The strange yet incredible health benefits of apple cider vinegar for weight loss, immunity and more
Editor’s Note: This article originally published Oct 2015 and was updated and republished Nov 2017
Apple cider vinegar is said to have been used by Hippocrates for treating wounds and healing sore throats and coughing.1 Today, apple cider vinegar (ACV) can be used to cook, clean and most importantly… to improve our health!
The fermentation process is critical to producing the primary ingredient found in the vinegar: acetic acid. The 5-6 percent concentration of acetic acid contributes to the sour, pungent taste, and is also responsible for the numerous health benefits of apple cider vinegar.2
Apple Cider Health Benefit #1: Stabilizes Blood Sugar
Researchers have found that cider vinegar stabilizes blood sugar and reduces the glycemic index of foods. The antiglycemic property of ACV is critical to regulating the sugar levels in type-2 diabetics and was found to significantly stabilize blood sugar in a 2003 study comparing a pickled cucumber with a fresh cucumber.1
In fact, it is possible that cider vinegar acts in much the same way as does the common diabetic drug metformin – without the unwanted side effects and increased risk for other diseases.3,6
The simple strategy of complementing a meal with apple cider vinegar can significantly improve blood glucose sensitivity. A study published by the Diabetes Journal in 2007 recorded a 4-6 percent reduction in fasting glucose levels following treatment of only two (2) tablespoons of cider vinegar at bedtime.4 Another study found that women who ate a morning meal containing vinegar exhibited a 55% decrease in blood glucose levels.5
Apple Cider Vinegar Health Benefit #2: Aids in Weight Loss
When consumed daily, apple cider vinegar may regulate satiety and appetite.6 Studies support the weight loss effects of ACV reporting decreases in visceral fat, BMI, and triglyceride levels to name only a few benefits.7,8,9 The physiological processes by which cider vinegar acts on the body are also contributed to the anti-glycemic properties previously discussed.
ACV may interfere with enzymes responsible for carbohydrate synthesis and blood glucose concentration. Cider vinegar also improves the tolerance level of the liver against lipogenesis and fatty acid synthesis resulting in the improvement of cholesterol levels. The detoxification and improved health of the liver stimulates the excretion of fecal bile acid and further aids in weight loss.10
Apple Cider Vinegar Health Benefit #3: Promotes Alkalinity
Today’s Western diet contains foods ridden with pesticides, sugar, and salt that have been synthesized in a laboratory instead of naturally developed from land. Our bodies are susceptible to homeostatic imbalances resulting from lack of nutrition and metabolic acidosis.
The acetic acid in apple cider vinegar was identified as a key contributor to neutralizing hormones in the intestines and stomach therefore promoting alkalinity.6 Emerging research reflects that an alkaline diet is critical to reducing your risk of sickness, lowered immunity, chronic illness, and morbidity.
Apple Cider Vinegar Health Benefit #4: Stimulates Immune Support
Apple cider vinegar assists in detoxifying the lymphatic system and regulating homeostatic functions of the human body.1 Researchers believe that antioxidants are found in cider vinegar which reduce the oxidative damage done to the body by free radicals and improve the health of our blood and organs.6
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.5 Especially in patients who are immunosuppressed, apple cider vinegar is an excellent natural antimicrobial tonic to rid the body of harmful bacteria and provide immune support.
12 Unique Ways to Use Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) for Health
#1. On Food When You Eat: Both acetic acid and enzymes found in ACV break down vegetables, grains, and most especially meat. Otherwise a large quantity of hydrochloric acid is required to properly digest protein.
#2. In Recipes: The tangy sweet flavor is delicious in many food dishes.Try adding ACV to home-made guacamole, hummus, and quinoa dishes.
#3. Disinfect Wounds and Burns: Apply ACV to minor cuts, large wounds, and burns to speed up the healing process. The anti-microbial properties of ACV help reduce pain and risk of infection.
#4. Treat and Cure Acne: Wash your face with an ACV mixture 2-3 times daily. Combine 1 part ACV with 3 parts water.
#5. Remove Warts: Completely remove warts within 7-15 days. Saturate a cotton ball with ACV and place it on the wart holding it in place with a bandage. Allow the wart to soak in ACV. Repeat this process every 24 hours until wart is gone. (Note that it is normal for the wart to become inflamed and throb during the first couple days of treatment.)
#6. Treat Dandruff: Eliminate dandruff in one week by saturating your hair with a 50/50 mixture of ACV and water. Leave the solution in for 15 minutes before washing. Repeat this routine daily for one week.
#7. Energize and Detoxify: Improve your energy levels and detoxify your body with apple cider vinegar. Drink a mixture of 1 tablespoon of ACV in 1 cup of water after waking up or in the mid-afternoon when your energy begins to slow down.
#8. Treat a Sore Throat: Take 1-2 tablespoons of ACV and mix with 2 oz of water. Gargling with this mixture will naturally disinfect your mouth and throat while improving immune function.
#9. Stop Hiccups: Drink 1 tablespoon of ACV. The concept of drinking pure ACV is that it will overstimulate nerve endings in the throat and prevent further spasms.
#10. Reduce Bruising: Soak a cloth with ACV and gently rub over bruises to reduce inflammation and speed up the healing process.
#11. Detox Bath: Adding 1 cup of ACV to your bath helps you cleanse toxins from your body. An ACV detox foot bath is also a great remedy if you are experiencing athlete’s foot or toenail fungus.
#12. Clean Your Home: Try this DIY cleaner recipe instead of using cancer-causing commercial products that are full of chemicals. Prepare a spray bottle with ACV and water using 1 part ACV to 4 parts water for a simple but effective all-purpose cleaner. Spritz the area to be cleaned, and wipe with a clean cloth. Use along with a sprinkle of baking soda for tough cleaning jobs.