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Ancient Remedy: Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is getting a lot of attention these days. More research studies are being conducted and more supplements are being sold. What is the hype and is it worth trying? Apple cider vinegar was used in the ancient civilizations of Roman Empire, Egypt, Babylonia, and Greece. It was used for all medical conditions from digestive issues, for external wound care, for endurance and stamina. In 400 B.C, the Greek father of medicine, Hippocrates, treated his patients with apple cider vinegar for all sorts of ailments.

Here are benefits of apple cider vinegar from Dr. Simon Yu MD's article Apple Cider Vinegar, Forgotten Ancient Remedy:

"Why is apple cider vinegar such a powerful anti-aging elixir? Paul Bragg, N.D., Ph.D. described it best. In his book he describes the virtue of apple cider vinegar: It helps to promote a youthful skin and vibrant healthy body, helps remove artery plaque and body toxins, fight germs, bacteria, virus and mold naturally, helps regulate calcium metabolism, helps digestion, assimilation and balance the pH, helps banish ache, athlete’s foot, soothes burns, helps fight arthritis, and helps control and normalize body weight.
Apple cider vinegar is rich in potassium, enzymes and many organic acids. It also contains minerals like boron, iron, trace elements and pectin-soluble fiber. Potassium is considered the mineral of youthfulness. It keeps the arteries flexible and resilient, and maintains youthful, healthy skin. Potassium deficiency can stunt growth. A shortened lifespan occurs for people living on foods from potassium deficient soil.
The organic acids like acetic acid, lactic acid and propionic acid promote digestion, balance acid/alkaline levels of the blood, help detoxify the body, dissolve fats, and kill viruses, bacteria and fungus."

Evidence Based Benefits

Apple Cider Vinegar and Diabetes

A 2018 study found that consuming vinegar with a meal which contains carbohydrates may help with regulating blood glucose levels after following the meal. Apple cider vinegar has been shown to slow gastric emptying and inhibit sucrase and other related enzymes, thereby slowing digestion of complex carbohydrates and consequently flattening the peak of post-meal blood sugar. This is good for diabetics and those with sugar cravings. The study also found that vinegar improve pancreatic secretion which helps with insulin resistance along with the digestion and absorption of food. Many people suffer from pancreatic insufficiency from chronic sugar, flour, stress, and alcohol consumption, leading to vitamin deficiencies, anxiety, and depression issues.

A 2004 study found that apple cider vinegar acts similarly to metformin in improving insulin sensitivity in those with Type 2 Diabetes.

Apple Cider Vinegar and Weight Loss

Human studies have revealed that vinegar can help to increase satiety which will help you to eat less calories and lead to weight loss.

In one study those who took vinegar along with a high carb meal reported increased feeling of fullness and ate 200-275 calories less for the rest of the day. In a separate 3 month study of 175 obese people those who consumed apple cider vinegar daily experienced reduced belly fat and weight loss. 

A 2018 study found that apple cider vinegar along with calorie restriction helped with significant weight loss (reduced BMI and hip to waist circumference), and improved cholesterol markers (lower LDL and higher HDL cholesterol) in participants.

The acetic acid in apple cider vinegar has been shown to reduce body fat and prevent liver lipid buildup in mice fed a high-fat diet. Some researchers believe that acetic acid is taken up by the brain, eventually leading to appetite suppression and eventual weight loss.

Apple Cider Vinegar and Gut Health

Apple cider vinegar is made from fermented apples. Fermented apples contain pectin. Pectin may help support the growth of good bacteria in the gut, which is necessary for healthy digestion. It may also bulk up stool and reduce intestinal inflammation.

Since apple cider vinegar is a natural antibiotic, it may be most effective for diarrhea resulting from bacterial infections. These types of infections are often caused by spoiled or contaminated food, which can contain E. coli or Salmonella.

A 2016 study suggests that vinegar supplementation might provide a new dietary strategy for the prevention of ulcerative colitis by reducing gut inflammation and increasing beneficial bacteria.

A 2018 study found that apple cider vinegar acts reduced cholesterol levels, balanced blood sugar levels, enhanced microbiome health, and helped treat bacterial and fungal infections such as Candida.

Apple Cider Vinegar and Acid Reflux

Acid reflux can cause heartburn, bloating, burping, nausea, weight loss, the sensation that food is stuck in your throat, and other symptoms. In some cases, it’s thought to be caused by low stomach acid levels. Drinking diluted ACV can provide some relief from these symptoms.

Apple Cider Vinegar and PCOS

Apple cider vinegar’s effect on insulin sensitivity might also be of particular interest to women who suffer from polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), one of the main causes of irregular menstruation. Although PCOS can have many causes, insulin resistance may be one of them.

In a small study, 7 women with PCOS took 15 grams of apple cider vinegar daily for 90 to 110 days. Ovulatory menstruation was observed in 4 out of the 7 women within 40 days, which suggested that apple cider vinegar may be able to restore ovulatory function in PCOS patients.

Apple Cider Vinegar and Circulation and Varicose Veins

Varicose veins can be painful and distressing. Simple, natural treatments for varicose veins can help reduce their symptoms. A study on the topical use of apple cider vinegar showed that it reduced symptoms of varicose veins such as pain, cramps, itching and the visual characteristics of the veins when compared to the control.

Apple Cider Vinegar and Chronic Pain and Inflammation

A study from 2004 has shown that apple cider vinegar may help chronic pain and inflammation. Apple cider vinegar contains vitamin B complex, which researchers found may help with inflammation. The investigators of this mouse study speculated that the significant benefits observed may have been partially due to the presence of vitamin B complex in apple cider vinegar.

Usage and Dosage

You can use apple cider vinegar as a tonic that you drink, as a skin cleanser and toner, for wound healing, and as a hair rinse.

Best brand to buy: Bragg's, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar.

Morning time tonic: The easiest way to take apple cider vinegar is to add 1 tsp to your salad. If you prefer to drink it, start off with 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in 8 ounces of water in the morning on an empty stomach. Based on your tolerance, you can increase the amount later, but you should always dilute it with water and spread out the doses throughout the day. Do not take more than 2 tablespoons a day, or it could cause nausea.

Before meals tonic: You can also take 1 tbsp in 8 ounces of water before meals to reduce blood sugar, break down carbohydrates, and break down and absorb food.

Rinse with water after use: After taking apple cider vinegar, always rinse your mouth with water to prevent enamel erosion.

Skin cleanser and toner: Why not switch your usual skin care products for an all-natural alternative? After rinsing your face with water, finish by wiping with a solution of equal parts water and vinegar. Before attempting this, do a patch test to prevent any skin irritation.

Cleansing hair rinse: For a boost of moisture and shine that soothes an itchy scalp, apple cider vinegar is just the thing for thirsty hair. First, mix equal quantities of apple cider vinegar and water in a bottle. After washing your hair as usual, pour on the mix then rinse with water for softer, cleansed hair.

Topical use for wounds: When using apple cider vinegar topically, always apply it with a cotton ball. It is best to start off by testing a small area of skin, and feel for any burning sensations or other negative reactions. If any burning occurs, rinse immediately.

Safety: Apple cider vinegar appears to be safe, as long as you don’t take excessive amounts of it.

Speak with your doctor first: Apple cider vinegar may be great for some individuals but may not be appropriate for you, especially if you have certain medical conditions or are taking medications. Talk to your doctor if you’re unsure.

Another excerpt from Dr. Yu's article:

When you feel fatigued or run down in the afternoon, drink a mixture of two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and one teaspoon of honey with water. In the evening, you may add ginger to honey and apple cider vinegar as a hot tea drink.
There are well over 100 indications for medical usage of apple cider vinegar. I highly recommend reading Dr. Paul Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar, Miracle Health System. You may understand why I think apple cider vinegar might be the forgotten ancient remedy for the Holy Grail of the fountain of youth! You don’t have to travel to the remote Himalaya Mountains or the pacific islands for the pursuit of the fountain of youth. Go to the nearest health food store and start with organic apple cider vinegar.

Apple cider vinegar can be a great-tasting, economical, and healthy ingredient and all-purpose tool you can use for so many things.




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