Why Apple Cider Vinegar is Gaining Popularity

September 14, 2019

Apple Cider Vinegar has been a hot topic in the health world for many years, boasting what seems at times to be innumerable health claims covering everything from rapid weight loss to making it part of a cancer treatment regimen. Apple Cider Vinegar proponents claim it can boost belly probiotics, get rid of adult acne, and even be used as a household cleaner. On the other hand, there are also people who warn against side effects associated with consuming too much of this tart yellow mixture.

Depending on where you look, you might read that apple cider vinegar is either a magic cure for every ailment or the cause of something you’d rather not deal with. The reality is that there seems to be some truth on both sides of the ACV debate. Let’s take a look at some recent research about what to expect when using apple cider vinegar to heal, cleanse, and rejuvenate your body while avoiding the potential pitfalls.

More and more people are looking for natural, holistic solutions to issues like obesity, diabetes, and digestive issues. While apple cider vinegar, and the milky fermented build up at the bottom of the apple cider vinegar bottle, (called the “mother”) may not be a magic cure, it does offer some great health benefits. 

The Possible Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar

No matter how you choose to consume apple cider vinegar, always remember to dilute it, because it’s a powerful acid at full strength. Ratios vary based on what you’re using it for. If you’re drinking apple cider vinegar, try one tablespoon in an eight-ounce glass of water at first and move up to two if you tolerate it well. Remember, it's possible to have too much of a good thing. Going overboard on consuming apple cider vinegar can cause digestive distress and burns when applied undiluted to the skin or throat.

As a general friendly side note, at-home treatments to remove warts, skin tags, or anything else from your body are often a bad idea. People have reported using undiluted apple cider vinegar to burn warts off their skin, and this uncontrolled application of acid can result in severe burns. Much better to see a doctor or healthcare provider about these issues.

While apple cider vinegar may not be the magic solution to all of our health problems, it does live up to many of its health claims. Every individual is different, so it may work differently for some than for others. For example, apple cider vinegar can suppress your appetite if you take it before a meal, which can help with weight loss. However for some people, this appetite suppression may be associated with some nausea. Apple cider vinegar can also delay stomach emptying, which can help you stay full, but can be problematic for some people who are experiencing issues with digestion and metabolism.

Apple cider vinegar may also improve some digestive issues. A 2018 study conducted at the National University of Naturopathic Medicine showed promising results when using it to treat acid reflux. The patient in the study had acid reflux associated with digestive distress from Parkinson’s Disease specifically, but the results open the door to more interest in research specific to apple cider vinegar and digestive issues.

Apple cider vinegar also lowers blood sugar because the acetic acid in it blocks the absorption of starch. This could help anything from regulating accidental spikes in blood sugar to managing type 2 diabetes. However, other vinegars can do this as well, not just apple cider vinegar. 

The claim that apple cider vinegar has the potential to aid in the battle against heart disease and obesity may hold some truth as well. There is promising evidence to suggest that apple cider vinegar lowers triglyceride and cholesterol levels, which is great news for people who are genetically predisposed to heart disease and obesity, or are otherwise at risk. A great way to get these benefits is to splash apple cider vinegar, a touch of olive oil, and a sprinkle of sea salt to a salad. Don’t forget to add lean protein on top! The salad greens and veggies will fill your stomach up while the apple cider vinegar and protein will aid in appetite suppression. This combination is a win-win for the battle against obesity and heart disease.

Once again, always dilute apple cider vinegar before consuming it. It is a very strong acid that can wear away your tooth enamel and cause dental problems. Be wary of any information you find on the internet that suggests you use it to disinfect your toothbrush or use it directly on your teeth to whiten them. Unfortunately, you could wind up burning through your enamel and leave your teeth permanently damaged. Some people recommend brushing and soaking your dentures in apple cider vinegar, which is a bad idea too. If you’re looking to combat candida in your dentures, there are safer, gentler options on the market to help.

Many people report shiny hair after using a diluted apple cider vinegar hair rinse. There aren’t any studies that explore this, but this home remedy can supposedly be helpful in treating dandruff as well. The acidic properties help your scalp shed the dandruff and prevent the snowflake effect on your shirt. Though apple cider vinegar is pungent, this golden liquid is great for an at home spa day. To counter the smell, be sure to use a few essential oils too.

ACV is also becoming popular as an acne treatment. People report clearer skin after swiping diluted apple cider vinegar as a toner on their face. It does contain antifungal and antiseptic properties, but there are no studies to prove the acne-fighting claims. Additionally, some dermatologists caution against the regular use of this strong acid on your skin. If you experiment with using apple cider vinegar as a toner, err on the side of caution; start with a highly diluted solution and go from there. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to consult your dermatologist first as well.

A Word Of Caution

If you’re having trouble maintaining healthy levels of potassium, you might consider avoiding consistent dosing of apple cider vinegar. There have only been a few instances of lowered potassium levels associated with apple cider vinegar consumption, but it’s something to keep in mind if you’re considering incorporating it into your routine. Keep this in mind if you’ve found yourself sensitive to the effects of apple cider vinegar in the past and always talk to your medical professional first. 

It's also important to check with your doctor before you start adding apple cider vinegar, or any vinegar, to your diet on a regular basis, to find out whether it can react with any medications you are taking. 

The use of apple cider vinegar and its various health benefits are still being explored.  As with any health claim on the internet, be sure to do your own investigation into it before diving in. That being said, there are plenty of good things to say about apple cider vinegar. As more interest is taken in natural home remedies, more studies are likely to appear that explore these claims and provide clarity. In the meantime, remember to dilute your ACV as you experiment with it!

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