Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is one of those age-old remedies that has made the transition into mainstream popularity. Since the age of Hippocrates, vinegar was used to fight infections and help with all sorts of other ailments, and today ACV has been dubbed the miracle cure for hair, skin, weight loss, and more. But is it really as great as it’s cracked up to be?
Four Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar
1) It could help you lose weight.
Consuming vinegar with your meal can increase feelings of fullness, which should keep you from overeating. One study found that people ate 200-275 fewer calories for the rest of the day when they consumed vinegar with their meal.
2) It’s been shown to reduce and regulate blood sugar.
ACV contains acetic acid, which has been shown to slow down the absorption of sugar into the blood stream. Subjects in a study at the University of Milan saw a 34% drop in their blood sugar when they drank 1 gram of acetic acid in olive oil and then ate 50 grams of white bread.
3) It can clean fruits, veggies, and more.
When mixed with lemon juice, ACV has been proven to clean fruits and veggies and eliminate traces of salmonella. ACV can also be used to clean surfaces around the house.
4) It may reduce risk of heart disease.
Multiple studies have shown that vinegar reduces blood pressure in rats and in another study rats that consumed ACV also showed a decrease in cholesterol and triglyceride levels. And while there hasn’t been much research on similar effects in humans, one observational study found that women who ate salad dressings with vinegar had a reduced risk of heart disease.
What Apple Cider Vinegar Might Not Do
1) Whiten your teeth.
The antibacterial properties of ACV could very well remove some gunk off your teeth, but it’s also extremely acidic. Too much acid can lead to erosion of tooth enamel, so rinsing your mouth with ACV could do more harm than good.
2) Clear your skin.
ACV has antimicrobial properties that could help to clear up acne, but right now there are only personal testimonials for this, no scientific studies.
3) Soften your hair.
The acetic acid in ACV could remove excess buildup from hair products, but again, there’s a lack of science to back up this claim.
How to Use Apple Cider Vinegar
Do not drink this stuff straight. If you’re going to ingest ACV, mix one tablespoon with at least eight ounces of water. You’ll want to dilute it because it tastes (and smells) quite pungent, and because acetic acid can be dangerous when consumed in high concentrations. If you’re going to put it on your skin, you should still dilute it in water. If you’re cleaning with it, you can mix it with water or lemon juice to create a super cleaning concoction. It’ll also go further that way.
One of the most popular brands of ACV is Braggs. It’s unfiltered, non-processed, and organic. It comes with “the mother,” a cloudy substance at the bottom of the bottle that produces the good bacteria and enzymes responsible for many of ACV’s healthy benefits.
Although there is some scientific data to back many of the claims ACV lovers espouse, much of what’s being discussed on the Internet is lacking solid evidence. Much like those quotes erroneously assigned to Abraham Lincoln. So, if you’re going to use it on your hair or skin, we recommend you proceed with caution.