Will Apple Cider Vinegar Cure All My Health Problems?

Posted on February 6th, 2019

If you’re like me you’ve been hearing all about Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) recently and seeing it everywhere on Instagram and Facebook and are wondering…is it really the cure to everything?? We need answers!!

Well let’s start off by figuring out what it actually is. ACV is a fermented fruit juice. It’s made by crushing apples and using bacteria & yeast to ferment the juice…YUM.

There are different types of ACV available. Distilled is clear and great for canning/pickling veggies. Raw, unfiltered, or unpasteurized contains a cloudy substance formed by natural enzymes during fermentation. It’s great for salad dressings, marinades, or if you’re going to be adding a teaspoon to a drink.

The one we’re going to be focusing on is the raw, unfiltered ACV because there have been a ton and I mean a ton of health claims about it from promoting weight loss to lowing your blood sugar levels…but are they all true?

So, can it really help you lose weight?? Well, unfortunately most studies to date researching ACV and weight loss have been done on animals and only focused on one isolated ingredient in ACV. It is difficult to correlate animals studies to human health as our bodies are very different and process things differently. We also cannot tie results from an isolated portion of ACV to ACV overall. (there was research that did show some correlation in rats to weight management with the isolated acetic acid and/or acetate).

One study from researchers at Arizona State University found that taking 20 grams of apple cider vinegar diluted in 40 grams of water with 1 teaspoon of saccharine, could lower blood sugar after meals. But I should also mention that there are other ways to lower blood sugar levels like – eating a healthy diet high in fiber-rich foods & low in refined, high sugar foods is a good start just FYI. Which has been shown to help with blood sugar management in many many many studies, not just one.

Another health claim is that it can help relieve heartburn… (does this mean I can eat all the Hot Cheetos and be fine?!) The acetic acid found in ACV can potentially provide some health benefits. For some people, acid reflux can be caused by too little stomach acid. ACV may be beneficial for these individuals because it introduces more acid into the digestive tract. This acid is also effective against several types of bacteria and acts as an anti-microbial agent…BUT ACV can cause throat irritation and can interact with certain medications so be careful with this claim! The bes management of acid reflux is a medical plan you have worked out with your health care team including a physician and a dietitian!

Dentists are not too happy if you come back for your check up with eroding enamel from drinking straight ACV, so if you do try it, dilute it with water before drinking it (1 Tbsp + 1 cup water). You won’t get any more benefit from drinking it straight vs. diluting it with water…in fact, what a great way to up your water intake? (really, just stop taking shots of it PLEASE).

Bottom Line: There is still plenty of research that needs to be done so don’t start chuggin’ bottles of ACV just yet and if you do consume it, just make sure to dilute it in water, don’t overdo the amount you’re taking and as always talk with your doctor first!

About the Blogger:

Abrar Naely is a Dietetic Intern at University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. She likes to rock climb and enjoys trying new foods.

References:
  1. Esposito K, Marfella R, Giugliano D. Plasma Interleukin-18 Concentrations Are Elevated in Type 2 Diabetes. Diabetes Care. 2003;27(1):272-272. doi:10.2337/diacare.27.1.272.
  2. Frost G, Sleeth ML, Sahuri-Arisoylu M, et al. The short-chain fatty acid acetate reduces appetite via a central homeostatic mechanism. Nature Communications. 2014;5(1). doi:10.1038/ncomms4611.
  3. Kondo T, Kishi M, Fushimi T, Kaga T. Acetic Acid Upregulates the Expression of Genes for Fatty Acid Oxidation Enzymes in Liver To Suppress Body Fat Accumulation. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 2009;57(13):5982-5986. doi:10.1021/jf900470c.
  4. Willershausen, I. and Weyer, V. and Schulte, D. O. and Lampe, F. and Buhre, S. and Willershausen, B. :In Vitro Study on Dental Erosion Caused by Different Vinegar Varieties Using an Electron Microprobe.In: Clinical Laboratory, 60 (5) pp. 783-790.

Information included does not constitute medical advice and should only be used as a general recommendation for a healthy, balanced diet and lifestyle. Reasor’s Registered Dietitians’ opinions and recommendations are their own; they are not paid to endorse any products or services.