Apple Cider Vinegar : A Cure All?

Over the years, I’ve read and heard many accounts of the benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar.  Let’s call it ACV for short.  I like to think of it as a more convenient, direct and cheap health tonic than Kombucha.

Now, I’m not talking about a cheap bottle of Heinz ACV you can grab from any old grocery store…I’m talking about a raw, organic ACV from Braggs.  The Braggs family has been a significant force in the DIY health movement for many decades.  Read their fascinating story here.

I’m not schilling for Braggs or getting paid by them to write this; if there’s another comparable raw organic ACV brand out there, go for it.  But I don’t personally know of any.

Anyway, the constant positive reports have always had me curious.  Finding a controlled scientific study is a lot harder, of course.  Let’s not forget that part of why it’s very difficult to find controlled scientific studies on natural home remedies/alternatives is because there’s no money to be made for big pharmaceutical on such studies!  Why would anyone want to fund a study that could prove that we have a cheap, accessible tool to manage our own health?

Among the listed benefits:

  • Potassium, a mineral key for growth, building muscles, transmission of nerve impulses, heart etc.
  • Acetic acid slows digestion of starch which can help to lower the rise in glucose after eating. In 2004, a study cited in the American Diabetes Foundation’s publication Diabetes Care found that taking vinegar before meals significantly increased insulin sensitivity and dramatically reduced the insulin and glucose spikes that occur after meals
  • Has ash which is alkaline and aids your body in maintaining proper pH–I know, seems counterintuitive since the taste itself is so acidic and tart
  • Helps regulate blood pressure and reduce bad cholesterol
  • Has malic acid which is anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal
  • May help improve bowel irregularity and help to remove toxins from the body at a faster rate.
  • Reportedly clears up skin conditions and blemishes
  • May help with weight loss as it breaks down fats and appears to kill cravings
  • Some lab studies have found that ACV may be able to kill cancer cells or slow their growth

This doesn’t even include countless cosmetic/topical uses for ACV for the hair, skin, teeth, etc.

My friend and I are currently on a 30 day ACV challenge to see what benefits we perceive from a daily dose of ACV.  The two of us actually enjoy the zesty, apple-y taste of it straight from the bottle, so we have been doing a couple good swigs of it 2 x day, roughly 4 tbsp total.  We chase it with a glass of water.  Many people can’t tolerate straight vinegar, so alternatives are mixing it with honey and diluted in a glass of water.

My one significant experience with is thus far : I believe it had a positive effect after my bout with food poisoning.  Last week I got terrible food poisoning that I think may have been the result of handling something that had been touching raw turkey.  Please be VERY careful when cooking poultry!  I was up all night vomiting.  The next day or two, my digestive system was at a complete standstill and I had no appetite.  Nothing I ate or drank (which was very little) would “go” anywhere.  Material would simply not move from my stomach through my digestive system.  Seeing my trusty bottle of ACV on my desk at work, I reluctantly took a few swigs.  I really had no big expectations, but within an  hour I could hear the squeaks and murmurs of my stomach starting to work again and I was VERY hungry.

I’ll continue to report on my experience with ACV and I welcome any comments here on the blog about your experience as well!


McKenna Rowe is the Founder of Chakra 5 Mobile Yoga, an experienced team of corporate yoga instructors that provides mobile yoga classes on location and by appointment at businesses, schools and organizations throughout greater Los Angeles. Call us to start your corporate wellness program today: 310-853-3885.

Posted in nutrition, Science, Wellness Tagged with: ,