take it as a supplement.
According to some studies, apple cider vinegar can help lower blood sugar and aid in weight loss. More large-scale research is needed to confirm these benefits.
Apple cider vinegar has long been used as a home remedy for a variety of health and beauty issues. While there isn't much scientific evidence to support these claims, some people have reported success.
Some people apply an apple cider vinegar and water solution to their scalp to treat dandruff. It is thought to help with flakes, itchiness, and irritation. The acetic acid in vinegar may alter the pH of the scalp, making yeast growth more difficult. Yeast is a cause of dandruff.
It is also used to treat seborrheic dermatitis, an itchy, scaly skin condition. According to a 2017 study published in the Galen Medical Journal, a 32-year-old woman's condition was resolved by using the flowering herb Althaea officinalis in conjunction with vinegar. 3
It's sometimes used as a hair rinse to remove shampoo build-up and clarify dull hair. If you try this, make sure to dilute the vinegar with plenty of water to avoid stinging your eyes.
Vinegar does not kill head lice.
Other Skin Injuries and Sunburn
Mild sunburns are commonly treated with a cool water compress, a cool bath, aloe gel, or a moisturiser. Some people swear by apple cider vinegar. To relieve pain, add it to a cool bath or mix it with cool water and spritz it on affected areas. Avoiding the face is a good idea.
There isn't much evidence that apple cider vinegar can help with sunburn pain. It does, however, have potent germ-fighting properties. It could aid in the prevention of skin infections caused by sunburn and other skin injuries.
Full-strength or high concentrations of apple cider vinegar should not be applied to the skin. It should also not be used for severe burns. If you get a severe sunburn, see your doctor right away.
Some advocates claim that if you have mosquito bites, poison ivy, or jellyfish stings, you can dab a weak apple cider vinegar solution onto the affected area(s) to relieve itching and irritation.
Acne and Other Chronic Skin Conditions
There isn't a lot of evidence to suggest that apple cider vinegar can help with acne. Even so, some people dab a little on pimples to dry them out. It should be diluted before applying to the face because it can cause skin irritation if not mixed with water.
According to some studies, applying apple cider vinegar to varicose veins may make them less visible. Varicose veins are painfully raised blood vessels. 5
Acetic acid concentrations vary between vinegars. As a result, determining how much water to add to make it skin-safe can be difficult. If you want to use apple cider vinegar on your skin, keep that in mind.
One of the oldest applications of apple cider vinegar is as a sore throat remedy (pharyngitis).
There are numerous recipes and methods available. A teaspoon of apple cider vinegar, a teaspoon of honey, and a pinch of cayenne pepper are stirred into a cup of warm water in one basic drink recipe. Some people drink the mixture, while others gargle with it.
Apple cider vinegar has antibacterial properties. Capsaicin, found in hot peppers, is also said to relieve pain. However, there hasn't been any specific research to show that apple cider vinegar helps with sore throats.
In fact, there is evidence that using vinegar to treat a sore throat may cause more harm than good. Vinegar can cause throat tissue damage if not mixed with enough water. The damage may aggravate pain and make swallowing more difficult. 6
It is unclear how much apple cider vinegar should be mixed into water to create a safe treatment for sore throats, particularly in children.
Some people believe that apple cider vinegar can help keep stinky feet and armpits at bay. It may aid in balancing the pH (acidity level) of the skin and fighting bacteria that cause body odour.
One method is to add a few drops of apple cider vinegar to a glass of water. Using a baby wipe, cotton ball, or cloth, dip it into the solution. Wipe the bottom of the feet or the armpit with the excess liquid. Wipes can be made ahead of time and kept in an airtight container.
You might notice a vinegar odour at first. When the vinegar dries, it usually goes away.
It's a good idea to start by testing the apple cider vinegar solution in a small area. You should also avoid using it in close proximity to delicate fabrics such as silk or leather. They could be harmed by the acids.
Some people have used vinegar to treat dandruff, acne, sunburn, sore throats, bites, and stings. However, there isn't much research to back up these claims. If you decide to try it, make sure to dilute the vinegar first to avoid damaging your skin.
Possible Adverse Reactions
Apple cider vinegar is a well-known household item. Its widespread use may lead you to believe that it is completely risk-free. However, you should be aware of some potential side effects. They may be more of an issue if the vinegar is too strong or has been in contact with your body for an extended period of time.
It can, for example, cause chemical burns. Some people were burned after using it to treat warts and molluscum contagiosum, a skin condition.
Some people use vinegar as a home remedy to whiten their teeth or freshen their breath. However, the acids can damage tooth enamel and cause cavities.
Consuming or ingesting apple cider vinegar may result in a significant decrease in potassium levels. Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), throat irritation, and allergic reactions are all possible side effects.
Vinegar is a type of acid. It can cause burns and digestive tract damage (including the throat, esophagus, and stomach). This is especially true if it is used in large quantities or without being diluted with water.
Acids are substances with a pH less than 7. The pH of many apple cider vinegar products ranges from 2 to 3. That is, they are extremely acidic.
Apple cider vinegar may interact with medications such as:
- laxatives (medications that make bowel movements easier)
- diuretics (medications that rid your body of excess water and salt)
- blood thinners
- Diabetes and heart disease medications
Apple cider vinegar should never be used as a nasal spray, sinus rinse, or neti pot. It should not be included in eye drops.
Preparation and Dose
Apple cider vinegar is available in two forms: liquid and supplement. Because there is no standard dose for the capsules and gummies, follow the package directions and consult your healthcare provider.
Many applications require diluting vinegar with water, but it's difficult to know how much water to use to make the vinegar safe. If you're going to use it on your skin, some advocates recommend a 1:10 ratio (one part vinegar to ten parts water). Using vinegar on sensitive or damaged skin is not recommended.
A teaspoon to a tablespoon mixed into 8 ounces of water is a common recipe for drinking vinegar. Again, the safety of different doses is unknown.
The acetic acid content of commercial apple cider vinegar varies (unlike white vinegar, which is 5 percent acetic acid). This can make determining the true strength of your mixture impossible.
What to Watch Out For
Vinegar can be purchased filtered or unfiltered. The filtered type has a clear, light brown appearance. The bottom of the bottle of unfiltered versions (such as Bragg's) has a cloudy layer.
This cloudy layer, also known as "mother of vinegar" or simply "mother," is mostly bacteria. Some argue that unfiltered options are preferable. They are, however, more expensive than filtered vinegars.
Read the product label before purchasing apple cider vinegar capsules or gummies. Check that it says apple cider vinegar, not acetic acid (white vinegar). The Food and Drug Administration does not regulate supplements. That means you should look for brands that have been reviewed by independent organisations such as the United States Pharmacopeia.
Apple cider vinegar has been used for centuries. There is some evidence that it may help you control your blood sugar or achieve a healthy weight. Some people have had success using it to treat skin and scalp issues, but there is no solid science to support these claims.
Because apple cider vinegar contains acids, it is usually mixed with water when used to treat acne, bites, or other skin problems. If you drink it, keep in mind that if it's too strong, it can harm your teeth or digestive system. It may also interact with certain medications in ways that are harmful to your health.