Apple Cider Vinegar—Good for Your Health

By GabbyPA Latest Reply 2012-09-03 17:03:17 -0500
Started 2012-08-20 08:32:20 -0500

Today I found a great article on many uses of vinegar. I posted the cleaning part in another discussion, but this part has been a topic several times. It might help clear up what kinds of vinegars we want to consume to help our glucose numbers. Now that I am making my own apple cider vinegar, I look forward to see how the "mother" in the vinegar makes a difference for me, if at all.

Here is part of the article.

The cider vinegars, made from fermenting fruits such as apples, have little value as cleaners or herbicides. Instead, these are the types of vinegar associated with a number of different health benefits when taken internally. There are two basic categories of cider vinegars:

Regular apple cider vinegar
Organic apple cider vinegar with the "mother" included

When purchasing an apple cider vinegar, you'll want to avoid the perfectly clear, "sparkling clean" varieties you commonly see on grocery store shelves. Instead, you want organic, unfiltered, unprocessed apple cider vinegar, which is murky and brown. When you try to look through it, you will notice a cobweb-like substance floating in it. This is known as "mother," and it indicates your vinegar is of good quality. While it may look suspicious at first, in this case, it's the murky looking stuff you want. As with everything else, the more processed a food is, the less nutritious it is, and this holds true for apple cider vinegar.

Surprisingly enough, while apple cider vinegar has historically been prized for its health benefits, little research has been done to evaluate its therapeutic actions. However, lack of scientific studies is a common problem for many natural and alternative therapies.

Perhaps the most researched and the most promising of apple cider vinegar's benefits are in the area of type 2 diabetes. Several studies have found that vinegar may help lower blood glucose levels. In 2004, a study cited in the American Diabetes Foundation's publication Diabetes Care1 found that taking vinegar before meals significantly increased insulin sensitivity and dramatically reduced the insulin and glucose spikes that occur after meals. The study involved 29 people, divided into three groups:

One third had been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
One third had prediabetic signs.
One third were healthy.

The results were quite significant:

All three groups had better blood glucose readings with the vinegar than with the placebo.
People with prediabetic symptoms benefitted the most from the vinegar, cutting their blood glucose concentrations by nearly half.
People with diabetes improved their blood glucose levels by 25 percent with vinegar.
People with prediabetic symptoms had lower blood glucose than the healthy participants after both drank vinegar.

A follow-up study geared at testing vinegar's long-term effects yielded an unexpected but pleasant side effect: moderate weight loss. In this study, participants taking two tablespoons of vinegar prior to two meals per day lost an average of two pounds over the four-week period, and some lost up to four pounds. In 2007, another study cited by WebMD2 involving 11 people with type 2 diabetes found taking two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar before bed lowered glucose levels in the morning by 4 to 6 percent. Although the research to date looks favorable, more studies are needed to confirm the extent of vinegar's insulin stabilization benefits.

Other Apple Cider Vinegar "Cures"

Although this article and many others advocate the benefits of using vinegar therapeutically, I really think that this is an inferior approach. From my perspective it would be far better to use large quantities of fermented foods to get these types of acids because you will then also help to recolonize your gut with beneficial bacteria. However, vinegar is easier and certainly safe to use, so you can put your toe in the water by trying it first. Garrett, however, has been a long-time proponent of vinegar, recommending it for a number of uses.

"Apple cider vinegar might cure more ailments than any other folk remedy," he writes. Vinegar apparently provides at least some cures for allergies (including pet, food and environmental), sinus infections, acne, high cholesterol, flu, chronic fatigue, Candida, acid reflux, sore throats, contact dermatitis, arthritis, gout and the list goes on… It also brings a healthy, rosy glow to the complexion and can cure rough scaly skin. Apple cider vinegar is also wonderful for animals, including dogs, cats and horses. It helps with arthritic conditions, controls fleas, repels flies, and gives a beautiful shine to their coats."

As an example, Garrett has shared the following recipe with me, which can help soothe a sore throat:

"Use 3 tbsp. of apple cider vinegar, 3 tbsp. lemon juice, 2 tbsp. of honey and 16 oz. water, and warm to sipping temperature and sip. Adding juice from chopped ginger can be used for more power."

What Can Account for Apple Cider Vinegar's Health Benefits?

Many who tout apple cider vinegar's wide-ranging benefits claim its healing power comes from the abundance of nutrients that remain after the apples are fermented. However, standard nutritional analyses of apple cider vinegar have found it to be a surprisingly poor source of most nutrients. For example, the one milligram of calcium found in a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar does not come close to the 1,000 milligrams a typical adult needs each day.

It has also been claimed that soluble fiber in the vinegar, in the form of pectin, binds to cholesterol and helps carry it out of your body, thereby improving your lipid profile. However, apple cider vinegar contains no measurable pectin or any other fiber, for that matter.

Its magic can also not be traced to vitamin content. According to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), apple cider vinegar has no measurable vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin E, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, beta-carotene, or folate — and it's equally lacking in amino acids, lycopene, or any other nutritional elements.

Still, despite the fact that it's devoid of many of the traditionally valued nutrients, evidence of apple cider vinegar's health benefits has been witnessed for hundreds — maybe thousands — of years. So, what can explain this mysteriously beneficial elixir?

It may be partially related to the fact that vinegar is a diluted acid, specifically acetic acid, which help to normalize your body's pH. This likely improves nutrition, by optimizing your gut flora and helping eradicate pathogenic or disease-causing bacteria, and by serving as growth accelerators for beneficial bacteria that typically thrive in more acid environments. This is also one of the reasons why eating fermented foods is so important.

You can read the whole article here:

5 replies

MrsCDogg 2012-09-03 17:03:17 -0500 Report

Apple cider vinegar is also a great hair rinse! Just add a couple caps full to a quart of warm water and rinse your hair. It will come out soft and shiny.

GabbyPA 2012-09-02 21:29:26 -0500 Report

My home made vinegar is almost ready! It has two weeks left to go, but it is smelling like vinegar. I can't wait to see how much I have made and how it works with cooking and my glucose levels. It doesn't get much more "natural" than this.

Tony5657 2012-09-03 08:44:47 -0500 Report

Maybe you've already shared this, but I'd appreciate your instructions/recipe on how I could make my own vinegar. Do you make the apple cider type? (I hope it's not the illegal moonshine/white lightning that'll make us crazy) LOL I use vinegar exclusively on my salads. Thanks…Tony5657 in TX

GabbyPA 2012-09-03 08:59:43 -0500 Report

Very simple and if you have a crock pot, you can make apple sauce too!

For the vinegar you use the skins, seeds and cores from the apples. Allow them to brown for about 24 hours after you peel them. Place them in a jar loosely packed to about 3/4 of the way. Fill that jar with water and cover it with cheese cloth. Set in a dark warm room for 2 months. Check on it every week or so and give it a good sniff test. It will start smelling like vinegar in about 2 weeks. After it's to the strength you desire, strain it and put it in a separate jar, discard (compost is better) your peels and keep it sealed for use. I am not sure how long it will last, but I imagine it will be a good long time.

For the applesauce, use the meat of the apples and slice them thin. Drop them into your crock pot with some cinnamon and fruit fresh. I add some Truvia to mine, but you don't have to. Fill with water and allow to cook on low for about 8 hours or high for about 4. Remove apples and run through a blender for smooth sauce or mash with a fork or potato masher for chunky. Put it in a jar and it will keep for about 2 weeks in the fridge. I can mine so I can keep them in my pantry. If you like apple cider, you can keep the juice and put it in the fridge. I kept mine for over a week.