Written by Divinity Nutra, Updated on February 25, 2023
We have all inherited those classic home remedies from our grandmas that seem to be a cure-all solution for everything. The use of apple cider vinegar as a medicinal supplement is one such method that has stood the test of time and remains universal even today. But what is apple cider vinegar, and what makes it so effective?
What is Apple Cider Vinegar?
Apple cider vinegar is the result of a multi-step process exposing crushed apples to yeast, which ferments sugars turning them into alcohol. The resultant alcohol, with the addition of bacteria, converts into acetic acid, the primary active ingredient in ACV known to drive most of its health benefits.
Organic, raw, unfiltered ACV also contains a substance called mother, which contains enzymes, gut-friendly bacteria, and strands of proteins that create the murky appearance of apple cider vinegar. The mother is also believed to be a major contributor to the benefits of ACV.
The most frequently used ACV diet is a drink combined with other natural ingredients like honey. Many users even find significant benefits from using apple cider vinegar gummies or apple cider vinegar pills.
Regardless of your intake method of choice, what makes ACV so appealing? To find out, let’s explore the apple cider vinegar benefits and dissect the credibility of each claim.
1) Aids Weight Loss & Dieting
Out of the many acclaimed uses for apple cider vinegar, the most popular one is its effectiveness as a weight loss and dieting aid. Both anecdotally and scientifically, ACV has proven it can cause a reduction in body weight, hip circumference, and BMI.
It is also touted for its positive modifications on metabolic rate and fat accumulation in the body. Adding apple cider vinegar to your morning breakfast or your nightly routine could do wonders for your diet.
- Read the studies on apple cider vinegar for weight loss.
Intermittent fasting requires a near-to-zero carb intake to allow the body to tap into its fat reserves and burn them for energy. Only 0.1g of carbohydrates are found in 1 tablespoon of ACV, which means that it won’t break a fast. Apple cider vinegar’s role in appetite suppression and promoting satiety after intake makes it the perfect companion for intermittent fasting.
- Read the studies on apple cider vinegar while fasting.
Given its low carbohydrate composition, ACV is also a keto-friendly product. Not only does it help achieve bodyweight reduction and appetite suppression, but its acetic acid and polyphenol content promote a healthy gut environment during abnormal dieting routines.
- Read the studies on apple cider vinegar and keto.
2) Helps Detox & Cleanse the Body
Detoxification helps rid the body of harmful toxins that may lead to serious health concerns. The liver is our body’s largest filtration system, and proponents claim that ACV benefits this process. While this claim is not directly backed up by research, ACV’s antimicrobial and antifungal properties make it a highly credible idea.
- Read the studies on apple cider vinegar detox.
3) Improves Gut Health & Digestion
ACV’s detox abilities have a major role to play in its contribution towards nurturing gut health and treating gastrointestinal issues. ACV encourages a healthy gut microbiome by eliminating harmful bacteria.
Beyond digestive issues, vinegar is also beneficial for several bowel diseases. Not only can an ACV diet help reduce constipation and bloating, but it is also an effective agent for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).
- Read the studies on apple cider vinegar for gut health.
Another benefit of ACV is the treatment for gastrointestinal distress, like acid reflux and GERD. Along with scientific evidence on its antimicrobial resistance and digestive capabilities, anecdotal claims have also regarded ACV as an effective medium for treating acid reflux.
ACV’s high acidic quotient helps it rapidly break down food in the gastrointestinal tract so it can easily pass through the small intestine. Its probiotic composition also helps preserve the good bacteria in the gut, which promotes healthy digestion, eliminating room for acid reflux to flourish.
- Read the studies on apple cider vinegar for acid reflux.
4) Helps Reduce Inflammation
The health benefits of apple cider vinegar for inflammation are clear when we view its effects on inflammatory conditions like arthritis and joint pain. Anti-inflammatory diets often include ACV due to its rich antioxidant and flavonoid composition. This helps maintain a healthy gut microbiome composition, reduces inflammation, and potentially helps autoimmune disorders.
- Read the studies on apple cider vinegar for arthritis.
Gout is an inflammatory disease that can cause severe joint pain. Uric acid buildup in the body commonly leads to gout. Apple cider vinegar’s ability to eliminate uric acid from the body, along with its antimicrobial properties, may help with the treatment and prevention of gout. It can also make flare-ups more manageable.
- Read the studies on apple cider vinegar for gout.
5) Fights Diseases & Infections
As mentioned, most apple cider vinegar benefits derive from its high antimicrobial resistance against disease-causing microbes, including bacteria, fungi, and viruses. This allows raw unfiltered ACV with the mother to have a positive impact on many health problems such as:
High Blood Pressure
Hypertension develops when the body registers blood pressure levels much higher than usual. Many factors revolving around genetics, diet, and lifestyle can cause hypertension, but it may lead to worse diseases.
Emerging research supports ACV’s efficacy in treating blood pressure by examining its effect on renin activity. Additionally, its work as a weight loss agent further supports healthy blood pressure levels.
- Read the studies on apple cider vinegar and blood pressure.
If you’re looking to relieve yourself of nerve pain through an effective home remedy, ACV may be the one. Apart from countless anecdotal claims, research has demonstrated its natural anti-inflammatory properties and associated a reduction in body weight to alleviate peripheral neuropathy. ACV foot soaks or consuming apple cider vinegar could help treat neuropathy at home.
- Read the studies on apple cider vinegar for neuropathy.
ACV’s influence on yeast, particularly Candida, has been extensively examined in several research trials with positive results. Consuming ACV through diet allows you to inhibit and eliminate the growth of Candida Albicans and other microbes due to its anti-fungal tendencies. Topical application of ACV in the form of a bath can also help treat conditions like vaginal candidiasis and other fungal infections.
- Read the studies on apple cider vinegar for yeast infections.
While ACV may not be the elixir you are looking for to cure allergies, it is the helping hand you did not know you needed. Not only does it work to boost the immune system, but it also possesses anti-inflammatory properties that can make handling allergy attacks easier. Given honey’s ability to help allergic rhinitis, drinking an ACV honey shot may be the way to go.
- Read the studies on apple cider vinegar for allergies.
Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
The primary culprit for a UTI are microbes that enter the body through the bowel and infect the urinary tract. Given the dangers of an untreated infection, researchers have thoroughly researched ACV’s usage and found its antimicrobial resistance highly effective in treating UTIs. Its acidic nature may directly help inhibit the growth of UTI-causing bacteria.
- Read the studies on apple cider vinegar for UTI.
While we await definitive research surrounding the ACV benefits for kidney stones, we have many anecdotal claims for its effectiveness. The vinegar is touted for its detoxifying abilities and is high in potassium. Potassium, as a dietary supplement, is regarded as a functional medium for kidney stone prevention.
- Read the studies on apple cider vinegar for kidney stones.
The causes for gallstone largely revolve around the accumulation of bile produced inside the liver. ACV’s microbe resistance may not be of much assistance here. Yet, credible anecdotal claims regard apple cider vinegar as highly effective for dissolving gallstones. ACV diets may help soften gallstones, allowing them to pass out in the stool.
- Read the studies on apple cider vinegar for gallstones.
Diabetes & Blood Sugar
Several studies have shown that apple cider vinegar benefits blood sugar when consumed following a meal. This can be particularly important when meals are heavy in carbohydrates, which can cause blood sugar to spike. ACV can also reduce bodily inflammation, which has been linked to several metabolic disorders, including diabetes.
- Read the studies on apple cider vinegar for diabetes.
6) Enhances Skin Health and Beauty Routine Hair Rinse
Enhancing beauty and skin health is one of the many uses for apple cider vinegar. Apple cider vinegar is a predominant DIY substance for skincare regimens and treating inflammatory skin conditions. Proponents claim ACV benefits exfoliation, curing sunburns and acne, and balancing skin pH levels.
- Read the studies on apple cider vinegar for skin.
While ACV’s impact on hair is yet to be researched extensively, it still has many skin-preserving tendencies through topical use. It is effective against photoaged skin, which includes the scalp, and balances out pH levels by inhibiting skin lesions. A healthy scalp promotes hair growth, and its anti-inflammatory properties may also eliminate an itchy scalp and discourage dandruff.
- Read the studies on apple cider vinegar for hair.
The topical use of ACV has shown significant therapeutic implications on a range of skin infections, particularly for women. An ACV bath can help inhibit the development of skin lesions that lead to eczema, treat wounds by combating harmful microbes and foster an overall healthier skin.
- Read the studies on apple cider vinegar bath.
The acetic acid and alpha-hydroxy composition of ACV helps during acne therapy and skin discoloration. Moreover, ACV soaks are a common treatment to cure skin lesions and reduce acne scars on the skin. Since apple cider vinegar is also antibacterial, it may help eliminate acne-causing bacteria, further preventing breakouts.
- Read the studies on apple cider vinegar for acne.
Side Effects and Dosage
How much apple cider vinegar should you drink a day? Knowing how much apple cider vinegar per day you should take is important for maximizing benefits and safety. You should try to consume 1,000 mg of organic apple cider vinegar with the mother each day.
For liquid ACV, this is about 1-2 tablespoons diluted with 1-2 cups of water. For ACV gummies, this should be 2-4 gummies, depending on the brand. This is a safe and effective dosage for general health and wellness.
Can I drink apple cider vinegar every day? Yes, you can drink apple cider vinegar every day. Most studies demonstrated benefits with consistent use following a normal dosing protocol. However, if you experience any adverse reactions, you’ll want to discontinue use.
Is it better to drink apple cider vinegar in the morning or at night? What is the best time to drink apple cider vinegar? The time of day you take ACV largely depends on your goal. For weight loss or controlling blood sugar, we advise that you take ACV after a meal. This will help delay gastric emptying which may improve satiety. It will also provide the benefit of lowering blood sugar, particularly after carb-heavy meals.
For general health and wellness, you can also take apple cider vinegar in the morning with breakfast or at night before bed. There is no major advantage for either time.
What are the side effects of apple cider vinegar? Apple cider vinegar side effects are very rare and usually mild, especially if you’re staying within the recommended dosing range. However, there are a few things to keep in mind:
- Direct exposure to liquid ACV can cause tooth erosion or esophageal burns. Always dilute with water before drinking.
- If you suffer from gastrointestinal distress, apple cider vinegar may exacerbate these issues causing indigestion or worsening gastroparesis.
Who should not drink apple cider vinegar? There are currently no studies to guarantee that ACV is safe while pregnant or nursing. Even though we haven’t seen any reported complications related to ACV consumption, proceed with caution. If you are a diabetic, use extra caution while taking apple cider vinegar since it is known to lower blood sugar.
Final Thoughts on Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar
If you’re wondering whether there is any aspect of human health that is not part of the benefits of apple cider vinegar, you’d be hard-pressed to find them. Sometimes supported by solid scientific evidence and other times by personal experiences, ACV truly possesses a unique medicinal superiority over other home remedies.
- Good to Know: Does Apple Cider Vinegar Go Bad?
- Learn About: Apple Cider Vinegar and Baking Soda
As long as you remain mindful of its potential side effects and stay within 1-2 tablespoons (15-30 ml) of apple cider vinegar per day, you’ll benefit from the supplement. If you have a past medical history or would like to take ACV supplements, consult a professional before doing so. Always use a raw, organic ACV with the mother and dilute it before use.
- Our Picks: Best Apple Cider Vinegar Gummies