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Vinegar has a long history of therapeutic use, dating back some 5000 years BC in Babylonia. Hippocrates and Hannibal of Carthage and Cleopatra were fans and, today, science backs the numerous health benefits of this fermented beverage. (1)
Therapeutic cider vinegar or “sour wine” can be made of most carbohydrates: molasses, dates, sorghum, apples, pears, grapes, berries, melons, coconut, honey, beer, maple syrup, potatoes, beets, malt, grains, and whey. (1)
Commercial manufacturers use a very fast fermentation process, which compromises some of the inherent benefits of vinegar. (1) Allowing the vinegar to ferment slowly allows the acetic acid to create what is called “the mother” of the vinegar. The mother is composed of beneficial yeast and an acetic acid bacteria called Turbatrix aceti (also called vinegar eels or vinegar nematode).
The mother of the vinegar is only found in raw, unpasteurized, organic, unfiltered vinegars, commonly apple cider vinegar. (1) Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is a type of vinegar made from fermenting the sugars from apples. First, the apples must be exposed to yeast, which does the fermenting and turns the sugars into alcohol. Then, bacteria are added to the alcohol solution, further fermenting the alcohol and eventually turning it into acetic acid. There are countless benefits of ACV, below are my 10 favorites.
Top 10 Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)
1. Boosts Stomach Acid Production
ACV is rich in acetic acid, which has been clinically shown to boost stomach acid production in folks with low HCl production or hypochlorhydria.
2. Healthy Cholesterol
Studies have shown that ACV can protect cholesterol from oxidation or damage, which is the main risk of high cholesterol. (1,2) ACV has also been shown to support healthy cholesterol and triglycerides. (2)
3. Healthy Weight Loss
ACV has been shown in numerous studies to support healthy weight loss compared to groups not ingesting ACV. ACV has also been shown to naturally reduce the number of calories consumed, triggering a natural calorie-restrictive diet. (1,2)
4. Healthy Blood Sugar
Many studies have shown that ACV has strong anti-glycemic, healthy blood sugar-supporting properties. In fact, in one study, it lowered an insulin response to sugar by 20%. (1,2) Studies suggest that ACV may prevent the complete digestion of sugars and simple carbohydrates. (2)
5. Less Cravings
After a bread or bagel meal, ACV supported better energy and satiety compared to a group that did not ingest ACV. (1,2)
6. Powerful Antioxidant
ACV is rich in antioxidants, such as polyphenols that have been shown to reduce the incidence of degenerative health concerns. Antioxidants are active in the lymphatic system, which supports the body’s immunity as well as detoxification. The antioxidants in ACV are particularly effective in mitigating the oxidizing impact of stress. (1,2)
7. Topical Disinfectant
ACV has been shown to have antimicrobial properties for topical skin applications. Vinegar has been used for cleaning and treating nail fungus, head lice, warts, and ear infections. (1,2)
8. Improves Assimilation of Nutrients
ACV also has been found to slow gastric emptying, which may allow the food to be more effectively broken down in the stomach – resulting in better assimilation of nutrients. (1,3)
9. Inhibits Candida
ACV has been shown to have anti-fungal properties against Candida spp. in a study to determine the efficacy in treating oral candida. (4)
10. Blood Pressure Support
Studies have shown that ACV helps to support healthy blood pressure levels by increasing the absorption of calcium from the large intestines, which is linked to lower blood pressure. (1)
Take 1 teaspoon – 1 tablespoon with 8-12 ounces of water 15-30 minutes before meals for 1-2 months to achieve the desired results.
ACV is not recommended for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. ACV may lower blood sugar levels, therefore, patients on diabetes medications should monitor their blood sugar levels closely and consult with their primary care physician before beginning a regimen that includes ACV, as the combination may cause blood sugar levels to drop too much. Dose adjustments may be necessary for diabetes medications that are taken.
Moderate Interaction: Patients on Digoxin (Lanoxin), Insulin, or Diuretics should exercise caution, as these medicines can lower potassium levels. Large amounts of ACV can decrease potassium levels as well, and the combination may result in a potassium deficiency.