Apple cider vinegar is an acidic, sour-tasting substance made from fermented apples. Crushed apples, water, and yeast sit at room temperature for at least 30 days. During this time, the yeast turns the sugars from the apples into alcohol. Bacteria then turn the alcohol into vinegar.
People have used apple cider vinegar for centuries to help flavor and preserve food. Today, many people claim that apple cider vinegar also has some medicinal properties.
In this article, we examine the evidence and discuss the potential health benefits of apple cider vinegar. We also cover possible side effects and how to use apple cider vinegar for health benefits.
Lowering blood sugar
Consuming apple cider vinegar may improve a person’s blood sugar control.
High blood sugar levels can lead to a number of health problems. In particular, people who have type 2 diabetes need to keep their blood sugar levels under good control to avoid complications, such as nerve, kidney, eye, and heart problems.
Some small studies suggest that consuming apple cider vinegar may help improve blood sugar control.
The vinegar contained 6 percent acetic acid, which is similar to the amount in most apple cider vinegar. All the participants had impaired glucose tolerance, or higher than normal blood sugar levels.
A review of several small clinical trials found that people who consumed apple cider vinegar for 8 to 12 weeks experienced small reductions in their blood sugar levels.
Also, a meta-analysis found that people who took vinegar with a meal had lower insulin and blood sugar levels after a meal than the people who received a placebo.
Aiding weight loss
Again, a few small studies suggest that apple cider vinegar may help with weight loss.
For example, one study found that people who consumed apple cider vinegar along with a low-calorie diet lost more weight than those who followed the diet alone.
After 12 weeks of consuming 30 milliliters of apple cider vinegar each day, participants had lower body mass index and less belly fat and reported a smaller appetite than those who did not take the vinegar.
The researchers found that those who took apple cider vinegar each day also had a reduced appetite. However, another study challenges this last finding. Its authors state that vinegar simply caused nausea in people who took it, resulting in less desire to eat.