It’s human nature to want to look and feel better. Since most humans can’t afford costly cosmetic surgery and personal trainers to achieve these goals, they look for other options.
Maybe you’ve been searching online for home remedies and supplements that might put you on the right path. If so, you’ve probably come across mentions of apple cider vinegar at every turn. That’s because ACV is purported by many to improve a range of health issues from high blood sugar and weight loss to gut health. But is ACV beneficial or merely bogus?
As is usually the case where claims seem too good to be true, the benefits of ACV are both fact and fiction. Here are some claims you might have heard, and the kernels of truth that may or may not be behind them.
1. If People Claim ACV Works, It Must Be True
People tell you ACV has worked miracles for them. You read testimonials to its effectiveness all over social media. You check out products whose labels tell you ACV will make you a better version of yourself. So, the hype must be true, right?
The fact is the proverbial jury is out on these claims. It’s difficult to say that ACV doesn’t work when your friend loses 20 pounds after taking it religiously for a few months. Maybe it’s the vinegar. Or maybe it’s because your friend started exercising more and eating healthier.
If you’re looking for hard scientific evidence to support or contradict claims, you won’t find much. Little significant clinical research has been completed to date. There’s some performed by companies that sell ACV products to suggest it’s effective, but consider the source.
There is, however, little evidence that ACV is harmful. Drinking it can break down tooth enamel, create stomach issues, lower potassium levels, and cause some esophageal burning. Although you should talk to your doctor before taking it, it appears to be OK for most people.
If you decide to take ACV, you can overcome some of these issues by taking gummies instead of drinking it. Just know that not all ACV gummies are created equal. The two promising components are the “Mother,” which is the byproduct of fermentation, and acetic acid. Find gummies that have high levels of both and no added sugars or other substances that do more harm than good.
Take them regularly for long enough to determine for yourself whether they’re helping you. If you notice no difference except in the money you’re spending on them, talk to your doctor. There could be alternatives with more science backing up claims of success.
2. Nothing Works Like ACV
If you’re looking for a single silver bullet to improve your health, ACV isn’t it. Nothing is. Optimal health contains a lot of moving parts, and each one needs to be maintained as necessary.
Let’s break it down. ACV has produced some anecdotal evidence that it might lower blood sugar, cholesterol, and blood pressure. It may help with weight loss and reduce acid reflux. While all these are good, they aren’t all you need to become a healthier you.
Whether you drink ACV or take ACV gummies, you also need to get adequate amounts of sleep and exercise, avoid smoking, and keep your alcohol consumption low. Avoid too much sugar and processed foods, opting instead for whole grains and fresh fruits and vegetables. And always drink plenty of water.
It’s virtually impossible to get all the daily vitamins and minerals you need. This is true if you just rely on what you eat, no matter how healthy your diet is. There are other supplements that might help with issues ACV doesn’t address and fill in dietary gaps.
Taking multivitamins is the traditional way to increase your intake of vitamins and minerals. You also have the option of adding a super greens powder to your daily routine. These have been shown to help maintain healthy blood pressure while boosting energy and your immune system. They also may provide antioxidants that fight free radicals and improve eye health and cognition.
ACV may offer some valuable health help, but it doesn’t give you everything your body needs. Adopt a much more well-rounded approach to keep your body in top form and function.
3. ACV Will Lower Blood Pressure
Among all the claims made about the benefits of apple cider vinegar, this one may be the most dangerous. Assertions that it curbs hunger, for example, don’t put your health at risk. Neither do over-generalized statements that ACV will promote weight loss.
Blood pressure is an extremely serious matter. Simply put, blood pressure is the force your blood exerts on the walls of your arteries. If it’s high, your heart is working far harder than it should and getting weaker than it should be. This can eventually lead to stroke, heart attack, or kidney or heart failure.
The claims that ACV lowers blood pressure are based not on significant scientific research but rather on its potassium content. Sodium is widely known as the enemy of healthy blood pressure. Potassium, a mineral controlled by the kidneys, helps your body excrete sodium in your urine. Otherwise, your kidneys reabsorb the sodium which leads to high blood pressure.
There are trace amounts of potassium in raw, unfiltered ACV, along with trace amounts of probiotics, bacteria, and amino acids. These may help relax and dilate blood vessels, which lower blood pressure. A single study in 2016 did show that ACV lowered blood pressure in rats. However, the effect was much greater when the vinegar was paired with a blood pressure medication.
A lot more studies need to be performed to assess the impact of ACV on blood pressure. If you have high blood pressure, you need to be on medication to lower it. Talk to your doctor about the benefits and safety of taking ACV as well. But don’t count on only the latter to protect your heart.
Fact and Fiction
Apple cider vinegar taken regularly may indeed provide valuable health benefits with few potential side effects. But maintaining good health requires more than just a daily dose of ACV. Many of the claims about ACV are largely unproven. But if it seems to work for you, enjoy the results.