Health benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar (AVC) is extremely hyped these days but is it really just hype or can it hold what is claimed?
Research shows that it can support weight loss, improves glucose and insulin levels and protects the heart by improving blood trigylceride levels.

During the 12-week treatment period, the subjects in each group ingested daily a beverage containing either 15 ml of vinegar, 30 ml of vinegar, or 0ml of vinegar (placebo). The subcutanoeus fat area and visceral fat area was measured. [1]

During the 12-week treatment period, the subjects in each group ingested daily a beverage containing either 15 ml of vinegar, 30 ml of vinegar, or 0ml of vinegar (placebo). The subcutanoeus fat area and visceral fat area was measured. [1]

Apple cider vinegar and weight loss

According to a study from 2009, ACV seems to support weight loss. In a double-blind trial, obese Japanese were divided into 3 groups. The participants of the study consumed either just water, or once per day water supplemented with different concentrations of vinegar. After 12 weeks, the groups that consumed the ACV lost more body weight in the form of body fat! [1]
The scientist also checked whether the people who consumed the vinegar simply ate less but there was no significant difference in calorie intake. Therefore, the researchers speculated that the vinegar inhibits lipogenesis, which is the new fat formation.
And indeed, other researchers found that acetate, which is the main component in vinegar reduces the lipogenesis. [2]

Triglycerides are, besides others fats, the products of lipogenesis in the liver and the study additionally shows that consuming ACV for 12 weeks decreased the TG levels by 30%, which suggest that it in fact decreases lipogenesis, despite equal calories.

Apple Cider Vinegar helps with satiety

Even though the previous study didn’t find a difference in calorie intake another study did. When the ACV was consumed right before the meal, people showed higher satiety levels compared to people who only drank water. So, it seems there are some effects on the appetite/satiety. [3]

Apple Cider Vinegar improves blood sugar levels

Isulin and glucose_Johnston.jpg

A small study could show some beneficial effect on glucose and insulin levels when ACV was consumed with a carbohydrate-rich meal. Right before the meal, volunteers were given a drink of ACV or a placebo drink and their glucose and insulin levels were measured afterwards. For both, non-diabetics and diabetic participants, the apple cider vinegar group showed lower insulin and glucose levels in the blood compared to the placebo group. [4]

Apple Cider Vinegar reduces triglyceride levels

liver lipogenesis.jpg

Heart failures are currently the top one killer in the developed world and high triglyceride levels are a big risk factor for heart diseases. Surprisingly, even here, ACV seems to be beneficial. In addition to the previously mentioned study, several studies on animal suggest that adding a little bit of ACV into the diet, reduced triglyceride levels! [5 - 7]

Why is Apple Cider Vinegar healthy?

As a scientist, I always want to understand WHY things work the way they do. In the case for ACV, it is rather easy. It comes back to the microbiome. When we provide our gut inhabitants the right food, they produce molecules called short-chain fatty acids and that is exactly what the main ingredient in ACV is: a short-chain fatty acid produced via fermentation by bacteria and yeast.
Usually short-chain fatty acids are produced naturally in our guts when dietary fiber is fermented. It has been shown in research that short chain fatty acids help with weight loss, decrease inflammation in the body, prevent diabetes and even inhibit cancer growth.

There are two great ways to integrate some apple cider vinegar into your diet:

  • You can use it for instance as a salad dressing. (Try to mix olive oil, mustard, apple cider vinegar with a little bit of spices!)

  • dilute it in water and drink it as a beverage. Common dosages range one to two tablespoons (15–30 ml) mixed in a large glass of water and taken once daily.

Take Home Message:
Apple Cider Vinegar has many health benefits due to the short-chain fatty acid, acetate.

For an entire year, Derek Dellinger ate and drank only products that had been created by microbes.

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  1. Kondo et al., Vinegar Intake Reduces Body Weight, Body Fat Mass, and Serum Triglyceride Levels in Obese Japanese Subjects, Biosci Biotechnol Biochem, 2009

  2. Yamashita et al., Improvement of Obesity and Glucose Tolerance by Acetate in Type 2 Diabetic Otsuka Long-Evans Tokushima Fatty (OLETF) Rats, Biosci. Biotechnol. Biochem., 2007

  3. Östman et al., Vinegar supplementation lowers glucose and insulin responses and increases satiety after a bread meal in healthy subjects, European Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2005)

  4. Johnston et al., Vinegar Improves Insulin Sensitivity to a High-Carbohydrate Meal in Subjects With Insulin Resistance or Type 2 Diabetes, Diabetes Care, 2004

  5. Fushimi et al., Dietary acetic acid reduces serum cholesterol and triacylglycerols in rats fed a cholesterol-rich diet, Br J Nutri, 2006

  6. Setorki et al., Acute effects of vinegar intake on some biochemical risk factors of atherosclerosis in hypercholesterolemic rabbits, Lipids Health Dis, 2010

  7. Halima et al., Apple Cider Vinegar Attenuates Oxidative Stress and Reduces the Risk of Obesity in High-Fat-Fed Male Wistar Rats, J Med Food, 2018