This article originally appeared on Live in the Now.
For centuries, apple cider vinegar (ACV) has been used as a healing agent for multiple maladies. Here are some of the wellness benefits that scientific research supports.
Vinegar has a history of being used as a disinfectant, as its acetic acid content kills bacteria and prevents them from multiplying. In fact, Hippocrates, the father of medicine, used it two thousand years ago for wound cleaning. A study published in Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology found vinegar has good antimicrobial properties.
Lowers Cardiovascular Disease Risk
A few studies show vinegar may hold promise in managing cholesterol. Research published in Life Science Journal suggested ACV may help decrease LDL, or bad cholesterol, and increase HDL, or good cholesterol, in rats with diabetes. In addition, a review of scientific literature appearing in Nutrition Reviews indicated vinegar may reduce LDL in humans.
Aside from vinegar’s effect on cholesterol, it enhances cardiovascular health in other ways. An experiment in Biological and Pharmaceutical Bulletin showed it reduces blood pressure in rats. A study appearing in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found women who ate a salad dressing containing vinegar had a lower risk having a fatal heart attack.
Reduces Blood Sugar
High blood sugar leads to diabetes and plays a role in aging and chronic illness. An investigation published in Diabetes Care found vinegar boosts insulin sensitivity and decreases blood glucose after a high-carbohydrate meal. Many other studies in rats and humans also suggest vinegar produces these effects to a significant extent.
Aids in Weight Loss
Have you ever longed for something to reduce your appetite that didn’t have side effects? A study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition discovered taking vinegar with a high-carbohydrate meal increases the feeling of fullness, which leads to the consumption of fewer calories for the rest of the day. Over time, this would result in weight loss.
Belly fat is not only unsightly; it’s also linked to a higher risk of cardiovascular disease. Research published in Bioscience, Biotechnology and Biochemistry found consuming vinegar every day results in a loss of belly fat and a reduction in waist circumference.
Some studies show vinegar may have cancer-fighting properties. Research in BioFactors showed it induces the death of human leukemia cells. An investigation published in Nutrition in Cancer found it inhibits colon cancer in rats.
Benefits Supported by Anecdotal Evidence
Many of the benefits attributed to ACV haven’t been studied, but they are supported by anecdotal evidence. These include relief from indigestion, diarrhea, sore throat, cold, dandruff, acne, bad breath, itchy skin, body odor and fatigue. While these advantages aren’t backed by science, it’s reasonable to deduce that at least some are legitimate based on research that supports other benefits. For instance, the proven antibacterial properties would make them helpful for fighting infections.
How to Use Apple Cider Vinegar
Choose organic unfiltered ACV. The best quality has a very murky appearance. You can add it to salad dressings or smoothies. An alternative method of taking it is to dilute one or two teaspoons in water each day and sip it with a meal. Don’t take it undiluted because it could harm your esophagus.
Because the acid in the vinegar may also erode tooth enamel, rinse your mouth after drinking it. According to noted natural health practitioner Dr. Joseph Mercola, ACV may interfere with certain medications, so check with your doctor before starting a daily regimen.