Apple Cider Vinegar is currently the hot topic in many health and beauty related blogs. People hailed it as a “medicine” for healing many ailments which range from coughs to diabetes and heart diseases. Some also claim that ACV can prevent many types of deadly cancers and even help you lose weight. How many of these claims of Apple Cider Vinegar health benefits are really true?
Before that, let us get to know a little more about this ingredient. ACV or apple cider vinegar is made by fermenting apple pieces until the fruit sugars turn into ethanol, which is later converted into acetic acid by bacteria. Strands of a protein called “mother” are formed which is supposedly what lends ACV its medicinal characteristics.
In this article, we shall explore the evidence-backed Apple Cider Vinegar Benefits for health, hair and skin to understand the reasons behind its popularity.
Nutritional Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV):
Let us look into the nutritional profile of ACV per 100 gms of serving:
- Calories (Total) – 22
- Carbohydrate (Total) – 0 gm
- Fat (Total) – 0 %
- Sodium – 5 mg
- Potassium – 73 mg
- Sugar – 0.4 gm
- Magnesium – 1%
- Iron – 1%
Research-Based Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar:
Here are our 6 best apple cider vinegar uses for health and skin. Let’s have a look at them.
1. May Prevent Infections:
There is a mention of the ancient Greeks using Apple Cider Vinegar and honey for cleaning open wounds to prevent infections. A recent study agrees that ACV is truly effective in combating many pathogens like bacteria and fungus which can invade the body and cause mortal diseases like Sepsis (1). The anti-microbial properties of ACV may help in inhibiting the growth of these organisms by disinfecting the wounded areas.
2. May Control Diabetes:
Apple Cider Vinegar may help in controlling elevated blood sugar levels. A study conducted on diabetic rats shows that apple cider vinegar improved blood sugar readings and HbA1c levels (2). It is also known the ACV increased energy consumption from fats instead of carbohydrates, which can positively impact diabetes. However, more studies are required to determine its effects on humans and possible side effects.
See More: Apple Cider Vinegar Face Packs
3. May Support Weight Loss:
Many weight loss aspirants are relying on ACV to get faster results. A study supports this claim by showing that ACV facilitates weight loss by reducing appetite and thereby, the overall calorie intake in overweight individuals (3). Also, ACV can increase HDL concentration and reduce LDL levels and Visceral fat deposits in Obese people. Along with drinking apple cider vinegar before meals to curb appetite, one must also take up a steady calorie-burning program to lose weight.
4. May Reduce Risk of Heart Problems:
There are many ways in which apple cider vinegar can protect our hearts from falling prey to many dangerous diseases. A study shows that ACV reduced blood pressure in hypertensive rats, which can be critical to preventing cardiovascular problems like blocks, strokes etc (4). Few other studies state that ACV consumption can reduce bad LDL cholesterol levels in the body to prevent choking of arteries. These experiments give us hope that ACV may be heart-healthy food!
5. May Treat Acne:
ACV may be beneficial to people with oily and acne-prone skin. A study shows that lactic acid, one of the main components of apple cider vinegar may reduce lesion growths and lessen the severity of acne (5). Also, lactic acid may help lighten skin complexion and reduce the formation of dark spots and acne scars. Additionally, the acidic properties of this agent can balance the pH levels of the skin to control the overproduction of sebum.
6. May Alleviate Dandruff:
Many people use Apple Cider Vinegar as a home remedy for treating dandruff. According to a study published in the International Journal of Science and Research, ACV can not only reduce symptoms of dandruff-like inflammation and irritation but also control yeast and bacterial growth on the scalp (6). The best way to use ACV for dandruff control is by using it as a final rinse after hair wash.
Apple Cider Vinegar Side Effects:
Now that you have learnt the health benefits of apple cider vinegar, it’s time we also learn about the potential risks and hazards of ACV:
- ACV is highly acidic which can cause stomach ulcers, burning and acidity when had in excess.
- Undiluted ACV can damage the stomach lining and lead to serious, life-threatening conditions.
- Throat gargle with concentrated ACV can cause oesophagal tissue corrosion which leads to throat pain and difficulty in swallowing.
Other side effects include,
- Lowered blood pressure
- Rashes and burns on the skin (topical application)
- Damage to tooth enamel
- Interaction with certain drugs like diuretics, metformin, Lanoxin etc.
Those are some of the science proven Apple cider vinegar benefits! ACV is a potent ingredient that must be used with caution. You must properly dilute it with water before using it and seek medical help if you experience any discomfort, pain or allergic reactions. Also, speak to a health expert before using ACV internally or externally to avoid any potential health risks.