Everyone is drinking ACV for its purported health benefits, namely as a natural detoxifier for use in the body, or for stabilising blood glucose, losing weight or to lower cholesterol levels. But does it really?
The juice of apples is squeezed out and then fermented by adding bacteria and yeast. During this fermentation process the apple sugars are converted to alcohol. In a second fermentation step the alcohol is converted into the vinegar by acetic-acid forming bacteria.
Claims are made that ACV cleanses the body by removing toxins from the blood and liver. There have been no published studies that show this can actually happen. If your liver and kidneys are functioning normally, then you will naturally be removing toxins and waste products from your blood, and excreting them in urine.
There is very little research about the mechanisms or effectiveness of drinking ACV to help stabilise blood glucose levels. One possible reason is that the acetic acid in vinegar may prevent the complete digestion of complex carbohydrates by delaying gastric emptying, or by increasing the uptake of glucose by the tissues. It appears from some of the research that it may help with post prandial glucose levels if consumed with a meal, but more studies are needed in this area (1 – 3).
There do not appear to be any robust or conclusive trials on humans consuming ACV and a subsequent cholesterol lowering effect. However in animal models using rats and mice there are. More research is needed to confirm any cholesterol lowering effect (4 – 5).
There is some research released this year that supports the use of consuming ACV with meals. In a recent study that investigated ACV (15 mL twice daily with meals) and a restricted calorie diet (250 kcals) for 12 weeks (n = 39) (6). ACV significantly reduced body weight, BMI, hip circumference, visceral adiposity index and appetite score (p < 0.00). There were significant results with LDL-C, Triglycerides and Total Cholesterol reduction and HDL-C increase. So this study has indicated an improvement from using ACV over just a restricted calorie diet (6). Perhaps it will work for you.
One thing to be mindful of is ACV can destroy the enamel of the teeth as indicated by a study where a 15 year old girl was taking 1 glass of ACV daily for weight loss (7). Dilute the ACV in water before you consume, recommendations are 15 mL doses with 200 mL water 1 - 2 times daily.
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