From a human health perspective are the “miraculous” benefits of apple cider vinegar myth or magic – is vinegar really good for you and your health or is it just an old folk's tale. There have been some incredible beneficial health claims over the years so here is a short look at this ongoing, controversial subject. There are much too many claims of benefits and uses of vinegar so this article will concentrate on health benefits only of non pasteurized, vinegar cold pressed from organic apples as a wholesome drink.
How is apple cider vinegar made
My understanding is that apple cider vinegar is a natural product, starting with organic apples, which are double fermented resulting in the vinegar retaining much of the nutritional goodness which is the reason for its much quoted health benefits. It contains the “mother” which is basically protein and makes the vinegar “cloudy”. See “mother” link in references.
It is quite difficult to find documented independent scientific research on the health benefits of consuming apple cider vinegar although the Mayo Clinic did post an article on using apple cider vinegar to lose weight. There is an abundance of books published on the many uses of vinegars as well as a profusion of sites online to keep you busy researching for many hours.
Health and Safety concerns
- A caution with consuming apple cider vinegar is drinking too much and there are documented adverse health side affects to people who consume more than 250 ml per day. Bear in mind that is more than a cup which is a lot of vinegar (which is acidic). Caution should be exercised in the amount consumed to avoid an overdose.
- Even though claimed to assist with bladder and infections, it would appear a negative side affect is to create a problem with frequent urination.
- There may also be negative side affects from long term use of apple cider vinegar consumption such as lowered levels of potassium and interaction with prescribed medications. Also overuse may cause tooth decay.
- Always check with your family physician or oncologist if you are making a change to your diet especially if you are already taking prescription medications e.g, for heart disease and diabetes.
Please note this article refers only to organic apple cider vinegar.
Here is a partial list of health claims of apple cider vinegar:
- lowering high blood pressure
- lowering high cholesterol
- losing weight
- helps in relieving joint pain
- helps fight fatigue
- cures constipation
- counters free radicals in the body (due to beta carotene content)
- helps fight acne and age spots
- may help prevent diabetes
It is my understanding that apple cider vinegar cannot cure cancer. But ~ it apparently has the ability to neutralize those damaging free radicals which play havoc with our bodies. There does not appear to be any adverse affects of consuming small amounts of apple cider vinegar.
A good way to include apple cider vinegar in your diet is to use in salad dressings, sauces, use for pickling or canning and it really is quite delicious and refreshing. It's still a popular alternative health care remedy and having been around for thousands of years is more than likely going to be around for a few more !
Exercise moderation in all things ~ Aristotle
The conclusive documented scientific research is just not there to back up the many alleged health benefits of this product, so the decision is yours to consume or not. Perhaps the quote by Aristotle says it best. Cheers!
Along with my apple a day once in a while I enjoy a cup of hot water with two tablespoons of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar (not processed which means not heated or filtered) and one teaspoon of honey (or to taste) usually with a light lunch.
Links & References
- What is vinegar
- What is “mother” - Mycoderma Aceti
- How to make apple cider vinegar the UK way and also some of its uses
- Many different varieties of vinegar - Wikipedia style
from "The Vinegar Book" by Emily Thacker 1994 Tresco Publishers
- Great mouthwash for sore throat. Gargle with a glass of warm water with a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar. Repeat as needed
- To stay healthy and alert : combine 1 teaspoon of vinegar, 1 teaspoon of honey and a glass of (warm) water. Take three times per day half an hour before meals
- Salad dressing : ¼ cup vinegar, ¼ cup oil (try olive) and ⅛ cup honey. Mix well
- To clean soiled hands. Scrub with cornmeal, moistened with apple cider vinegar. Rinse in cool water and dry.
- For shiny and healthy hair mix half a cup apple cider vinegar mixed with two cups of warm water and use as a rinse after every shampoo