This drink is no way new to the market, with most individuals consuming apple cider vinegar each day due to is “miracle” benefits. Its potential to aid weight loss, lower cholesterol levels and even reverse and prevent diabetes has made it a “miracle drink” in the media. This doesn’t help when well known faces like Gwyneth Paltrow and Victoria Beckham promote the drink and swear by its miracle effects when consuming on an empty stomach. The latest claims in the media is anti-ageing properties, acne treatment and hair and nail growth. This all sounds well and good and wouldn’t it be lovey to take 1-2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar each morning and suddenly you’ve lost a few pounds, got younger looking skin and your risk of diabetes has dropped! Sounds a bit too good to be true, so therefore this blog will put a spotlight onto apple cider vinegar and hopefully your questions will be answered.
What Actually is Apple Cider Vinegar?
Apples, sugar and yeast. Firstly the apples are crushed and/or liquidised. Then the bacteria and yeast start the fermentation process, which results in the vinegar.
Will I Drop a few Pounds?
The majority of people I meet who admit to consuming apple cider vinegar state it’s purely for weight loss purposes. The research for this claim varies and there is no solid evidence that apple cider vinegar aids weight loss. However there are some small randomised placebo controlled trails that found individuals who had 1-2tbsp of apple cider vinegar, lost more weight than those without. There was no difference in calorie intake throughout the day. HOWEVER, what’s important to remember, is that there was a very small difference in weight loss between groups. Not all studies are in line with these results. The largest study I would find included 175 Japanese individuals, all overweight but otherwise healthy subjects. They drank 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar every day for 3 months. The results shown absolutely no significant difference between placebo and those who drank the drink.
Can it Lower my Cholesterol?
Unfortunately there is little evidence to show apple cider vinegar lowering cholesterol levels. When looking at the research, all the positive results are conducting on animals (mostly rats). Although these may be interesting, they cannot be directly linked to humans. The best way to lower you cholesterol is by dietary changes, so please seek help from a registered dietitian or nutritionist.
Younger Looking Skin?
Again there is simply not enough evidence to prove that apple cider vinegar can reduce acne and hold anti-ageing properties. My top tip for better skin health: make sure your getting minerals, selenium, zinc and magnesium and vitamins A,C and E. Make sure you have Omega-3 fatty acids in your diet along with plenty of water.
Will it Reverse my Diabetes?
This topic has the most research behind it and no surprise the results are mixed. The majority of research conducted is with a very small sample size (10-30), therefore it’s extremely hard to translate the results to the whole population. 1-2 tablespoons of vinegar with a meal, has been shown to modestly lower post-meal blood glucose and insulin levels in both healthy participants and in those with diabetes. These are positive results and there is further research being conducted on this topic. However it’s important to remember that the result are mixed and not all studies have the same results.
IMPORTANT! Individuals who suffer with kidney problems or ulcers should steer clear and no one should substitute it for their regular medication!
Take Home Message
Apple cider vinegar is NOT a miracle drink! There is little to no evidence to support weight loss claims, acne treatment, and anti-ageing properties. There is some evidence to show lower glucose and insulin levels after a meal, however there is not enough evidence for this to be used as a treatment!!
For those wanting to drop a few pounds, to have younger looking skin and to reduce their risk of developing diabetes, a well-balanced diet including a whole range of fruits and vegetables, wholegrains, high-quality protein (including oily fish) and limited intake of sugar, salt and saturated fat, will you feel happier and healthier! We are all unique and not one size fits all.
If you would like any help or advice in nutrition then please contact me via my contact page.