3 Apple Cider Vinegar Benefits: How to Have a Healthier Heart and Better Blood Sugar—and Lose Weight, Too

Vinegar helps a variety of conditions, but one type stands above the rest. Apple cider vinegar, made from the natural sugars in apples, forms a cloudy accumulation of yeast and acetic acid bacteria called “the mother.” Many people believe that this rich source of probiotics is responsible for many of the apple cider vinegar benefits for your health.[1] Apple cider vinegar also contains compounds like chlorogenic acid, which inhibits DNA damage, and many polyphenols, which are potent antioxidants.[2]

Apple Cider Vinegar Benefits: Cardiovascular Health

Acetic acid is one of the main components of all vinegars. A diet high in acetic acid has been shown to prevent hypertension in animals, and intake of apple cider vinegar also reduces total cholesterol and triglycerides in rats fed a high cholesterol diet.[2,3,4]

Similar results have also been found in humans, with the intake of 15 mL of vinegar daily associated with lowered blood pressure, triglycerides, and cholesterol.[5] These results correspond with better heart health and a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease. 

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Apple Cider Vinegar Benefits: Body Weight

One of the many claimed apple cider vinegar benefits is its ability to help you lose weight. A study in Japan provides some compelling evidence.

For 12 weeks, 155 obese Japanese subjects received a beverage containing 0, 15, or 30 mL of vinegar. Diet and physical activity were the same for all three groups throughout the test period. The results showed that body weight, body mass index, waist circumference, and visceral fat area were all significantly lower in both groups who took vinegar compared to placebo.

The researchers concluded that 15 mL of vinegar per day was sufficient to achieve these effects. They also observed no adverse health effects from the vinegar intake, and consider it to be beneficial in reducing obesity and preventing metabolic syndrome.[5]

Another study showed that adding vinegar to a meal based on white wheat bread made the subject feel more satiated, and made them feel full longer.[6] Feeling more full may help people to control their food intake and thus maintain healthier body weight.

Although both of these studies did not look at apple cider vinegar in particular, the researchers attribute the effects to acetic acid, which is present in all vinegar types including apple cider vinegar.

3 Apple Cider Vinegar Benefits: How to Have a Healthier Heart, Better Blood Sugar, and Lose Weight, Too

Apple Cider Vinegar Benefits: Glucose Tolerance

There is very strong evidence showing that vinegar can help to control blood sugar and improve glucose tolerance. The acetic acid content of vinegar helps to lower the glycemic index of carbohydrates, which prevents a spike in blood sugar.[6] Multiple studies have shown that adding vinegar to a meal with bread results in a lowered glycemic response to the bread.[6,7]

Apple cider vinegar, in particular, can help with insulin resistance and type 2-diabetes. Twenty grams of apple cider vinegar consumed before a test meal of a buttered bagel and orange juice resulted in significantly reduced insulin and glucose responses in the patients with type 2 diabetes or insulin resistance.[8]

How to Take Apple Cider Vinegar

An easy way to boost your intake is to drink one to two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar mixed into a large glass of water. Do not drink it straight, as the acidity can be harsh for your body if not diluted. Apple cider vinegar can also be used in a variety of recipes, and is good for flavoring food. Try apple cider vinegar as part of a healthy salad dressing, or use it to make dishes like sushi.

Share Your Experience

Do you eat apple cider vinegar on a daily basis? What are your favorite recipes that use it? Share your experience with apple cider vinegar in the comments section below.

[1] MedGenMed. 2006 May 30;8(2):61.
[2] J Agric Food Chem. 2011 Jun 22;59(12):6638-44.
[3] Br J Nutr. 2006 May;95(5):916-24.
[4] Pak J Biol Sci. 2008 Dec 1;11(23):2634-8.
[5] Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2009 Aug;73(8):1837-43.
[6] Eur J Clin Nutr. 2005 Sep;59(9):983-8.
[7] J Am Diet Assoc. 2005 Dec;105(12):1939-42.
[8] Diabetes Care. 2004 Jan;27(1):281-2.

Originally published in 2014, this post is regularly updated.

The post 3 Apple Cider Vinegar Benefits: How to Have a Healthier Heart and Better Blood Sugar—and Lose Weight, Too appeared first on University Health News.

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