Apple cider vinegar has reached super-ingredient status. It is every where! Gummy vitamins, two piece capsules, drinks, condiments and hair rinse. The health claims for apple cider vinegar include reduced bloating, fighting colds, killing viruses, managing a healthy weight and boosting energy. With so many claims, I decided to look at the research to find out what is real and what is a stretch of the imagination.
I am particularly interested to find out if apple cider vinegar can promote a healthy gut. As a Certified Holistic Nutritionist I am obsessed with teaching people just like you how to stop suffering from an unhealthy gut so you can stop suffering and get back to living.
How do you know if your gut is unhealthy?
If you suffer from gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, fatigue, lack of energy, moodiness, skin rashes, abdominal pain, anxiety, frequent belching or stomach gurgling, your gut is unhealthy! You can heal your gut and overcome these embarrassing symptoms. I am here to help!
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Below is the scientific research I found to explain what apple cider vinegar benefits are real. I also added my analysis of the research to let you know if I would recommend adding apple cider vinegar into your daily routine. As with any health solution, if you are taking medication, please contact your doctor before taking a new supplement. Interactions can occur.
#1 Does Apple Cider Vinegar Help With Bloating?
Any claims that apple cider vinegar helps with bloating, excessive gas or any other gut health issue is linked to the actual apples used to make the vinegar. Apples are a great fruit to eat every day. The saying is true, an apple a day keeps the doctor away.
Probiotics, pectin and polyphenols in an apple is what helps gut health. You will get more gut health benefits from eating a raw apple than you would from an apple cider vinegar supplement or drink. A study of apples and their effect on gut health stated: the plant-gut microbiome axis could be of special importance for human health, and raw-eaten plants seem an important source for microbes. (Source: Which bacteria do we eat with apples?)
Unless the drink or supplement you are going to take has been fortified with additional ingredients, you are better off eating an apple to help reduce bloating, gas and any other gut health issue you are concerned about.
#2 Does Apple Cider Vinegar Help With Colds? Does Apple Cider Vinegar Help Kill Viruses?
Due to the pandemic, a lot of people are concerned about catching the common cold, a virus or something worse. It is natural to wonder if apple cider vinegar can help prevent colds.
Apple cider vinegar contains polyphenols. Studies have shown that apple polyphenols can prevent dental decay, have antibacterial and anti-allergy activities and scavenge free radicals. (Source: Composition and Antioxidant Properties of Taro Vinegar)
Can apple cider vinegar make you healthier and less likely to get a cold or virus? It is probably as good as taking vitamin C or vitamin D. However, just taking a supplement alone will not ensure you do not catch a cold or virus.
A lifestyle that is less likely to catch a cold or virus is full of healthy activities. Eating clean, whole foods, drinking plenty of water, moving the body, supplements and practicing self-care.
#3 Does Apple Cider Vinegar Help Maintain A Healthy Weight?
A study was done on three groups in Japan over 12 weeks to see if ingesting vinegar would help reduce body weight, BMI, waist circumference and visceral fat. The results showed that daily intake of vinegar might be useful in the prevention of metabolic syndrome by reducing obesity. (Source: NIH)
Acetic acid (AcOH) is the compound found in vinegar and is believed to have caused the weight loss. Notice, the study was not on apple cider vinegar. It was simply on vinegar. Vinegar is used heavily in Japan both on sushi and in drinks.
This is an important distinction. If you want to consume vinegar as part of a weight maintenance strategy, it doesn't have to be apple cider vinegar. The product to consume must have between 4-8% of AcOH to be effective.
If taking a supplement, the study recommended 750 mg daily when there is 4-8% of AcOH present. A reputable supplement company will be able to tell you the content of AcOH in the product. For example, the product below states they have 5-6% AcOH, acetic acid.
#4 Does Apple Cider Vinegar Boost Energy?
Yes! Any type of vinegar can provide energy. Vinegar provides energy due to the organic acids naturally found in it. The acids enter into the tricarboxylicacid cycle, which is the final metabolic pathway of carbohydrates, fats and amino acids. This cycle produces energy. (Source: Science Direct)
Before you start taking apple cider vinegar, a word of caution. Drinking it can cause harm to the enamel on our teeth. A supplement is a better option.
Also, vinegar naturally contains fructose and glucose. If you have gut health issues and are following a FODMAP diet, some vinegar's may cause gut disturbances. Apple cider vinegar does not contain fructose even though apples do. Balsamic vinegar contains both fructose and glucose which can cause gut health issues such as bloating.
I hope you enjoyed this article about apple cider vinegar. It is important to understand research on the benefits to the body before taking a new supplement. It is easy to get caught up in a trend. Especially since most of us are looking for a quick fix.
A good practice before taking any supplement is to work with a nutritionist who can analyze your unique health situation.
Do you take apple cider vinegar? If yes, let me know your experience in the comments below. If not, will you start taking it based on this article? Let me know below!