Apple cider vinegar has a long pedigree, shrouded in mystery; a folklore remedy found in many cultures from the Babylonians to the Aryans to Samurai warriors, who used it for strength and power.
More than 2,000 years ago, Hippocrates recognised its value as an antiseptic, and latterly, apple cider vinegar was used to treat wounds in the battle fields of WW1 and the US civil war. In recent years, people have explored its use in heart health, weight loss and diabetes.
At the diet-whisperer, we explore how modern lifestyles, diet and weight, are causing a tsunami of diseases across the world. Read the full article on our website and see how to lose weight, stay lean and feel better.
What is Apple Cider Vinegar?
Apple cider vinegar is apple juice, which has been fermented by yeast, the sugar in the fruit is converted into acetic acid. Acetic acid gives the vinegar its strong taste and smell. You will notice that some apple cider vinegar is dark with wispy bits floating and some is clear. These are some of the good bits; probiotic bacteria and protein, called ‘the mother’ but sometimes manufacturers filter these out out to give a clear vinegar.
Can I lose Weight if I take Apple Cider Vinegar?
It has been suggested that apple cider vinegar may suppresses your appetite and make you feel fuller, hence the link to weight loss. Animal studies show weight loss benefits, but there is a paucity of studies in humans proving weight loss benefits. A detailed review of these studies was undertaken by Launholt. Their conclusion was that there is currently insufficient evidence to support the use of apple cider vinegar as a weight loss treatment. This does not mean that apple cider vinegar is of no value in weight loss, it means that there is no proof and more research is needed. But all is not lost-apple cider vinegar may be a useful food to improve your metabolism.
The Effect of Apple Cider Vinegar on Insulin and Metabolism
After a sugary meal, sugar rushes into the circulation, resulting in very high blood sugar levels. High blood sugar then causes a large insulin release. If this scenario is repeated constantly over prolonged periods of time, an ever-increasing amount of insulin is needed to do the same job. This is called insulin resistance. The problem persists, until eventually, there is insufficient insulin to reduce blood sugar and diabetes is not far away. This is where vinegar may help.
Vinegar reduces the speed of sugar absorption, the rise of blood sugar is slowed after a meal, meaning that less insulin is needed. If you need less insulin, the chance of insulin resistance diminishes and you reduce your chance of developing diabetes. So that is a winner! The effect of apple cider vinegar on blood sugar is seen particularly after a sugary meal.
The mechanism of the vinegar action in reducing blood sugar, following a meal is still unknown. A theory related to gastric emptying has been discounted. It may be the effect on digestive enzymes or an effect on the muscles by increasing their sugar uptake from the blood.
In a trial, subjects were given 20g of apple cider vinegar, or a placebo drink. Immediately after, they were given a sugary meal, a buttered bagel, and orange juice, containing 87g of carbs. Insulin release and blood sugar were compared between the group who had had the apple cider vinegar and those who had not. The rise in sugar was less in the group who had the apple cider vinegar compared to the placebo.
Other potential health benefits of apple cider vinegar include its probiotic properties, and its antioxidant properties from polyphenols. Probiotics support healthy gut bugs, which are critical for good health. Polyphenols, natural antioxidants contribute to the control of inflammation, with a reduced risk of long-term conditions such as heart disease, cancer and stokes.
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