Once in a while, I’ll hear about something enough to make me look into it. Even when it’s something I have no intention of taking part in, myself. One of these things happens to be apple cider vinegar. I’ve been hearing about this stuff for years and have even had some friends and family recommend that I try it for various reasons, but the “vinegar” aspect has always scared me off. I’m not a big fan of swallowing vinegar. Back home, people would have a nasty habit of sprinkling vinegar on their french fries. It’s usually delicious, until I remember that I’m sprinkling acid on my food. But I digress…
As usual, I’ll take a brief paragraph to point out that I’m not a doctor, dietitian or medical practitioner and everything I point out in my posts are based solely on unsolicited research that I perform myself. One should always consult their health professional before starting on anything new that could adversely or significantly affect their bodies, including workout routines and diets. Now, on to the apple cider vinegar!
I’ve been seeing this stuff advertised everywhere for a number of years now. Most prominently online. You know, those annoying advertisements that pop up when you’re trying to access something on a website or you’re trying to read something? (whistles softly as he remembers his page is ad-supported). I’ve even got some friends back in good ol’ New Brunswick who swear by the stuff. So, what’s the real deal with apple cider vinegar? It popped up again in something I was reading about a week ago, so I decided to look into it.
First, I’ll explain what apple cider vinegar is, since providing definitions is one of my defining characteristics (see what I did there?). Apple cider vinegar is made by fermenting apple juice, which creates the resulting vinegar. It’s actually incredibly low on carbohydrates, making it ideal for Diabetics, but I’ll get to that in a moment. It’s been used for all sorts of food-related functions, but also for household cleaning and hair washing. Although I can’t seem to find a definitive source, the stuff is said to have been first used thousands of years ago.
According to an article posted by HealthLine.com, apple cider vinegar is said to contain “helpful substances” and can kill harmful bacteria. I put “helpful substances” in quotations because apple cider vinegar essentially contains no vitamins, minerals or nutrients in its basic form. But a “substance called mother, which consists of strands of protein, enzymes, and friendly bacteria that give the product a murky appearance,” is what’s generally credited with all the benefits.
The article goes on to explain that apple cider vinegar can help with skin health, can boost the heart health of some animals (not humans) and can help with weight loss. No, it won’t melt fat like some of the infomercials you see online. Effectively, nothing short of liposuction simply removes your body fat. But apple cider vinegar is said to help increase how full you feel, when used in conjunction with your meals. This means that you’ll potentially need to eat less to feel full, which is what ultimately leads to loss of weight. There have been studies linked to this, but no definitive evidence that it genuinely helps.
The aspect I find interesting is that it’s also said to be beneficial for folks who have Type-2 Diabetes. Yes, I totally recognize that I’m Type-1 but I also like to think that I’ve had Diabetes and researched on it enough over the past 38 years that I can occasionally speak to some aspects of Type-2, as well. Besides, the information comes from someone else. So, I’m in the clear. But as some of you may know, Type-2 Diabetes is a condition in which the body’s ability to produce/use insulin and process the body’s glucose is compromised. A marked departure from what causes Type-1 Diabetes. Apple cider vinegar is said to help improve insulin sensitivity by a significant amount.
Because of this, it’s important to be mindful when combining apple cider vinegar with prescriptions that are intended to help do the same, as it can cause dangerous drops in blood glucose. Especially medications that also help to increase insulin sensitivity. It’s also worth pointing out that even folks who don’t have Diabetes can benefit from better insulin absorption.
It’s always interesting to read about a substance that’s not only consumable but also holds so many potential health benefits. Studies are still on the fence about apple cider vinegar’s potential for weight loss, but like everything else in life, it’s up to the consumer as to whether they decide to try it and decide if it work for them or not. ☯