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May 2

Exploring the Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar – Health Essentials from Cleveland Clinic

Apple cider vinegar has been around for thousands of years. In ancient times, it was a treatment for coughs and infections. And today, apple cider vinegar is touted as a weight loss aid, acid reflux remedy and more.

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Take a look at the possible benefits of apple cider vinegar and the science behind its biggest health claims with dietitian Beth Czerwony, MS, RD, CSOWM, LD.

Apple cider vinegar is apple juice that has been fermented twice. First, crushed apples are mixed with yeast, sugar or another carbohydrate. After a few weeks, natural bacteria and yeasts ferment the juice, changing the carbohydrates into alcohol. Then, a second fermentation process changes the alcohol into acetic acid and now you have apple cider vinegar.

You can buy pasteurized or raw apple cider vinegar in stores. People most often use raw apple cider vinegar for health purposes because it may contain more natural bacteria and yeasts. These substances, known as the mother, are the cloudy sediment you see in the bottle.

If you look at the nutrition facts label, apple cider vinegar doesnt show high amounts of vitamins, minerals or even calories. Its potential health benefits are found in substances that arent part of the standard nutrition label, says Czerwony.

Apple cider vinegars claim to fame is acetic acid, which forms during fermentation. This acid may have a variety of health benefits.

Raw apple cider vinegar also contains:

Some studies suggest apple cider vinegar could boost your health. But most of these studies are small and need further research to prove their claims, explains Czerwony. A few of ACVs possible benefits include:

One of the biggest health claims for apple cider vinegar is related to diabetes and blood sugar control. A few small studies found that consuming apple cider vinegar after a meal could lower your blood glucose (sugar). This could be helpful for people with Type 2 diabetes or prediabetes.

But dont expect vinegar alone to keep your blood sugar levels in check. Apple cider vinegar might lower your glucose a little, but not enough, says Czerwony. To prevent or manage diabetes, follow a healthy diet and exercise plan.

Gastroesophageal reflux disease, GERD, acid reflux no matter what you call it, its unpleasant. Many people swear by apple cider vinegar as an acid reflux remedy.

Theres no science to back up apple cider vinegars anti-heartburn power. But if your doctor says its OK, theres likely no harm, either. Read what a gastroenterologist says about using apple cider vinegar for acid reflux.

If youre trying to lose weight, every little boost can help. And apple cider vinegar may help with weight loss.

One small study showed that adding apple cider vinegar to a healthy diet might help people lose more weight. But these findings havent been proven with large, controlled studies. Find out what a Czerwony says about the apple cider vinegar diet.

Apple cider vinegar adds a tangy zip to marinades and salad dressings. You can also add a splash to your favorite sauces and stews for extra flavor.

Many people use apple cider vinegar in jarring and pickling. Its acidity kills bacteria that can cause food to spoil.

Apple cider vinegar has a high acidity that erodes tooth enamel, which you cant get back once it wears away. It can also damage your esophagus if you drink it straight.

To help prevent these problems, water it down. Add a tablespoon to a mug of warm water. This can cut down on the amount of acid hitting your teeth and throat.

Other possible side effects of apple cider vinegar include:

Apple cider vinegar is also available in pills or gummies. Theres no standard dose, so follow the directions on the product or ask your doctor how much is safe for you. Look for a brand that has a seal of approval from a third party. The label may include a logo from:

The evidence so far says apple cider vinegar is safe for most people in small amounts. But Czerwony says to keep in mind that it hasnt been approved to treat any health conditions.

If you take medications or have health conditions, ask your doctor before using apple cider vinegar or any other natural health remedy. And if you get the go-ahead, enjoy a splash of ACV in your next cup of tea.

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Exploring the Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar - Health Essentials from Cleveland Clinic

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