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Over the centuries, vinegar has been used for many purposes: making pickles, killing weeds, cleaning coffee makers, polishing armor, and dressing salads. It's also an ancient folk remedy, touted to relieve just about any ailment you can think of.
In recent years, apple cider vinegar has been singled out as an especially helpful health tonic. So it's now sold in both the condiment and the health supplement aisles of your grocery store. While many of the folk medicine uses of vinegar are unproven (or were disproved), a few do have medical research backing them up. Some small studies have hinted that apple cider vinegar could help with several conditions, including diabetes and obesity.
So does consuming apple cider vinegar make sense for your health? Or is vinegar best used for cleaning stains and dyeing Easter eggs? Here's a rundown of the facts.
What Is Apple Cider Vinegar?
Vinegar is a product of fermentation. This is a process in which sugars in a food are broken down by bacteria and yeast. In the first stage of fermentation, the sugars are turned into alcohol. Then, if the alcohol ferments further, you get vinegar. The word comes from the French, meaning "sour wine." While vinegar can be made from all sorts of things — like many fruits, vegetables, and grains — apple cider vinegar comes from pulverized apples.
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