Debunking apple cider vinegar myths

Dear Dietitian,

Can you compromise a wager between my sister and me? She says apple cider vinegar has many well being advantages and that it even will help with weight reduction. I say that’s bologna. What do you say?

Thank you,


Dear Jenny,

If you take a look at apple cider vinegar (ACV) on the web, you’ll discover makes use of for it from weight reduction to blood sugar administration to most cancers remedy. How is one to know what to imagine?

Apple cider vinegar, or simply cider vinegar, is constructed from apples and water which have fermented over time, producing alcohol. Then a bacterium often called Acetobacter converts the alcohol to acetic acid, and the concoction turns into vinegar. Some declare that ACV is wealthy in micronutrients and antioxidants. The reality is it accommodates principally water, about four% acetic acid, and small quantities of potassium and carbohydrate.

Cider vinegar has an extended and wealthy historical past. It is alleged that Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine, prescribed it together with honey to alleviate a cough. It was additionally used as a disinfectant to scrub wounds. The acetic acid would remove micro organism, which might assist forestall infections.

Vinegar was additionally used to make posca, a drink widespread in historical Greece and Rome. Posca was constructed from wine vinegar, diluted with water, and flavored with herbs. It was consumed by troopers, the decrease financial courses, and slaves. The acid within the vinegar destroyed germs in in any other case unclean water.

Vinegar remains to be used in the present day as an affordable cleansing agent. It cleans home windows and flooring and may even assist take away the disagreeable odor of pet urine in carpet by neutralizing uric acid. Of course, ACV is utilized in salad dressings and different recipes.

As far as ACV well being research, there are few and they’re small. A randomized, managed trial of 39 contributors studied its impact on weight reduction. All the volunteers have been placed on a calorie-restricted weight-reduction plan for 12 weeks. One group was given 30 mL/day of ACV, whereas the opposite group was given placebo. The ACV group misplaced extra weight and had lowered ranges of triglycerides and whole ldl cholesterol in comparison with the management group (1). This examine is enormously restricted by its small measurement. It is just too small to attract any actual scientific conclusion. If the examine contained 100 folks within the management group and 100 within the ACV group, it’d entice consideration.

In one other small examine of 29 folks, ACV was discovered to enhance post-meal blood sugar ranges in those that have been insulin resistant or had kind 2 diabetes. It was proposed that vinegar prevented the breakdown and absorption of some starches, thereby reducing blood sugar (2). The similar limitation of small examine measurement applies right here.

A false impression exists that the acid in vinegar can deal with or forestall most cancers. Although a examine discovered that tumor cells died when handled with cider vinegar, these exams have been executed in a laboratory and haven’t any indication of its use within the human physique. The similar goes for the speculation that most cancers grows extra rapidly in an acidic setting. These exams have been carried out on most cancers cells in a lab. The human physique has a built-in mechanism that always regulates pH stability, and it’s not affected by what we eat or drink.

As with absolutely anything, ACV has potential dangerous results. Full-strength ACV may cause erosion of tooth enamel, which can result in decay. It also can trigger mouth sores and set off gastric reflux. Proponents suggest diluting ACV with water earlier than ingesting it.

In abstract, apple cider vinegar has versatile makes use of as a cleansing agent and meals ingredient. However, there isn’t a vital medical proof to assist any well being claims of ACV, and its use just isn’t advisable in medical tips of any main public well being group (three).

That ought to settle the wager.

Until subsequent time, be wholesome!

Dear Dietitian


1. Khezri, S, et al. Beneficial results of apple cider vinegar on weight administration, visceral adiposity index and lipid profile in obese or overweight topics receiving restricted calorie weight-reduction plan: a randomized medical trial. Journal of Functional Foods 2018 Apr (43): 95-102.

2. Johnston, C, et al. Vinegar improves insulin sensitivity to a high-carbohydrate meal in topics with insulin resistance or kind 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care 2004 Jan; 27 (1): 281-282.

three. Apple Cider Vinegar. Retrieved from

Leanne McCrate is an award-winning dietitian primarily based in Missouri. Her mission is to teach the general public on sound, evidence-based diet. Do you might have a diet query? Email her at

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