The Science Behind Apple Cider Vinegar
The health benefits of apple cider vinegar have drawn attention recently as many people claim it as a superfood and remedy for several diseases. But what have the experts got to say so far?
There have been a few studies on rats and small trials done on humans that have shown that apple cider vinegar does improve the weight loss compared to a placebo. A few doctors agree that it can boost weight loss but the effects are seen best when it is combined with a healthy diet and exercise. So the apple cider vinegar has to be part of a weight loss plan and not the only component to see the best benefits.
Heart disease and diabetes
Studies have effectively shown that apple cider vinegar reduces the effect of major contributors to heart disease, such as blood pressure and cholesterol. These studies are limited to animal models and there aren’t any long-term studies on humans yet. These sort of studies take a very long time to complete on humans and so the research may only be released in a few years time, but it is a promising sign.
Studies of also shown that apple cider vinegar helps to control blood sugar levels which is an important way of managing, and possibly preventing, diabetes.
Cancer is another complex area which requires long-term studies for humans but animal model studies show that certain kinds of cancers reduce tumor numbers when exposed to vinegar. This means that apple cider vinegar could theoretically have a preventative effect towards cancer and, as research progresses, may be formulated in ways that are more effective at targeting certain tumors.
Apple cider vinegar can be quite effective at relieving a sore throat and cough when mixed with other ingredients like honey. Several rural countries have already implemented a low-cost cough mixture in their healthcare system that includes vinegar as one of its components. It is important, however, to dilute the apple cider vinegar and mix it with other ingredients so that it doesn’t cause irritation to the throat.
There are several anecdotal claims that apple cider vinegar can whiten teeth when it is applied directly with a cotton swab or by rinsing your mouth with it. At the moment experts caution against this because there is more evidence of harm than benefit.
Healthier skin, nails and hair
Apple cider vinegar can have several benefits when applied directly to the skin, hair, and nails. It is quite effective it drying out pimples and fading dark spots. It speeds up the healing of mosquito bites and sunburn too. It can be applied to the hair to reduce dandruff and to the nails to treat paronychia (a cuticle infection). There is a lot of debate about the effects in this of apple cider vinegar compared to other products but its ability to do these things is not disputed. Most experts agree that it must be diluted before use in a ratio of about 10 parts water to 1 part apple cider vinegar.
Due to the novelty of the research, there is still a lot of debate about the health benefits of apple cider vinegar. The strongest evidence seems to be that it is effective for weight loss and good at supporting normal health as a measure of fighting chronic diseases. There doesn’t seem to be any harm in trying it, but always make sure to consult a healthcare professional and to dilute it.