Apple Cider Vinegar & Health Benefits?

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Apple cider vinegar has long been touted as an all-natural, alternative home remedy for conditions from sore throats to diabetes to warts. But what does the science behind apple cider vinegar say?

Can Apple Cider Vinegar Treat Diabetes?

The acetic acid in apple cider vinegar can help regulate blood sugar by lessening the glycemic impact of carbohydrates. Drinking 1-2 tablespoons of vinegar mixed in a glass of water before eating a carbohydrate-rich meal can help lower blood sugar spikes. In studies, apple cider vinegar worked best in people who were pre-diabetic; those with type 2 diabetes saw only modest results.

That said, all vinegars contain acetic acid — not just apple cider vinegar. Red and white wine vinegars and even distilled vinegar can have the same effect. If you do want to try this approach, talk to your doctor first. Vinegar may affect your diabetes medications.

Can Apple Cider Vinegar Help You Lose Weight?

In short, no. While any vinegar, including apple cider vinegar, can ever-so-slightly boost your metabolism, you’re unlikely to see results unless coupled with diet and exercise.

Can You Use Apple Cider Vinegar To Clean?

Yes and no. Apple cider is great against soap scum and mineral deposits from hard water. And because it is an antifungal, it works well against mold — but so do salt, lemon, baking soda, tea tree oil and hydrogen peroxide. All of which smell quite a bit better.

Even though apple cider vinegar does have some antimicrobial properties, it’s not effective against dangerous bacteria like E. coli. Apple cider vinegar won’t cut through grease, either, because vinegar and oil don’t mix.

If you do try to clean with apple cider vinegar, never mix it with bleach or cleaners containing ammonia. It will create a toxic gas that is dangerous if inhaled.

Is Apple Cider Vinegar Good For A Sore Throat?

Historically, a mixture of vinegar and honey was used to treat a sore throat. However, apple cider vinegar could potentially burn your esophagus. Never drink vinegar straight; in addition to burning your esophagus, vinegar can burn your lungs if its strong fumes are inhaled.

Will Apple Cider Vinegar Whiten Your Teeth?

Apple cider vinegar is an acid. Acids eat away at the enamel of your teeth, which can cause cavities. Cleaning dentures by soaking them in vinegar is also a bad idea; it can put your existing teeth at risk and cause damage to partial dentures.

Is Apple Cider Vinegar Good For Your Skin?

It’s a mixed bag when it comes to apple cider vinegar and skin ailments. It can dry out acne or fade dark spots… but it needs to be heavily diluted and there are much more effective and safer options. It can also help with sunburn, but again, there are better remedies.

A warm bath with two cups of vinegar is good for soothing itching from bug bites. And apple cider vinegar can treat fungal infections under the nail cuticle. It may also be somewhat effective at dandruff removal. However, apple cider vinegar not a good anti-aging treatment, it won’t kill head lice and it isn’t an effective treatment for warts.

Will Apple Cider Vinegar Cure Heartburn?

Vinegar diluted in water may help with heartburn — especially if you don’t see results from antacids. Diluted vinegar lowers the pH of stomach acid, which can reduce the amount of acid that leaks into the esophagus. However, if you have chronic acid reflux or GERD, or are taking acid-blocking medications, talk to your doctor before trying this home remedy.

Can Apple Cider Vinegar Prevent Cancer?

One preliminary study suggested that exposing leukemia and other cancer cells to sugar cane vinegar and Japanese rice vinegar can inhibit growth. Another showed that, in mice and rats, adding rice vinegar to the diet slowed tumor growth. No human studies have been conducted.

The Final Word

Apple cider vinegar has very few proven health benefits, despite its reputation as an all-natural cure-all. If you do want to try apple cider vinegar as a homeopathic treatment, talk to your doctor first. And remember to never drink any vinegar straight; the best way to add vinegar to your diet is on a salad.

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