Wining & Dining
Apple Cider Vinegar: Does it Stand Up to the Hype?
11/30/2018 12:15:34 PM
Apple Cider Vinegar

There are a lot of health fads circulating these days. It can be tricky to find out which ones are legitimate and actually provide benefits, versus those that science has debunked. Apple cider vinegar – known as ACV to some – is one of those foods that some people swear by for its health benefits, while others are more dubious. Jonathan Lawrence, Vice President of Marketing and Sales for Vermont Village, a company that makes a wide variety of various types and flavors of ACV, says the remedy can balance your blood sugar, curb appetite, promote a healthy weight, neutralize stomach pH, and aid in digestion and nutrient absorption. "People have been drinking apple cider vinegar for centuries - it had always been a folk remedy for basically ‘whatever ails ya.’”

So, what does science say? Should you be adding a few tablespoons of this potion to your daily diet? Let’s find out!

Claims About Apple Cider Vinegar: Fact or Fiction?

Weight Loss
Can ACV help you lose a few extra pounds? Maybe so! A study found that participants who drank a total of two tablespoons of ACV per day lost about 3.5 pounds more than those who didn’t. However, these people also reduced their caloric intake and exercised, and the results were over a three-month period. The short version is this: ACV might have a slight impact on weight loss, but it’s not a replacement for exercise and a healthy diet.

Blood Sugar Control
This is one of the best-proven benefits of ACV. Taking a tablespoon or two of ACV before a meal can help keep post-meal glucose levels under control for those with Type 2 diabetes. However, since it does impact your insulin levels, it’s best not to do without consulting your doctor. It’s not a replacement for medication, but it might be worth adding as a supplement. 

Reduced Cholesterol 
The only major studies done so far on this have been on animals. However, scientists did note that in the animals observed after doses of ACV, there were lower levels of cholesterol and triglycerides, as well as other heart disease risk factors. The tricky thing is that they cannot prove that ACV was the reason for these lower levels. So, don’t rely on your salad vinaigrette to bring down your cholesterol! 

Lowering Blood Pressure
This one, unfortunately, is a myth. There is no evidence to show that ACV can lower or control high blood pressure. The only study that shows any indication of this was done on rats, not humans. Plus, high blood pressure medication can impact your potassium levels, and a vinegar-rich diet can worsen those already-lowered levels. In short: no, ACV won’t fix your blood pressure.

Cancer Prevention or Treatment
There are rumors that ACV might have anti-cancer properties. While this may be the case, there is no reason to believe that consuming ACV will reduce the risk of cancer, and it certainly isn’t a solid treatment option. Studies done on this have only shown improvement when cancerous cells were directly exposed to vinegar, something that is generally impossible outside of a test tube. 

Bacteria Control and Disinfectant 
Vinegar has long been used for its antibacterial properties – many people still use it as a household cleaner. ACV is no different, and can be used in some cases to disinfect. In addition, using ACV on salad greens has been shown to reduce the growth of things like Salmonella – great news, given the frequent recalls on lettuce these days. While you shouldn’t rely on ACV to make up for poor hygiene or not cleaning your food, it can’t hurt.

So, there it is – the facts about ACV. While it may not be the magic pill some hope it is, ACV does have its benefits. Go ahead and give it a try!
Posted by: Keaghan P. Wier | Submit comment | Tell a friend

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