Apple cider vinegar is thought by many to be a cure all formula for a variety of health problems. Many see it not only as smart preventative natural medicine, but also as a way to treat health issues after they crop up. Referred to by some as ACV, apple cider vinegar is essentially apple cider with yeast added to it, which starts a fermentation process.
Over the past few years many health websites and pages have touted the benefits of apple cider vinegar, claiming it can help with everything from digestion issues and skin issues to weight loss, not to mention just about everything in between.
Unfortunately while their are a lot of ACV advocates out there, science hasn’t entirely proven them right. There’s not quite as much proof out there as some would like.
However, there has been some research that has in fact shown possible benefits to using apple cider vinegar – as long as you use it correctly. Heres the skinny on this popular alternative medicine:
1. It may help manage type 2 diabetes.
This potential benefit comes from the fact that apple cider vinegar can help control spikes in blood sugar levels. The theory is that acetic acid found in apple cider vinegar could decreased the speed at which complex carbs are broken down into sugar in the bloodstream. This means people with diabetes or even those who are pre diabetic or have what’s known as metabolic syndrome could even potentially benefit.
One study also found that by pairing ACV with cheese before bed decreased the fasting blood sugar levels over and above what would be seen during sleeping alone. The with this example though is that the protein found in the cheese may have contributed to the lower fasting blood sugar levels found in participants the next morning.
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If you are going to try Apple Cider Vinegar and you have diabetes, talk to your doctor before trying it out.
2. It May be Able to Treat Skin Conditions.
Apple Cider vinegar may be helpful in treating certain skin conditions, particularly atopic dermatitis (eczema). This is due to the way the vinegar acidifies the skin, and exerts an anti-microbial benefits.
The caveat here is that you don’t want to put ACV on your skin without diluting it. Applying Apple Cider Vinegar straight to the skin can result in burns, so instead try adding around 3 to 4 cups of ACV to a half bathtub of water. Then soak for ten minutes.
Again it should be mentioned here that if you have any skin condition, you should seek a dermatologist’s opinion first and foremost.
3. It may be able to help with Digestive Issues.
The potential benefit of Apple cider vinegar on digestive issues comes from the fact that ACV cab be useful for regulating stomach acid. In some people, who have low stomach acid, acid reflux can occur.
Basically when stomach acid is low, the body increases levels of pH in the stomach, which causes an imbalanced gut environment. In this scenario bacteria can grow rampantly, which isn’t good for the stomach or the rest of the body. ACV may help control those pH levels, thereby benefiting digestion.
4. It may be able to help control Carb Cravings.
Elevated blood sugar is directly linked to carb and sugar cravings and there has been some initial research that’s shown that apple cider vinegar may help control the blood sugar spikes that occur after we eat.
One study showed that two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar taken with a high carb meal resulted in blood sugar levels staying more stable than when carbs were eaten alone.
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5. It may be able to assist with Weight Loss.
One of the benefits you will most often hear people talk about with apple cider vinegar is that it’s one of many Great Natural Weight Loss Supplements.
The truth is that there is some research to support this claim. The idea goes back to the acid in ACV. The acetic acid it contains in particular can encourage your body to use fat for energy as opposed to storing it. One piece of research showed that when ACV was used with a restricted calorie diet for 12 weeks, the people who included used this approach reduced their body weight, BMI, Visceral adiposity (aka belly fat), and even their hip circumference to a significant degree over the group that did not include the apple cider vinegar.
The study above did have some limitations that make it hard to extrapolate to the general population. First of all it only involved 39 people, and secondly there was a 250 calorie per day deficit that was included as part of the plan with the ACV consumption. So the question becomes did the weight loss occur purely because of the ACV, partially because of the ACV, or did the ACV actually have very little if any effect on the weight loss of the study participants?
As mentioned above, Lipoic Acid is a great naturally occurring supplement that people can use to assist with weight loss by way of limiting the harmful effects of blood sugar increases from carb or high calorie consumption. There are myriad other benefits to check out and learn more.