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The Power of Apple Cider Vinegar: 5 Surprising Health Benefits Backed by Science
Apple cider vinegar has been used as a natural remedy for centuries, and recent research has confirmed many of its health benefits. This popular vinegar is made by fermenting apples with yeast and bacteria, resulting in a liquid that is high in acetic acid and other beneficial compounds. Studies have found that consuming apple cider vinegar may aid in weight loss, lower cholesterol levels, improve digestion, improve skin health, and reduce inflammation. In this article, we will explore these health benefits in more detail, citing research studies and quotes from health professionals. Whether you're a long-time apple cider vinegar user or new to this natural remedy, this article will provide valuable insights into the potential health benefits of this popular vinegar.
In recent years, research has confirmed many of the health benefits of apple cider vinegar. Here are five of the most significant:
May aid in weight loss
One of the most popular uses of apple cider vinegar is as a weight loss aid. Several studies have found that consuming apple cider vinegar can help reduce body weight and body fat percentage.
In one study, obese adults who consumed 15-30ml of apple cider vinegar daily for 12 weeks lost an average of 1.2-1.7kg and reduced their body fat percentage by 0.9-1.8% (1). Another study found that consuming apple cider vinegar with a high-carb meal resulted in lower blood sugar levels and increased feelings of fullness, leading to lower calorie intake throughout the day (2).
Registered dietitian nutritionist Ginger Hultin states, "Some research suggests that consuming vinegar may help decrease appetite and cravings by stabilizing blood sugar levels" (3).
May lower cholesterol levels
High cholesterol levels are a significant risk factor for heart disease. Studies have found that apple cider vinegar may help lower cholesterol levels, including triglycerides and LDL (bad) cholesterol.
One study found that consuming 15ml of apple cider vinegar daily for eight weeks resulted in a significant decrease in triglycerides and LDL cholesterol levels (4). Another study found that consuming apple cider vinegar with a high-fat meal resulted in lower blood triglyceride levels (5).
According to cardiologist Dr. Luiza Petre, "the acetic acid in apple cider vinegar can help lower cholesterol levels and improve heart health" (6).
May improve digestion
Apple cider vinegar has long been used as a digestive aid, and research supports its effectiveness. The acetic acid in apple cider vinegar has been shown to improve digestion by increasing the production of stomach acid and enhancing the absorption of nutrients.
In one study, individuals with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) who consumed apple cider vinegar with a meal experienced significant reductions in symptoms compared to those who did not (7). Another study found that consuming apple cider vinegar before a meal led to a slower rate of stomach emptying, which can help regulate blood sugar levels (8).
Registered dietitian nutritionist Ginger Hultin states, "The acetic acid in apple cider vinegar can help with digestion by increasing stomach acid production and the absorption of nutrients" (3).
May improve skin health
Apple cider vinegar has been used as a natural remedy for skin conditions such as acne, eczema, and psoriasis. The acetic acid in apple cider vinegar has antimicrobial properties that can help kill bacteria and fungi on the skin.
One study found that applying apple cider vinegar topically to the skin reduced the severity of eczema symptoms (9). Another study found that a solution containing apple cider vinegar and water improved acne symptoms in individuals with moderate to severe acne (10).
Dermatologist Dr. Angela Lamb states, "Apple cider vinegar has natural antibacterial properties that make it effective in treating skin conditions like acne and eczema" (11).
May reduce inflammation
Inflammation is a common factor in many chronic diseases, including heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. Studies have found that apple cider vinegar may help reduce inflammation in the body.
In one study, individuals with osteoarthritis who consumed apple cider vinegar daily for 12 weeks experienced a significant reduction in inflammation markers (12). Another study found that consuming apple cider vinegar with a high-carb meal led to lower levels of inflammation in healthy
Apple cider vinegar is a natural remedy with numerous potential health benefits. Research studies have found that it may aid in weight loss, lower cholesterol levels, improve digestion, improve skin health, and reduce inflammation. While apple cider vinegar is generally safe to consume in small amounts, it's essential to speak with your healthcare provider before adding it to your diet, especially if you have underlying health conditions or take medications.
If you're interested in trying apple cider vinegar, it's important to remember that it's not a magic solution for any health condition, and more research is needed to fully understand its potential benefits. However, incorporating apple cider vinegar into a healthy diet and lifestyle may provide some health benefits, and many people find it to be a flavorful addition to their meals. As always, it's important to maintain a balanced diet and speak with your healthcare provider about any health concerns you may have.