Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is a liquid made by mixing crushed apples with yeast and sugar, and fermenting them to make alcohol. Acetobacter, a bacteria, is added to produce acetic acid. Acetic acid is the main ingredient that makes ACV a useful health drink. It might not have the most appealing taste or smell, but incorporating the drink into your daily diet could improve your health in noticeable ways. Express.co.uk chatted to Dr Deborah Lee from Dr Fox Online Pharmacy to find out the five surprising health benefits of taking ACV daily.
Apple cider vinegar is not a miracle cure for any ailment, but it has been shown to be effective at improving a few conditions in a number of studies.
There’s also no quick fix for health and more research is needed to prove the benefits of apple cider vinegar, but the drink could benefit you in a number of ways.
Dr Lee warned: “Don’t rely solely on ACV. All those other factors such as eating healthily, and taking regular physical exercise, are the mainstay of good health.
“If you don’t get these right, ACV is most unlikely to benefit your health.
“The benefits of ACV on weight loss are small and you may not see any difference for at least 12 weeks.
“Choose an organic, unfiltered, high quality product and dilute it by adding one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar into a large glass of water or try ACV tablets.
“Nevertheless, ACV is a safe natural remedy which if taken correctly, along with calorie restriction and exercise, could help you achieve optimal weight loss among other things.”
Here are five health benefits of the sour drink, according to Dr Lee.
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Fitness influencers will claim that a shot of apple cider vinegar a day will help you lose weight, but most research on ACV and weight loss has been done in animals, with relatively few human studies.
However, some have had promising results and ACV has several specific effects which are thought to result in weight loss.
Several research studies in humans have shown ACV reduces appetite, improves satiety, helps regulate blood glucose levels, and impairs fat deposition and storage.
Dr Lee said: “In one 2018 study, 39 obese individuals were randomly assigned to 30 ml ACV per day or a control group for 12 weeks.
Both groups also followed a calorie-restricted diet and the results were very encouraging.
“The ACV group showed greeter loss of body weight, greater reduction in BMI, greater reduction in waist circumference, lowered visceral adiposity index (VAI) and reduced appetite.”
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High cholesterol makes you more likely to have heart problems or stroke, as the fatty substance in your blood can block your blood vessels.
Alongside eating less fatty food, exercising more, quitting smoking, and cutting back on alcohol, ACV could help to reduce your cholesterol levels.
Dr Lee said: “In a 2018 study, the average reduction in total cholesterol in people who took ACV for 12 weeks was 5.1 mg/ dL, compared to 3.05 mg/dL for the control group.”
ACV can also raise high-density lipoprotein, which is the ‘good cholesterol’ we all need.
Dr Lee added: “The average increase in HDL cholesterol was 2.95mg/dL in the ACV group, compared 0.68 mg/dL in the control group.”
If you’re trying to eat more healthily, even if your focus isn’t weight loss, it’s useful to be able to control your cravings.
Apple cider vinegar can help to reduce these sugar or junk food cravings, especially when drank before a meal or in the morning.
Dr Lee said: “ACV can give you better control of your blood glucose.
“Drinking vinegar before eating starchy foods reduces the natural spike in blood sugar levels which naturally occurs immediately after eating a meal.”
On top of that, ACV delays gastric emptying which is when your body empties its large glucose load after eating a meal
Dr Lee said: “With a healthy insulin response, this peak glucose level is kept to a minimum.
“ACV causes the stomach to empty more slowly, which means glucose levels rise more slowly.
“When this happens, there is a small reduction in the peak blood glucose level, and also a small reduction in insulin production.
“This also means you feel fuller for longer and are less likely to get sweet food cravings.”