The most popular vinegar in the natural health community is Apple Cider Vinegar. It is claimed to lead to all sorts of benefits, some of which are supported by science. This includes weight loss, lower blood sugar levels and improved symptoms of diabetes.
So, is Apple Cider Vinegar good for you? Kris Gunnars, a nutritionist, properly concludes that at the end of the day, apple cider vinegar appears to be very healthy.
It’s not a “miracle” or a “cure-all” like some people seem to believe, but it does clearly have some important health benefits, especially for blood sugar and weight control.
- High in acetic acid, which has potent biological effects
There are not many vitamins or minerals in it, but it does contain a tiny amount of potassium. Quality apple cider vinegar also contains some amino acids and antioxidants.
- Can kill many types of bacteria
Vinegar can help kill pathogens, including bacteria.
Vinegar has been used as a food preservative, and studies show that it inhibits bacteria (like E. coli) from growing in the food and spoiling it.
The main substance in vinegar, acetic acid, can kill bacteria and/or prevent them from multiplying and reaching harmful levels. It has a history of use as a disinfectant and natural preservative.
- Lowers blood sugar levels and fights diabetes
By far the most successful application of vinegar to date, is in patients with type 2 diabetes.
Vinegar has been shown to have numerous benefits for insulin function and blood sugar levels:
- Improves insulin sensitivity during a high-carb meal by 19-34% and significantly lowers blood glucoseand insulin responses.
- Reduces blood sugar by 34% when eating 50 grams of white bread.
- 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar before bedtime can reduce fasting blood sugars by 4%.
- Numerous other studies, in both rats and humans, show that vinegar can increase insulin sensitivity and significantly lower blood sugar responses during meals. Apple cider vinegar has shown great promise in improving insulin sensitivity and helping to lower blood sugar responses after meals.
- Helps you lose weight by making you feel full
Vinegar along with high-carb meals can increase feelings of fullness and make people eat 200-275 fewer calories for the rest of the day.
A study in obese individuals showed that daily vinegar consumption led to reduced belly fat, waist circumference, lower blood triglycerides and weight loss:
- 15mL (1 tablespoon):Lost 2.6 pounds, or 1.2 kilograms.
- 30mL (2 tablespoons):Lost 3.7 pounds, or 1.7 kilograms.
However… keep in mind that this study went on for 12 weeks, so the true effects on body weight seem to be rather modest.
Studies suggest that vinegar can increase feelings of fullness and help people eat fewer calories, which can lead to weight loss.
- Lowers cholesterol and reduces your risk of heart disease
Several animal studies have shown that vinegar can reduce blood triglycerides, cholesterol and blood pressure, but this needs to be confirmed in human studies.
- May have protective effects against cancer
Some studies in test tubes and rats have shown that rice vinegar can slow the growth of cancer cells and shrink tumors.
Overall… it is possible that apple cider vinegar may help to prevent cancer, but it is definitely premature to make any recommendations based on the current research.