Wellbeing The benefits of apple-cider vinegar

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written by Dr Karen Bridgman

wellbeing The Benefits Of Apple Cider Vinegar Image: Towfiqu Barbhuiya | Unsplash

The use of vinegars generally, and apple-cider vinegar in particular, as a condiment and food ingredient spans thousands of years across many cultures. It is used for everything, from controlling blood sugar and weight to managing cholesterol.

Apple-cider vinegar (ACV) is made from fermented apple juice. It is made from fermented apple juice. Continued fermentation is when alcohol is converted to vinegar by Acetic acid-forming bacteria (Acetobacter species). Vinegar’s sour flavor is due to the acetic acid as well as malic acid. Vinegar can also made from apple peels (APCV).

One study found that apple-cider vinegar was effective in dressing salads in improving the glycaemic response of normal subjects to mixed meals.

. While vinegar can be made almost from any fermentable carbohydrate source (the French name for vinegar comes from the French word vin aigre meaning “sour wine”), traditional apple-cider vinegar is made using a slower fermentation process and a longer fermentation time than vinegar made from grapes. This allows for the accumulation of a nontoxic “slime” made of yeasts as well as acetic acid bacteria known as the “mother” vinegar. The quality of the raw materials as well as the diversity of the microbes involved in fermentation determine the final product’s quality. Higher sugar levels in apples result in higher nutrient density and increased antioxidant activity.

Historically, in 400 BCE Hippocrates was prescribing a mixture of honey and apple-cider vinegar for the treatment of a variety of diseases, and ACV was found particularly useful during the American Civil War for disinfecting the wounds of soldiers when used topically.

Wellbeing Ingredients

Apart from the acetic and malic acids, apple-cider vinegar contains vitamins, mineral salts, amino acids and polyphenolic compounds such as catechins, caffeic acid, chlorogenic acid, gallic acid etc. Cider vinegars have a pH of 5-6 percent.

*Although polyphenolic compounds found in ACV are known to have antioxidant properties, APCV has a high level of gallic acid, catechin, epicatechin and chlorogenic acid. It also contains p-coumaric acids and caffeic acid. It is believed that APCV can improve the function and physiological state of vital organs by acting as a detoxifying or purifying agent.

Wellbeing Healing power

Blood sugar management

One study showed that taking apple-cider vinegar in salad dressing was sufficient to improve the glycaemic response to a mixed meal in normal subjects. The acidity of the food was the reason for this improvement. Additional studies have confirmed this improvement in insulin sensitivity and glucose management after carbohydrate meals such as bread or potatoes containing apple cider vinegar. This was not due to delayed gastric emptying as the research suggested, but could be related to disaccharidase enzyme activation. However, a study on diabetic patients showed that apple cider vinegar was able to delay gastric emptying when taken with meals.

Weight control and digestion

Adding apple-cider vinegar to a meal increases short-term satiety, possibly due to the delayed gastric emptying. It has been shown that apple-cider vinegar can reduce gastrointestinal inflammation. The vinegar’s acidity indicates that it can improve protein digestion when consumed with a meal.


The SOD activity in good-quality apple-cider vinegar is one of two main antioxidant defence systems in the prevention of cardiovascular disease and is critical in preventing the pathogenesis of hypertension and atherosclerosis. It is essential for the health and function of the vascular endothelial system and mitochondrial.

Cholesterol management

In rat studies, apple-cider vinegar has been shown to significantly improve cholesterol metabolism by lowering both the triglyceride and very-low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) components of cholesterol in rats fed high cholesterol diets. Additional studies showed that there was a significant improvement in cholesterol management, both in diabetic and normal rats. The HbA1c in diabetic rats was significantly lower than in the normal group. There was also a significant decrease in LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and triglycerides. In diabetic rats, there was an increase in HDL (“good”) cholesterol. This suggests that there is potential for management of diabetes complications.

Antibacterial and antifungal

Apple-cider vinegar was tested at different dilutions against a range of pathogenic organisms and was found to be effective against pathogenic E. coli, Staphylococcus aureus and Candida albicans by down-regulating cytokine inflammatory pathways.

Liver health

An interesting study on rats showed that apple-cider vinegar reduced mercury damage in the livers of rats tested, due to its powerful antioxidant properties.

Topically for varicose veins

In a human study, when patients with varicose veins applied apple-cider vinegar on the areas of varicosity, it was found to increase the benefits of conservative medical treatment and significantly decrease the symptoms of the varicosities such as pain and heavy feelings in the legs. It has no side effects and can lower anxiety.

Wellbeing Using apple-cider vinegar

Apple-cider vinegar has been used to improve human health for millennia. Although there are not many human trials, more research is possible. However, the positive studies in rats suggest that this food could continue to be used for health support.

. If you drink apple cider vinegar every day, it’s a good idea for your mouth to be rinsed afterward, as the vinegar can cause tooth enamel erosion.

Karen Bridgman is a holistic practitioner at Lotus Health and Lotus Dental in Neutral Bay.

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