Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) has been dubbed a magic elixir. For years claims have been made suggesting that it offers potent health benefits. The first buzz words that come to mind when one thinks of this supposed miracle product are “detoxifying”, “weight loss”, “healing properties”, and “anti-aging”. This is because marketers have and continue to sell it on the basis that it has tremendously positive effects on the body. But, is there any truth in the vast claims made? Can the consumer really trust the hype surrounding this vinegar? Are there any downsides that we are unaware of? In the following article, we pinpoint some recent, key findings in the hope of answering these few essential questions. Consequently, settling the debate over whether ACV is as good as claims suggest.
How Does ACV Effect the Blood?
A number of studies have looked into the ways in which Apple Cider Vinegar effects the blood. There is, specifically, substantial evidence suggesting that the consumption of it can regulate blood sugar levels in the body. This, in turn, can minimize the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Studies conducted by Carol S. Johnston, associate director of the nutrition program at Arizona State University, highlight how vinegar impacts the body’s digestion of starch. Johnston reports that vinegar inhibits enzymes that promote the digestion of starch. While undigested starch may not sound appealing, it has several positive effects. It results in a smaller blood sugar (glycemic) response. This, as opposed to high blood glucose levels, decreases the likelihood of heart disease.
Can ACV Support the Gut?
Apple Cider Vinegar’s role in inhibiting the digestion of starch can have additional health benefits. As an example, indigested starch has prebiotic properties. Essentially, it acts as food for good bacteria. Good bacteria is responsible for regulating bacterial balances and producing important Vitamins. In doing so, it can promote positive digestion and boost immune strength. This, in turn, results in a healthier intestinal tract.
What About Weight Loss?
Furthermore, Johnston states that “interfering with the digestion of starch, less is being broken down into calories in the bloodstream. Over time, that might cause a subtle effect on weight.” The starch blocking properties of vinegar are widely studied. In Japan, researchers found that members of a study who drank very small quantities of vinegar per day had a lower BMI than the control group who did not consume any.
Is There a Catch?
- While Apple Cider Vinegar is largely claimed to offer health benefits, Johnston reports that it does not have to be ACV specifically. Other vinegar also contains acetic acid which is the main starch blocking component.
- Commercial ACV does not usually contain the “mother”. This unattractive substance is argued to support additional health benefits.
- ACV can be harmful if consumed frequently and/or alone. Its high acidity can cause burns and erosions.
- Vinegar may negatively interact with certain medications. It would be wise to consult a health practitioner before adding it to your health regimen.
The claims surrounding the benefits of ACV are well-researched and supported. This bodes well for its ability to live up to the health hype. That said, it is important to remember that moderation is key. Too much of a good thing may not be great. So, reap the benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar the right way by purchasing purer products (or even make your own) and using it sparingly.