There are many health crazes that come and go, but I’m sure that the majority of you have heard of and may have used apple cider vinegar at some point in your healthy lifestyle journey. In 2017 ‘apple cider vinegar weight loss’ was one of the most popular health-related searches. However, is it just a health craze or a dietary supplement that’s here to stay?
What is Apple Cider Vinegar?
Like all vinegar, apple cider vinegar is extracted from and plant, distilled and then fermented. As the name suggests apple cider vinegar is extracted from apples. Once the apples have been juiced, yeast is added to cause fermentation. The yeast and apple’s sugar ferment to produce an alcohol. Then the natural bacteria present will convert the alcohol to acetic acid which gives it its distinctive vinegar taste.
Unfiltered apple cider vinegar will still contain the starter yeast which is a cloudy off-white gelatinous mass called the ‘mother’. Some believe this is the healthiest part of apple cider vinegar.
History of Apple Cider Vinegar
The word vinegar means ‘sour wine’ in French. Vinegar has been used for many years for medicinal purposes. particularly to treat wounds and open sores. This was used as far back as 460BC by Hippocrates. Hippocrates recommended using vinegar to clean open wounds.
Moreover, the British Pharmacopoeia of 1898 documented a formulation called Oxymel which is a mixture of honey, lemon and white vinegar and was used within medicine. In more recent times research has found that vinegar can be anti-microbial That being said advice has been updated that we should no longer be applying vinegar directly to wounds.
An effective digestive system absorbs essential nutrients from your food and has regular bowel movements to expel waste. That being said, many of us suffer from diarrhoea, constipation, gas, bloating and deficiencies from time-to-time due to poor digestive health.
Some forms of unfiltered apple cider vinegar can contain probiotic bacteria. This is the kind of bacteria that repopulates the gut with healthy bacteria in order to improve the microbiome. This has been linked with improvements in gastrointestinal disorders.
That being said some argue that the prebiotics found in apple cider vinegar is not able to reach the large bowel and therefore is not effective.
The way in which apple cider vinegar can promote weight loss is by acting as an appetite suppressant. A study of healthy normal-weight participants found that ingestion of vinegar leads to decreased self-reported measures of appetite.
Moreover, one Japanese study on overweight men and women found that two daily doses of apple cider vinegar lead to a 1kg weight loss over 12 weeks. That being said the mechanisms of this are not clear. Be mindful to consider that weight loss is complicated and apple cider vinegar will not support the physical, mental and emotional aspects that cause weight gain. This was supported by the same study finding that the 1kg was regained in 4 weeks after the study had ended.
At any time of the year, we want our immune system fighting fit. Some claim that apple cider vinegar is the secret to a strong immune barrier. Some claim it’s due to the enzymes others say it’s the probiotics and acid.
An animal study found that a diet rich in apple cider vinegar can lead to a switching on of genes involved in the immune system. This leads the highest expression of the gene for antioxidant enzymes which can help to modulate the immune system and fight disease.
In some animals studies, there is evidence that dosages of acetic acid (vinegar) over a 6 week period can reduce blood pressure by affecting the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS). That being said, the same evidence has not yet been found in human studies. The belief behind why it may work is that acetic acid stimulates calcium absorption from the gut. This is thought to down-regulate RAAS.
Animal studies conducted on shrimp found that a diet rich in apple cider vinegar and propionic acid had decreased cholesterol and lipid storage cells. Decreased cholesterol, fat storage and blood pressure from a hypertensive state is linked to a reduced risk of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease.
What to combine it with?
Combine apple cider vinegar with the supplements mentioned to improve the following:
● Digestive Health
● Weight Loss
○ Green Tea
● Immune Health
○ Vitamin C
○ Vitamin D
○ Vitamin B12
● Skin Health
○ Vitamin C
○ Vitamin A
Whether you get your apple cider vinegar through a salad dressing, morning shot or one of our high strength apple cider vinegar for digestive health tablets, you will soon be reaping the reward of this natural nectar.
WRITTEN BY HARRIET HUNTER, ANUTR. NUTRITIONIST
● https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/apple-cider-vinegar-diet-does-it-really-work-201804 2513703