One shot please! (of apple cider vinegar)

The first time I heard of drinking apple cider vinegar (ACV) was a couple of years ago at a swim meet. I was a coach for a local swim club and there were close to a thousand people at this meet. Because there were so many people and it was stressful, my immune system was low so sickness was inevitable.

Apple Cider Vinegar. Photo from Wikimedia Commons by Phongnguyen1410

Another coach on the team said, to avoid getting sick, she takes a small dose of ACV each day for one week leading up to the swim meet. Ever since that conversation, I take roughly 30 ml of ACV every morning. Sounds gross (and believe me it takes time to get used to) but there is science behind some of the health benefits of consuming ACV.

If you run a quick Google search on ACV, you will find weight loss remedies, salad dressing recipes, and skin care routines all with ACV. While some of these articles look legit, not all have the science stamp of approval.

For individuals with Type I or Type II diabetes, there are health benefits for consuming ACV. In one study, researchers from Arizona State University found consuming ACV during a meal reduces the chance of high blood sugar after a meal; a frequent problem for individuals with diabetes. If ingested at bedtime, it also can favourably impact glucose concentrations for the next day in Type II diabetics.

If you Google detox or weight loss drinks, at least one will have ACV in it with other ingredients included. Many of these drinks are not researched and only have anecdotal evidence but there is some research on consuming ACV with water.

Researchers at the Central Research Institute in Japan conducted a 12-week study of obese individuals consuming 15 to 30 ml of ACV. They found body weight decreased significantly after 4-weeks and waist circumference fell after 8-weeks of the study. They concluded consuming at least 15 ml of ACV can reduce body weight, BMI, visceral fat area, waist circumference, and fat found in blood (also known as serum triglycerides) in obese individuals.

Most of the health benefits of consuming ACV have been studied with diabetics or obese individuals. There are few that study healthy humans. Some studies found it can also prevent cardiovascular diseases like coronary artery disease and reduce high cholesterol levels. Another study at the Lund University in Sweden found consuming 30 ml of ACV not only improved blood sugar and insulin, it also prolonged the state of feeling full in healthy adults.

Glycemic Index of foods in our daily diet. Source from Flikr.

ACV can also lessen an individual’s glucose response to high-glycemic foods on the. This index measures how food with carbohydrate raises blood sugar; the higher the food is labelled on the glycemic index, the higher one’s blood sugar rises. This finding is beneficial for individuals who need to monitor their blood sugar levels closely.

The only reason I consume ACV is for immune system support but there hasn’t been a study looking at the effects of ACV on the immune system. The research that does look at ACV consumption found it can reduce weight loss, blood pressure, and diabetes. Most of the articles studying ACV effects on humans urged more research to be done.

2 Responses to “One shot please! (of apple cider vinegar)”

  1. scripps says:

    I used to take ACV for my acne, didn’t quite work for me but I’m interested in trying it again for some of the health benefits you mentioned!

  2. Nathalie says:

    Interesting post. I wonder what it is about ACV that gives it all these benefits? Curious to try it now!