Is Apple Cider Vinegar a Health Cure-All?
A reader recently reached out to us to learn more about apple cider vinegar after seeing various articles such as this about its reported health benefits. According to the article, posted on HealthImpactNews.com, apple cider vinegar can help with a variety of health problems including:
- high cholesterol
- blood pressure and heart health
- weight loss
To better understand these claims, we reached out to Carol Johnston, PhD, RD, Professor and Director of the Nutrition Program at Arizona State University.
Dr. Johnston tells us that there is actually a lot of research, as in “researchers around the globe have conducted human trials with similar results,” to support vinegar’s “antiglycemic” effect. The antiglycemic effect refers to foods that are thought to decrease blood glucose, or blood sugar, levels. In these research studies, this effect has been seen in “healthy adults, pre-diabetics, and those diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.” Those who have been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes need to be cautious when consuming vinegar as it has a history of contributing to hypoglycemic (abnormally low blood glucose level) events in those individuals.
Dr. Johnston also points out that the focus on apple cider vinegar alone is a bit misleading. The active agent responsible for the antiglycemic response is acetic acid, which is actually the defining ingredient of all vinegars, not just apple cider vinegar. So, if you’re like Dr. Johnston and prefer the taste of wine vinegars, you’ll still reap the benefits of the acetic acid! While apple cider vinegar is a not a “cure-all” for any health condition, it can be a tasty and nutritious flavor addition to a balanced, healthy lifestyle. As with any other new diet plan, it’s always best to consult your doctor before starting, especially if you have any health concerns.
“cider brewing” by Matthew Hurst is licensed under CC BY SA.