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Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar Backed by Science

Apple cider vinegar is made by grinding apples and then squeezing the juice out. To begin the cycle of alcoholic fermentation, bacteria and yeast are combined with the apple juice, which converts it to alcohol. Apple cider vinegar has a lengthy history used to cure everything from a sore throat to varicose veins. But there’s not much science to support the claims. However, in recent years, some researchers have been going through apple cider vinegar and its benefits.

benefits of apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar may provide benefits by reducing blood sugar levels.

May Help You Lose Weight

Apple cider vinegar can increase insulin sensitivity, help you eat fewer calories. For example, if you take apple cider vinegar with a high-carb meal, you will feel more full. In addition, you will eat 250 fewer calories. A study in people with obesity noticed a decrease in body fat after drinking apple cider vinegar daily for 3 consecutive months. As this study lasted for three months, so the actual effect of apple cider vinegar on weight loss appears to be modest. That said, the only noticeable effect on weight loss is the addition or subtraction of foods. It is the entire lifestyle that counts. Combine several efficient weight loss methods to see results. Apple cider vinegar may provide benefits, particularly by promoting satiety, reducing blood sugar levels, and help you burn fat. (1)

Can Lower Blood Sugar Levels

In patients with type 2 diabetes, apple cider vinegar has been the most successful treatment until now. Type 2 diabetes is high blood sugar levels because of insulin resistance. In people without diabetes, however, high blood sugar may also be problematic. Everyone should benefit from maintaining normal blood sugar levels. Avoiding refined carbs and sugar is the most effective method, but apple cider vinegar can also have a powerful effect on the blood sugar level.

In one study, insulin sensitivity improved by 19 to 34% and blood sugar and insulin reactions reduced after drinking apple cider vinegar. Consuming 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar before bedtime can decrease glucose levels by 4 percent in the morning. Many human studies show that after meals, apple cider vinegar can improve the function of insulin and can decrease glucose levels. Check with your doctor before taking any vinegar if you are on medication such as insulin. (2)

May Improve Heart Health

Heart disease is the most prevalent cause of premature death in the world. Several biological factors are linked either to a lower or greater risk of heart disease. Apple cider vinegar may improve several of these risk factors, but these studies conducted on animals. Animal studies suggest that apple cider vinegar can reduce bad cholesterol and triglyceride and other risk factors. (3)

Studies also show that vinegar reduces blood pressure in rats, which is an important risk factor for kidneys and cardiovascular diseases. Another observational study shows that women who ate salad dressed with apple cider vinegar daily had a lower risk of heart disease. As previously mentioned, human studies also show that apple cider vinegar can lower blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity. However, these factors should also reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. (4)

May Protect Against Cancer

Cancer is a terrible disease with uncontrolled cell growth. Online controversy about the effects of apple cider vinegar on cancer is at its best. Many studies have shown that various types of vinegar can reduce cancerous tumors. All the studies on this, however, were carried out in isolated cells, test tubes, or animals. Hence, there is no solid evidence available. Some studies have shown that the use of apple cider decreased the risk of oesophageal cancer. In another study, they concluded that vinegar may increase the risk of bladder cancer. (5)

Can Help Kill Bacteria

Apple cider vinegar can kill bacteria. Typically, it can purify and disinfect wounds, treat nail, lice, warts, and ear infections. Over two thousand years ago, apple cider vinegar was used for wound cleaning. Vinegar has also a preservative for food and studies have shown that it inhibits food bacteria. Apple cider vinegar might be highly useful if you’re looking for a natural way to preserve your food. In addition, unverified reports show that apple cider vinegar mixed with water can help with acne when applied to the skin. However, there is no scientific evidence that apple cider vinegar can treat acne. (6)

Side Effects and Precautions

You can use apple cider vinegar as a preservative for cooking, baking, and salad dressings. It contains a lot of acids. However, several animal and human studies have shown that acetic acid in apple cider vinegar can provide health benefits. There are several side effects of drinking apple cider vinegar as well. This is because of consuming it in large doses. While relatively small amounts are good, taking too much apple cider vinegar can be detrimental or even deadly. Most people recommend adding 1 or 2 tablespoons to water or tea. Some side effects include:

  • bone loss and low potassium levels
  • can slow emptying of the stomach
  • can damage the tooth enamel
  • may interact with other drugs
  • can burn the throat
  • can burn the skin

It is important to monitor the amount of apple cider vinegar you consume. Often, be careful how you take it to prevent side effects. Although apple cider vinegar is safe to have a small amount, more is not better and could even be harmful. For more information, read about side effects of drinking too much apple cider vinegar.


A common dose of apple cider vinegar is between 1 teaspoon and 2 tablespoons a day, mixed with one glass of water. Alas, many claims do not have scientific evidence. Apple cider vinegar has several other uses. This can be very useful for those who want to maintain things naturally. Apple cider vinegar health benefits seem very interesting, but it’s not a miracle medicine.


  1. Vinegar intake reduces body weight, body fat mass, and serum triglyceride levels in obese Japanese subjects. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2009.
  2. Effect of diet on type 2 diabetes mellitus: A review. Int J Health Sci (Qassim). 2017.
  3. Vinegar Improves Insulin Sensitivity to a High-Carbohydrate Meal in Subjects With Insulin Resistance or Type 2 Diabetes. Diabetes Care 2004.
  4. Vinegar consumption can attenuate postprandial glucose and insulin responses; a systematic review and meta-analysis of clinical trials. Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 2017.
  5. Apple Cider Vinegar Attenuates Oxidative Stress and Reduces the Risk of Obesity in High-Fat-Fed Male Wistar Rats. J Med Food. 2018.
  6. Dietary intake of alpha-linolenic acid and risk of fatal ischemic heart disease among women. Am J Clin Nutr. 1999.
  7. Extract of vinegar “Kurosu” from unpolished rice inhibits the proliferation of human cancer cells. J Exp Clin Cancer Res. 2004.
  8. Non-occupational risk factors for bladder cancer: a case-control study. Tumori. 2004.
  9. Antibacterial action of vinegar against food-borne pathogenic bacteria including Escherichia coli O157:H7. J Food Prot. 1998.
Naeem Durrani BSc
I am a retired pharmacist, nutrition expert, journalist, and more. My interests include medical research, and the scientific evidence around effective wellness practices, which empower people to transform their lives.

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