Natural remedies like apple cider vinegar (ACV) have in recent years garnered much public attention and popularity, making it the apple (pun intended) of the health community's eyes.
This humble pantry staple has been treasured for its versatile applications in health and beauty throughout known history – going as far back as Egyptian civilization.
Many proponents of ACV are believed to help with a range of ailments including hormonal imbalance, weight management, maintenance of healthy hair, and more.
But do these acclaimed ACV benefits stand the test of modern scientific research? Let’s delve deeper.
In this article, we'll take a look at what apple cider vinegar is, clarify what the ‘Mother’ is, discuss the benefits of apple cider vinegar – backed by science – and finally, suggest healthy and convenient ways to take ACV allowing you to harness its vast potential.
What is Apple Cider Vinegar?
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is created from fermented apple juice. The process starts by extracting juice from apples. Then, bacteria and yeast are introduced to start the first round of fermentation, which turns the natural sugar into alcohol.
In the next step, acetic acid-forming bacteria (Acetobacter species) facilitate the conversion of the alcohol into vinegar. ACV gets its signature sour taste from this combination of acetic acid and malic acid.
The key constituents of ACV include:
- Acetic acid: This is what makes up the bulk of ACV, around 5-6% of the total volume. Acetic acid is antimicrobial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory. It's also believed to promote digestion and bolster the immune
- Malic acid: Accounting for about 4-5% of the total volume, Malic acid is a natural chelating agent, which means it can bind with heavy metals and help rid the body of them. It's also considered to boost energy and ease muscle soreness
- Polyphenols: These are plant compounds that have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. ACV contains various polyphenols like catechins, quercetin, and chlorogenic acid
- Enzymes: ACV boasts several enzymes like pectinase, cellulase, and protease. These enzymes can help break down food and enhance digestion
- Trace minerals: You'll find modest amounts of trace minerals like potassium, magnesium, and calcium in ACV – elements your body needs to perform its daily functions
- Vitamins: ACV carries quantities of vitamins C and B, which keep your body healthy
The ‘Mother’ in ACV
When shopping for ACV, you'll usually find two types: clear and cloudy. The clear apple cider vinegar is filtered, looks lighter, and has no visible particulate matter suspended within it.
Unfiltered apple cider vinegar is darker in colour and has visible substances floating within it. This one has something we call the 'Mother' in it.
As mentioned previously, when creating apple cider vinegar, bacteria is introduced which turns alcohol into acetic acid. These acetic acid bacteria make a thick jelly layer on the vinegar’s surface. This layer is called 'The Mother' because it's the ingredient that transforms the liquid into vinegar, and most ACV benefits stem from this attribute.
The big question is then, why consume ACV with the ‘Mother’ in it?
The mother contains ‘good’ bacteria strains – probiotics – that boost your gut and immune system, which helps your body digest food better, absorb more nutrients, and avoid getting sick by preventing harmful bacterial growth.
While clear apple cider vinegar has its benefits, if you want to get all the best health perks, go for ACV which contains the “Mother”. Even though it might look unappealing and not taste great, the health benefits are worth it.
If you’re looking for tasty and practical alternatives to consume ACV rather than sipping it from a bottle, there exists a range of options with one of the more popular choices ACV gummies. Not only do they taste incredible but they contain no gelatine, and they are halal and vegan certified.
6 Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar
Is apple cider vinegar the top-tier solution that health enthusiasts make it out to be? From digestion to weight loss, immune health, skin health, and so much more, there are a lot of acclaimed ACV benefits widely shared across wellness communities.
Acid Reflux & Heartburn
One of the causes of acid reflux and heartburn is having low stomach acid levels. Acid reflux occurs when acid from your stomach flows back up into your oesophagus.
Cider vinegar can help with this by increasing the acidity of your stomach.
It’s also important to note that for some, ACV can irritate the stomach lining. It's wise to start with a small dose, see how you get on and increase your dosage from there.
Regulation of Digestive Enzymes
ACV boosts the production of digestive enzymes that are responsible for breaking down the food you eat in your stomach and small intestine, aiding with digestion and nutrient absorption
Skin and Hair
Natural Toner & Acne Reduction
If you've ever given apple cider vinegar a go or smelled it, you'll be familiar with how acidic it is. On the pH scale, where 0 is very acidic, and 14 is alkaline, ACV generally scores a 2 or 3.
Healthy skin tends to be a bit on the acidic side, aiming for a pH level of about 5.5. But when your skin's acting up, like with eczema or rosacea, it tends to go more alkaline. Using apple cider vinegar on your skin might help it return to that natural, slightly acidic pH level.
When a diluted mixture of ACV is applied, it makes up a tremendous facial toner that breaks up the bonds between the dead skin cells, ensuring your pores stay clear and free and at a suitable pH level.
Finally, studies have also found ACV to be antibacterial in response to combating certain types of staph infections.
Dandruff & Hair Shine
One of the ACV benefits is its effect on hair and scalp. Shampoos rarely have pH levels suitable enough for our scalps. And often, they harm our hair and scalp rather than repair it like advertised.
Apple cider vinegar can help to reverse this effect as it's acidic, restoring the pH level of the scalp to normal.
A study found that apple cider vinegar can halt the growth of certain types of fungus. By reducing fungal growth on your scalp and promoting the shedding of dead skin cells, ACV helps to keep your scalp healthy.
Weight Management and Metabolic
A study found something interesting about apple cider vinegar — it has the ability to make some people feel full after a meal. The study had a group of people eat white bread and different amounts of vinegar: 18, 23, and 28 mmol.
Researchers found that vinegar reduced post-meal blood sugar and insulin levels and increased meal satisfaction demonstrating the potential for ACV to aid weight loss, as appetite suppression can lead to a reduction in calorie intake.
Potential Weight Loss Benefits
A further study looked into apple cider vinegar's chemical composition – specifically acetic acid – and its effects on body fat. A test group was formed of obese individuals who were given drinks with varying amounts of ACV, some received drinks with no ACV as a placebo.
Participants who had the vinegar drink lost more body weight, had less belly fat, and had improved blood fat levels than those who received the placebo drink. This suggests that having some ACV daily might contribute to weight loss.
Maintaining Blood Sugar Levels
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) can help tame blood sugar levels. How does it work? Well, there are a few factors at play:
- Acetic Acid: The main component in ACV is acetic acid. It slows down the speed at which your stomach empties, which helps prevent your blood sugar from spiking too quickly after you eat
- Boosting Insulin Sensitivity: ACV can also make your body more sensitive to insulin, helping to lower blood sugar levels
These anti-glycemic effects have been proven in studies with individuals who have diabetes and those who don't.
In one study, people with type 2 diabetes who took two tablespoons of ACV before having a meal had much lower blood sugar levels afterwards compared to those who skipped the vinegar.
These effects suggest ACV could be a natural player in diabetes treatment and could help with other issues tied to high blood sugar levels.
Hormonal Balance and Women's Health
Apple cider vinegar has more benefits than just weight loss and helping against diabetes. Some believe it can help delay an upcoming period. It might push back your menstrual cycle and reduce symptoms and blood flow when your period eventually arrives after the delay.
It also contains potassium and calcium, which can help ease cramps in your uterus muscles. Remember that the effectiveness can vary, so it's a good idea to chat with a healthcare pro before trying it out.
Impact on PCOS
Women dealing with PCOS often struggle with insulin resistance. Consuming apple cider vinegar (ACV) might be a way to steady their blood sugar levels. This can help to return the reproductive hormones to a more normal level.
A study involving seven patients diagnosed with PCOS were given a daily dose of apple cider vinegar (ACV) for approximately 100 days. Six of these patients reported a noticeable decrease in insulin resistance, a common issue in PCOS.
Even more intriguing, four of these women saw their periods bounce back to normal after just 40 days of consuming ACV. These findings suggest ACV could be a promising natural approach for managing PCOS and its related complications, including insulin resistance and irregular menstruation.
PMS Gummies provide a convenient way to rebalance your hormones by taking 2 a day. A natural blend of friendly bacteria, magnesium and vitamin B6 helps to combat fatigue and helps to regulate hormonal activity.
Bone Health and Aging
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) has the potential to assist in absorbing essential dietary minerals. For example, Citric acid in apple cider vinegar has been shown to boost iron absorption in iron-deficient test subjects.
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) has also been proven to help your body soak up more calcium.
Iron is an absolute must for carrying oxygen around your body. If you're running low on iron, you might end up with anaemia, leaving you feeling tired, out of breath, and looking a bit pale.
Now, calcium is essential for tough bones and strong teeth. If you're short on calcium, you could be setting yourself up for osteoporosis, where your bones become fragile and breakable.
ACV's acidity breaks down the bonds that trap minerals in your food. Also, it increases your stomach's acid production. Both of these processes help your body absorb useful minerals.
If you’re looking for a dose of essential minerals that promotes muscle and bone support, why not take a look at Calcium, Vitamin D & K2 Gummies?
Circulatory and Heart HealthCholesterol & Blood Pressure
Recent studies suggest that Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) may have several benefits for heart health:
- Better Cholesterol and Triglyceride Levels: ACV lowers total cholesterol and triglycerides in your blood
- Improved Blood Sugar Control: ACV can help lower your blood sugar levels. This means having better control over the fuel in your body, which can be good for your heart because high sugar levels are linked to heart issues
- Less Harmful Oxidation: ACV reduces oxidative stress
- Stabilising Glycated Haemoglobin: ACV lowers glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c), reflecting improved long-term blood sugar control. This suggests that ACV might assist in lowering the long-term heart risks often linked to high blood sugar, particularly in individuals dealing with diabetes
ACV has a positive impact on blood flow as it is thought to help reduce inflammation.
As a result, blood circulation improves significantly, and the viscosity and coagulability of the blood decrease. Consequently, there's a reduced likelihood of clot formation or excessive stickiness, primarily because inflammation and insulin play significant roles in these processes.
This is why individuals with diabetes often experience numerous side effects, particularly concerning the tiny capillaries in the eyes. Any issues related to blood stickiness or flow can lead to reduced blood supply to the eyes, potentially resulting in cell death.
It's reasonable to assert that apple cider vinegar can aid in thinning the blood – which helps to lower blood pressure – and, consequently, enhance blood flow by considering all of these mechanisms.
Precautions and Safe Consumption
Here are some simple tips, guidelines and things to look out for when using apple cider vinegar safely:
- Enamel erosion: ACV is a bit acidic, and it can harm your tooth enamel if you drink it straight. Always mix it with water before consuming. If you want to be extra cautious, use a straw to protect your teeth
- Potential drug interactions: If you're taking any medications, especially blood thinners or diabetes meds, chat with your doctor before adding ACV to your routine
- Safe consumption limits: We don't have specific limits, but it's generally best to stick to 1-2 tablespoons of ACV daily to be safe
- Alternative delivery methods: If you are not a fan of how apple cider vinegar tastes or want something you can carry on the go, consider using our tasty gummies. Novomins ACV gummies provide a tasty, halal, vegan, and gelatine-free option. These gummies offer the benefits of ACV in a delightful, convenient form, making it easy to enjoy without compromising your dietary or taste preferences.
From its ancient beginnings as a versatile remedy for skin issues to its current uses in digestive health, beauty, weight management, hormonal balance, bone health, and circulatory wellness, ACV has established itself as a versatile elixir with a rich history.
If you're thinking about trying ACV for specific health benefits, it's always a good idea to chat with a healthcare professional. People react differently, and it's better to be safe than sorry.
List of Resources: