Three Researched Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar

carafe of apple cider and red applesOf all the ancient folk remedies, apple cider vinegar may just be the most popular and widely known. Enthusiasts claim that apple cider vinegar is practically a cure all. But is there any truth to it? Does swallowing vinegar a couple of times at day actually do anything for your health? In three key areas, the answer is yes: blood sugar control, weight loss, and heart health.

Apple Cider Vinegar Lowers Blood Sugar

The research on how apple cider vinegar (ACV) benefits those with type 2 diabetes is surprisingly strong! The fact is, a significant amount of good quality research demonstrates that ACV has positive effects for controlling blood sugar. This is good news not just for those who suffer from diabetes, but for everyone. That’s because elevated blood sugar is associated not only with diabetes, but with health problems across the spectrum, from premature aging to multiple chronic diseases. Therefore, ACV may benefit not only those with diabetes or pre-diabetes, but anyone interested in achieving better health through lowering blood sugar levels.

Here are some of the most impressive research results for ACV and blood sugar:

  • In a study published in Diabetes Care Journal, ACV Improved insulin sensitivity during a high-carb meal by 19-34% and significantly lowered blood glucose and insulin responses
  • In another study funded by the National Institutes of Health, ACV reduced blood sugar by 34% when subjects consumed 50 grams of white bread
  • Yet another study published in Diabetes Care Journal, 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar before bedtime reduced fasting blood sugars by 4%
  • Many other studies in animals and humans have shown that ACV increases insulin sensitivity and significantly lowers blood sugar responses during meals

small bowl of apple cider on a wooden surfaceThe amount of ACV ingested varied among studies. Therefore, you should conduct your own research on how much ACV is right for you, including talking with your doctor. Also, experts advise that you should always check with your doctor before adding ACV to your routine if you currently take blood pressure medication.

Shedding Pounds

Several studies conducted with humans suggest that ACV can help you feel more full, eat less, and lose weight. One such study showed that by adding ACV to a high-carb meal, subjects felt more full and consumed 200-275 fewer calories over the course of the rest of the day. In another study of obese individuals, consuming ACV daily resulted in reduced belly fart, reduced waist circumference, lower triglycerides, and weight loss. Over the 12 weeks of the study, weight loss among participants varied by dose of ACV as follows: 

  • 15mL (1 tablespoon):Lost 2.6 pounds
  • 30mL (2 tablespoons):Lost 3.7 pounds

While the weight loss may seem small given 12 weeks, it’s actually rather notable because it is rare in weight loss studies for the addition or subtraction of just one food to result in any difference at all.

Heart Health

In animal studies (but not human studies) several heart health risk factors showed improvement with consumption of ACV.

  • Rat studies have shown ACV to lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels
  • Apple cider vinegar may also contain the antioxidant chlorgenic acid, which has been shown to protect LDL cholesterol particles from becoming oxidized, a crucial step in the heart disease process
  • Other studies have shown ACV to reduce blood pressure, a major risk factor

One human observational study conducted by Harvard showed that women who ate salad dressings with ACV had a reduced risk of heart disease.