By Cat, Jan 2017 (photo, right, from Wikimedia Commons) NOTE: This posting is not yet completed; watch for updates!
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) has been in the news lately because of its lowering affect on blood sugar, especially when taken at bedtime. One tablespoon is the recommended daily dose for this application. I already take two ACV in capsules in morning and afternoon (4 capsules are equivalent to 1 tablespoon liquid ACV). For me, increasing the dose causes problems with acid reflux at night. So I will try taking the afternoon dose at bedtime instead.
This fall I discovered the benefit of gargling with ACV to relieve a sore or scratchy throat (see my posting Sage & Thyme Gargle or Tea for Sore Throat). Or sipping on a combination of ACV with honey and ginger can also relieve a sore/scratchy throat (see my posting Apple Cider Vinegar & Ginger Drizzle/Tea for Sore Throat. So I wonder, what other health benefits does it provide?
The best kind of vinegar to use is the one with “The Mother.” What is that? It looks a lot darker than regular ACV, and has tiny bits floating in the vinegar. Those tiny bits are “The Mother,” which is full of gut-friendly probiotics or, more specifically, acetic acid bacteria. (11) See image, left, from Amazon (Bragg brand) (12).
Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)
NOTE: Rather than drinking ACV straight, dilute it in a few teaspoons (or a cup) of water to help mask its astringent flavor. Adding a bit of raw local honey also helps with the flavor. If you still cannot tolerate its taste, start with just ½ – 1 teaspoon in a cup of water, and slowly increase the vinegar over several days.
Lowering blood sugar and insulin levels
Those with insulin resistance, type-2 diabetes, hypoglycemia and metabolic syndrome (includes high blood pressure, arthritis, clogged arteries/heart disease, elevated blood insulin, and elevated blood sugar) take note:
Add 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar to 10-oz glass of water. Sweeten with stevia or raw local honey. (NOTE: some recommend balsamic vinegar instead of apple cider vinegar, as its sweeter flavor is easier on the taste buds, but I’ve not seen any research about its use in this way).
This remedy is supported by research:
- In 2004, a well-designed study cited in the American Diabetes Foundation’s publication Diabetes Care (2) found that taking vinegar before meals significantly increased insulin sensitivity and dramatically reduced the insulin and glucose spikes that occur after meals.
- In the same 2004 study (2), those with pre-diabetes (insulin resistance) improved their blood glucose levels by almost half, and the subjects with type 2 diabetes cut their blood glucose levels by 25 percent.
- A follow-up study (reported in Science News (3) geared at testing vinegar’s long-term effects yielded an unexpected but pleasant side effect: moderate weight loss.
- In 2007, another study cited by WebMD (4), found that people with type 2 diabetes who took two tablespoons of ACV before bed lowered their fasting glucose levels in the morning by 4 to 6 percent.
- A 2009 study in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry (5) caught my eye: it reported a study on mice that were fed a high-fat diet along with the active ingredient in apple cider vinegar: acetic acid. The mice had 10% lower body weight than the control subjects. This affect is attributed by the researchers to the ability of acetic acid (the active ingredient in ACV) to “turn on” trigger genes that initiate enzymes ability to break down fat, preventing weight gain. The acetic acid also helps by making you feel full (likely by affecting the hormone leptin, which is produced by the body’s fat cells in direct proportion to the amount of fat stored in the body. (6, 7))
- A related 2009 double-blind study in Japan and published in Bioscience, Biotechnology and Biochemistry (8) found similar results with obese humans (as the above study on mice). They conclude, “In conclusion, daily intake of vinegar might be useful in the prevention of metabolic syndrome by reducing obesity).
Balancing/healing our gut microbiome is in the news a lot these days, as medicine and science discover the importance of a healthy gut for our overall health and strong immune system. Mercola writes: “For everyday gut health, a mixture of 2 teaspoons of ACV with a teaspoon of raw honey in a cup of warm water will help (1).”
Immune Support and Effects on Cancer Cells
Another thing apple cider vinegar provides is detoxification of your lymphatic system, which then helps optimize homeostatic function in your body. This may be as a result of the antioxidants in ACV reducing oxidative damage by free radicals, while improving both your blood and organs. (1) The Truth About Cancer (10) says:
“Cider vinegar was recently determined to be a strong antimicrobial agent and alternative to toxic and expensive chemical disinfectants. One of the most fatal bacterium, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, is resistant to disinfectants but is found to be killed by acetic acid.(2a)
Especially in patients who are immunosuppressed, apple cider vinegar is an excellent natural antimicrobial tonic to rid of harmful bacteria and provide immune support.” (5)
Several test-tube studies show that vinegar can kill cancer cells. Authority Nutrition cites several studies; one in particular in Japan used several types of fermented vinegars to induce apoptosis (programmed cell death) in leukemia cells. (1,9)
In another study, malignant breast and colon tumors, as well as lung, bladder and prostate cancers, were all inhibited using rice vinegar; especially the cancerous colon tumors, which were inhibited by 62 percent. (2b)
- Mercola article: articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2017/01/02/taking-apple-cider-vinegar-at-night.aspx
- Diabetes Care: (a) care.diabetesjournals.org/content/27/1/281.full and (b) care.diabetesjournals.org/content/30/11/2814.full
- Science News: sciencenews.org/view/generic/id/5732/title/Vinegar_as_a_Sweet_Solution%3F
- WebMD: webmd.com/diet/apple-cider-vinegar?page=2
- Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry: J Agric Food Chem. 2009,57(13),5982-5986
- The Daily Beast: The Science behind Feeling Full: thedailybeast.com/articles/2008/11/26/the-science-behind-feeling-full.html
- Nutrition Wonderland: nutritionwonderland.com/2009/06/understanding-our-bodies-leptin-the-fullness-hormone
- Bioscience, Biotechnology and Biochemistry ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19661687
- Biofactors, 2004 Biofactors. 2004;22(1-4):93-7 ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15630260/
- Mercola quoting from The Truth About Cancer (TTAC) documentary: go.thetruthaboutcancer.com (link for free access to videos)
- Amazon image: amazon.com/Bragg-Organic-Vinegar-Mother-Certified/dp/B00ELN03S6/ref=sr_1_10