Apple cider vinegar is touted for natural health benefits from weight loss to blood sugar control for people with diabetes, but is there any evidence backing up these health and nutrition-related apple cider vinegar benefits? Here’s what the research says about how apple cider vinegar affects your health!
Does Apple Cider Vinegar Help with Weight Loss?
There’s some evidence supporting the idea that apple cider vinegar can ward off weight gain. A study of mice fed a high-fat diet with acetic acid (the main component of vinegar) developed less body fat than those in the control group.
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A human study found that those who drank apple cider vinegar daily for 12 weeks had lower body weight, BMI, belly fat, and waist circumference than those who drank no vinegar – and these results held true whether the participants drank ½ an ounce or 1 ounce of apple cider vinegar during the study.
Another study found that as the level of acetic acid, in the form of vinegar, consumed with a meal increased (up to about 30 grams of vinegar), as did the participants’ satiety ratings. Increased satiety can lead to eating less at meals, likely contributing to the weight loss seen in other studies and giving you a weight loss boost.
image: Dr Axe
Does Apple Cider Vinegar Lower Cholesterol?
A 2012 study of mice found that apple cider vinegar had cholesterol-lowering and triglyceride-lowering effects when consumed with a normal diet but not when consumed with a higher fat diet.
A 2008 study of rats with diabetes found that apple cider vinegar was effective in lowering LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and triglycerides, while raising HDL (“good”) cholesterol – suggesting that it’s beneficial for managing the complications of diabetes, including heart disease.
However, a 2011 study of rats found that while diets with apple cider vinegar decreased triglyceride levels, it also raised both LDL and HDL cholesterol compared to diets without the vinegar.
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When it comes to human studies, a 2012 study of 19 men & women (which is a small sample size!) found that apple cider vinegar lowered LDL cholesterol and triglycerides in patients with hyperlipidemia, but didn’t have a significant effect on HDL cholesterol. However, the authors also note that similar studies found no significant effect of apple cider vinegar on HDL cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, or triglycerides – so more research still needs to be done.
The lack of human studies on apple cider vinegar and heart health means that more research is needed before we can claim that apple cider vinegar has cholesterol-lowering benefits.
image: Authority Nutrition
Is Apple Cider Vinegar Good for Diabetes?
There’s some promising evidence that apple cider vinegar can help regulate blood sugar.
One study found that type 2 diabetes patients who drank apple cider vinegar with a bedtime snack had in lower blood sugar levels the next morning, compared to when they drank water with the same snack.
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Another study found that drinking apple cider vinegar with a high-carb meal significantly improved insulin sensitivity in healthy, pre-diabetic, and diabetic subjects.
A study of patients with type 1 diabetes found that consuming apple cider vinegar right before a meal lowered the blood sugar spike following the meal by almost 20%.
The ample body of research looking at apple cider vinegar’s effects on blood sugar show that it’s pretty effective in keeping blood sugar levels in check – good news for anyone with diabetes or trying to lower blood sugar levels or glycemic index of meals (for more on that, check out my post on “Slow Carbs” here).
Should I Drink Apple Cider Vinegar Every Day?
Adding apple cider vinegar into your daily routine is pretty low-risk, and may help with weight loss and blood sugar control, despite conflicting evidence on cholesterol. So, while it’s not necessarily a cure-all or magical elixir, a spoonful or two daily can’t hurt – and just might help! Drinking it straight or drinking too much might cause a burning sensation in your throat, though, so proceed with caution and find out what works well for you!
image: Authority Nutrition
How Do I Consume Apple Cider Vinegar?
Mixing apple cider vinegar with hot water and honey makes it much more palatable, but if you’re not into drinking vinegar, there are still plenty of ways to incorporate apple cider vinegar into a healthy diet.
Apple cider vinegar tastes great in a dressing – like in my Roasted Beet and White Bean Power Bowls with Apple Cider Vinaigrette and adds tangy flavor to dishes like my Bulgogi-Style Braised Beef with Baby Bok Choy.
Are there other benefits of apple cider vinegar you’ve read about? How often do you use it? Share in the comments below!