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From tips on how to lose weight effectively to ways to combat boredom eating, this collection of informative articles covers a wide range of health topics that matter to real people, like you.

8 Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar, has been explored and used as an alternative health remedy to treat a number of conditions and ailments. That being said, does ACV fall far from the apple tree when it comes to health benefits? BistroMD has the in-cider scoop!

8 Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar

From reducing diabetes risk to warding off Alzheimer's disease, it is well-known apples are a favorable fruit to include within a balanced diet. But one of its derived products, apple cider vinegar (ACV), has likewise been explored and used as an alternative health remedy to treat a number of conditions and ailments. That being said, does ACV fall far from the apple tree when it comes to health benefits? BistroMD has the in-cider scoop!

8 Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar and Uses

1. Assists in Weight Loss
One of the most common and hopeful apple cider vinegar uses relates to weight loss. And while ACV may not be the magic elixir for weight loss, it certainly can assist in your efforts. First off, the vinegar is a low-calorie (three calories per tablespoon) and nutritious way to flavor foods, acting as a natural ingredient to limit calories within a healthy meal pattern. Apple cider vinegar also contains acetic acid, a component believed to prevent against fat accumulation, subsequently combatting against weight gain and supportive in reducing obesity.

2. Manages Blood Sugars
Alongside weight loss, diabetes management is another widely explored and researched health benefit of apple cider vinegar. Its acetic acid can be effective in blocking starch, successively reducing blood sugar levels in individuals who manage type 2 diabetes, are prediabetic, and are even considered to be healthy. Furthermore, consuming the vinegar before meals and at bedtime has shown to lower post-meal and fasting glucose levels, according to an updated post from Diabetes Self-Management.

3. Improves Digestion
Unfiltered and unpasteurized ACV acts as a prebiotic, carbohydrates that cannot be digested. But not to be confused with probiotics often sourced from yogurt, prebiotics essentially acts food for beneficial bacteria in the gut to help keep the digestive system healthy.

4. Protects from Heart Disease
Apple cider vinegar may also support heart health, as animal studies have shown its use can lower LDL (or bad) cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Additionally, ACV contains chlorogenic acid, an antioxidant shown to protect against LDL cholesterol oxidation, a noted risk factor for developing heart disease. And not to mention, maintaining a healthy weight lessens the overall risk of experiencing a heart attack and stroke.

5. Promotes Skin Health
Replace harsh cleaners with irritating fragrances, dies, and other chemicals with apple cider vinegar. Though full-strength use is discouraged, a diluted mixture of 50 percent ACV and 50 percent water can help soothe and exfoliate the skin, combat oily skin, fight and reduce reduce acne, protect against age spots, and relieve sunburns. Applying AVC on skin wart may also dry out and treat the affected area.

6. Preserves Food
While most food preservatives and additives are often synthetic and artificial, apple cider vinegar offers a more natural approach in food preservation. The acid in ACV can inhibit bacterial growth (including Salmonella and E. coli) and lower the risk of food spoiling.

7. Supplies Antioxidants
Nonetheless, apple cider vinegar supplies protective antioxidants that defend against cell damage. Protecting the cells and body ultimately guards from health conditions, such as cancer, along with slowing down the aging process.

8. Acts as an All-Purpose Cleaner
Though not a direct benefit to physical health, apple cider vinegar is often used as an all-purpose cleaner to clean kitchen and bathroom counters, sinks, cabinets, and other household surfaces. Mix equal parts water with apple cider vinegar for a chemical-free, natural disinfectant and cleaner.

Cautions and Dosing Recommendations

WebMD warns apple cider vinegar may cause moderate interactions with digoxin, insulin, and diuretics, which may subsequently increase the risk of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and hypokalemia (low potassium). Additionally, apple cider vinegar can irritate the esophagus lining, erode tooth enamel, and place tremendous strain on the kidneys and bones. ACV can also delay gastric emptying, which is considerably noteworthy in individuals diagnosed with gastroparesis, a medical condition characterized by delayed gastric emptying.

There is no determined dosage recommendation at this time, though an appropriate dose of apple cider vinegar depends on several factors such as age, health, and compounding health conditions. And before using any sort of alternative therapy, consult with your primary care provider or other healthcare professional, along with following expert advices and relevant directions on product labels. Ultimately, while there is compelling and supporting evidence regarding beneficial apple cider vinegar uses, its intake should not entirely displace more established treatments and be used with caution.

Sydney Lappe's Photo
Written By Sydney Lappe, MS, RDN. Published on August 11, 2016. Updated on March 30, 2018.


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