Does an Apple a Day Keep the Doctor Away?
While the answer to this question is still highly debatable, hundreds if not thousands of people are under the impression that Natural Apple Cider Vinegar CAN keep you be healthier both inside and out. If you were to look up all of the different benefits of Natural Apple Cider Vinegar, you would see that it has been linked to many, if not all of the following effects below.
Rich in enzymes & potassium
Support a healthy immune system
Helps control weight
Promotes digestion & ph Balance
Helps soothe dry throats
Helps remove body sludge toxins
Helps maintain healthy skin
Helps promote youthful, healthy bodies
Soothes irritated skin
Gets rid of dandruff
Relieves muscle pain from exercise
Let’s be honest, if Apple Cider Vinegar was able to do all of those things, one would have to imagine that it would cost more than six to ten dollars on a store shelf!
So what “effects” does Natural Apple Cider Vinegar have? Let’s take a look into what Apple Cider Vinegar is, and what research has to say!
Natural Apple Cider Vinegar is not only packed with potassium rich minerals, but contains a number of anti-fungal, anti bacterial, anti septic anti viral, and amino acids. These various enzymes help to aid in digestion, support the immune system, balance pH levels, decrease blood sugar, and remove toxins from the body!
ACV is different from its refined and distilled vinegar counterparts due to the process in which it is made. Natural Apple Cider Vinegar comes from fresh, crushed, organically grown apples, which is then given ample time to mature in tanks, boosting its natural fermentation qualities.
When ACV is finally mature, its contents contains a web-like substance, called the "mother" that becomes visible when the rich brownish liquid found at the bottom of the bottle is held to the light. This dark, cloudy spider web substance is formed from naturally occurring pectin and apple residues - it appears as molecules of protein connected in strand-like chains. The presence of the mother shows that the best part of the apple has not been destroyed as it is the host of all the living enzymes, nutrients and healthy bacteria!
Inside of the “Mother” you’ll be able to find the following:
Potassium – helps to fight against brittle teeth, hair loss and runny noses.
Pectin – helps to regulate blood pressure and reduce bad cholesterol.
Malic Acid – gives ACV the properties of being resistant to viruses, bacteria, and fungus.
Calcium – supports strong bones and teeth.
Ash – gives ACV its alkaline property which aids your body in maintaining proper pH levels for a healthy alkaline state.
Acetic Acid – It appears that this acid slows the digestion of starch which can help to lower the rise in glucose that commonly occurs after meals.
So what’s backed by science, and what’s been put online based off of personal testimonials?
There has been a vast amount of research conducted using Apple Cider Vinegar both on rats, and humans. For the sake of this article and to maintain a level of transparency, we are only going to focus on the human studies.
Reduction in blood glucose levels
Research conducted by Arizona State University tested the effects of ACV (2 tbsp.) ingestion at bedtime to see if this would create a reduction in the next-morning fasting glucose concentration in individuals with type 2 diabetes over a three-day span.
Data collected showcased that apple cider vinegar ingestion at bedtime positively impacted waking glucose concentrations in type 2 diabetes. The antiglycemic effect of acetic acid, the active ingredient in apple cider vinegar, reduced starch digestion.
To further investigate the effects of Apple Cider Vinegar on blood glucose levels, another study led by Dr. Johnston out of Arizona State University gave subjects, some with insulin resistance and some without, 20 grams of apple cider vinegar and 40 grams of water. Results showed that the after-meal blood sugar levels of the subjects with insulin resistance lowered by 34 percent when they drank the apple cider vinegar.
How so? It inhibits the activity of carbohydrate-digesting enzymes, including sucrase, mastase, lactase and amylase. This inhibition results in select sugars and starches passing through the digestive system without being digested, having less impact on blood sugar levels.
Prevent Weight Gain
Research out of Japan found that the acetic acid found in ACV, turns on genes that trigger enzymes to break down fat and prevent weight gain. Kondo Et Al. conducted a double-blind trial on obese adults with similar body weights and waist measurements in 2009. They divided the participants into three groups. Every day for 12 weeks, one group drank a beverage containing half an ounce of apple cider vinegar. Another group drank a beverage with one ounce of apple cider vinegar. And the third group had a drink containing no vinegar at all.
At the end of the study, the people who drank one of the beverages with vinegar had less belly fat, lower triglycerides and waist measurements, and a lower body weight and BMI, compared to the no-vinegar group.
While there is increased debate on whether or not AVC can lead to feelings of fullness, and satiety. 2013 research conducted by Darzi et. Al shows that it is based upon personal preference and palatability. Their results indicate that vinegar ingestion paired with palatable foods enhance satiety whereas orosensory stimulation alone does not, and that these effects are largely due to poor tolerance following ingestion invoking feelings of nausea.
Our bodies work in sync from one part and system to the next. As soon as we see, smell, or think about food, our stomach begins to secrete what’s called hydrochloric acid. HCl plays a vital role in the digestion of proteins, and absorption of carbohydrates, fats, and vitamins A and E by stimulating the release of pancreatic enzymes and bile into the small intestine. Apple cider vinegar helps improve digestion by increasing stomach acid. When our stomach acid increases signals are sent to the pancreas, which will produce digestive juices and enzymes to further break down food.
While the evidence behind apple cider vinegar seems promising, there are a few things to keep. I don't recommend drinking straight. Drinking straight apple cider vinegar has been known to wear away tooth enamel, damage the esophagus, and too much can lead to lower potassium levels in the body. The immune system response effects of apple cider vinegar are individualistic, meaning that the vitamins and minerals it contains will vary based upon the severity with relation to athletic performance muscle growth, and feelings of overall well-being.
My recommendation would be to start with a one to one ratio of Apple Cider Vinegar to water anywhere from 1 to 3 times a day prior to a meal.
DISCLAIMER: Thomas Munck is not a doctor or registered dietitian. The contents of this document should not be taken as medical advice. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any health problem - nor is it intended to replace the advice of a physician. Always consult your physician or qualified health professional on any matters regarding your health.
Darzi, Julia. & Frost, G. (2005). Influence of the tolerability of vinegar as an oral source of short-chain fatty acids on appetite control and food intake. International journal of obesity (2005) react-text: 59 38(5) /react-text react-text: 62 · /react-text react-text: 63 August 2013
Johnston, Carol. & Kim, Cindy. & Buller, Amanda. (2004). Vinegar Improves Insulin Sensitivity to a High-Carbohydrate Meal in Subjects With Insulin Resistance or Type 2 Diabetes. Diabetes Care 2004 Jan; 27(1): 281-282. https://doi.org/10.2337/diacare.27.1.281
Kondo, T. & Fushimi, T. & Ugakin, S. & Kaga, T. (2009). Vinegar intake reduces body weight, body fat mass, and serum triglyceride levels in obese Japanese subjects. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2009 Aug;73(8):1837-43. Epub 2009 Aug 7.
White. Andrea., & Johnston, Carol. (2007). Vinegar Ingestion at Bedtime Moderates Waking Glucose Concentrations in Adults With Well-Controlled Type 2 Diabetes. Diabetes Care 2007 Nov; 30(11): 2814-2815. https://doi.org/10.2337/dc07-1062
Organic Apple Cider Vinegar. (ND). Internal Benefits. External Benefits. Data retrieved from http://bragg.com/products/bragg-organic-apple-cider-vinegar.html