Does Apple Cider Vinegar Work? Real Health Benefits Vs Hype
When you think of natural foods, you probably think of words such as healthy, low-fat and safe. What about “effective?”
That’s where things get tricky. Eating more fruits, veggies, and herbs is good, but the propaganda around the next “big thing” doesn’t always match up with reality. Apple cider vinegar is a great example of this.
Apple Cider Vinegar: All the Claims
Some people swear by apple cider vinegar for practically everything. A common claim online is that ACV supercharges your metabolism, making you melt fat like butter!
Supporters also promise that ACV calms acid reflux and upset stomach. Other people use it on dry skin to "cure" eczema. Plus, like always, some people claim ACV can prevent cancer.
The Truth About ACV
Can you trust any of these “miracle cure” claims? Not really. That said, apple cider vinegar does have some science-backed benefits:
Helping you avoid cravings: ACV can help with modest weight loss by keeping you full longer. Without constant cravings for junk food, it’s easier to lose weight and keep it off.
Lowering blood sugar levels: Several studies support ACV’s blood-sugar-balancing benefits. It can help people who have type 2 diabetes avoid sudden spikes after meals.
Cutting cholesterol: ACV lowers levels of triglycerides and bad cholesterol while boosting healthy fats. It’s not a magic pill, but it can support a healthier heart.
These benefits come from the acetic acid in apple cider vinegar. You can find acetic acid in other types of vinegar, too, but ACV tastes milder and sweeter.
The Reasons for Crazy Claims
There’s no solid evidence that ACV has any kind of miraculous powers. So, why do people believe the hype?
Exaggeration: ACV does have minor benefits for weight loss, but the difference is tiny. In one study, people who took ACV lost about three pounds. This sounds great at first, but the study was three months long, so participants actually only lost one pound a month!
Healthy living: Sometimes, the people who claim that ACV works wonders have good dietary habits. The benefits they see may be from olive oil, turmeric, green tea, berries and other nutritious foods. When you eat a wide range of healthy foods, there are scientifically proven benefits for weight loss, gut health and mood.
Personal experiences: Some people honestly believe a certain food helps. They may even notice weight loss. And that’s great, but everyone is different. Things that are amazing for friends may not do anything for you.
Popularity: Take anything you see on YouTube or social media with a grain of salt. Some people make huge claims, invent fake “testimonials” or downright lie just so they can build a larger audience.
As far as claims about raw ACV and probiotics go, ignore them. The amount of probiotics in raw ACV is insignificant, and there's no evidence they do anything. You're fine just buying filtered versions.
Tips for Using Apple Cider Vinegar
The good news is that ACV is safe for most people. You can dilute 2–4 teaspoons in water to drink before or after meals, or use ACV to make homemade vinaigrettes. Apple cider vinegar adds a pleasant tang and sweetness to Asian cooking, salads, veggies and marinades.