10 Surprising Benefits of Drinking Apple Cider Vinegar According to Science

Why You Should Use Apple Cider Vinegar to Lose Weight, Reduce Cholesterol and Control Blood Sugar Levels

Drinking apple cider vinegar has many health benefits which are backed up by scientific research. Apple cider vinegar can help to lower blood sugar levels, control blood pressure, detox your liver, lose weight, and much more. Even though the benefits of drinking apple cider vinegar have been well-known for centuries, studies into its beneficial properties have revealed how you can use it to boost your health.

Many people are pleasantly surprised upon learning about how versatile apple cider vinegar (or ACV) is when it comes to good health. Apple cider vinegar is naturally low in calories and contains many nutrients that your body needs.

For most people, drinking 2-4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar diluted in a glass of water daily has the most health benefits.

In this article, you will learn about the amazing benefits of regularly drinking diluted apple cider vinegar. You will see that all of these health uses for apple cider vinegar are science-based and can be used in conjunction with other natural remedies. So, if you want to know what apple cider vinegar can do for your health, please read on.

What is Apple Cider Vinegar?

Apple cider vinegar is made from crushing apples and fermenting the juice by adding healthy bacteria. This results in a healthy ACV tonic that contains beneficial enzymes, vitamins, and minerals.

Doctors from WebMD say that apple cider vinegar contains vitamins C, B1, B2, B6, folic acid and probably some pectin. Apple cider vinegar also has some minerals like potassium, calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, and iron.1

Many of the health benefits of apple cider vinegar come from the amount of acetic acid in apple cider vinegar. In an article entitled “Apple Cider Vinegar and Your Health,” Dr. Kathleen Zeman says that during the production of apple cider vinegar, healthy bacteria is added to the liquid. This converts the alcohol that is formed in the fermentation process to acetic acid. This results in a liquid that has healthy bacteria, enzymes and gives ACV its strong smell and sour taste.2

The best kind of apple cider vinegar to drink for keeping healthy is the raw, unfiltered and unprocessed type. For example, Bragg’s raw organic apple cider vinegar is one of the most popular varieties that also contains the “mother.” The journal Medscape General Medicine reports that the mother of vinegar contains healthy bacteria and enzymes. The mother looks like “bits” floating around the vinegar and it gives the vinegar a cloudy appearance when shaken.3

Apple cider vinegar contains about 1 calorie per teaspoon or 3 calories per tablespoon, which is very low.

The 10 Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar

Here are the main benefits of using apple cider vinegar for its beneficial health properties:

  1. Helps lose weight. Apple cider vinegar can help to break up fat cells and assist in a weight-loss program.
  2. Lowers cholesterol. One of the benefits of drinking apple cider vinegar is that it reduces bad cholesterol.
  3. Reduces blood sugar levels. Drinking ACV can help to stop sugar spikes, especially after eating carbohydrates.
  4. Improves the appearance of skin. Using diluted apple cider vinegar as a topical skin tonic can remove free radical from the skin and lower pH levels.
  5. Helps to treat kidney stones. The acidic qualities of an apple cider vinegar drink help to dissolve kidney stones.
  6. Reduces blood pressure. The acetic acid levels of apple cider vinegar have a beneficial effect on keeping blood pressure levels down.
  7. Helps stop acid reflux. Although apple cider vinegar is acidic in nature, it becomes alkaline in the body and helps to manage too much stomach acid that results in reflux.
  8. Has many benefits to your heart. As well as reducing blood pressure and lowering cholesterol, enzymes in apple cider vinegar are good for your heart health.
  9. Flushes toxins from your body. Apple cider vinegar tonics have an antioxidant effect on your liver and can eliminate toxins effectively.
  10. May help protect against certain cancers. Although more research has to be done, certain vinegars have a beneficial effect on certain types of cancers.

Drinking Apple Cider Vinegar Helps You Lose Weight

There are a number of different ways that drinking apple cider vinegar daily to lose weight can help in your battle to shed extra pounds.

Studies into the effect of vinegar on body fat have shown that apple cider vinegar can boost weight-loss diets. For example, a study in Japan showed that men drinking 2 tablespoons of diluted apple cider vinegar a day lost more weight than men who consumed the same amount of water without the vinegar added. The researchers concluded that consuming vinegar daily can help to reduce obesity.4

Another way that apple cider vinegar can help in your battle to lose weight is that it increases feelings of fullness. The European Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported that consuming acetic acid supplementation before a meal can help improve satiety. This helps to reduce portion size and prevent snacking.5

You can even try adding garcinia cambogia to your apple cider vinegar drink as it may help you lose weight faster.

Of course, just taking some apple cider vinegar or taking apple cider vinegar supplements won’t help lose weight by themselves. Healthy weight loss should include regular physical exercise and reducing calorie intake. However, it’s clear that scientific research shows that apple cider vinegar does help with weight loss and can help boost your efforts to lose weight naturally.

Drinking Apple Cider Vinegar Lowers Your Cholesterol

One of the health benefits of apple cider vinegar with the mother is that it helps to lower cholesterol levels and improve heart health.

It is a known fact that high levels of “bad” cholesterol (or, LDL cholesterol) narrows arteries and puts extra strain on your heart.

The British Journal of Nutrition reported on scientific research that acetic acid helps to reduce LDL cholesterol in clinical trials. The effect of acetic acid was that it helped to limit the formation of fat in the liver.6 Other studies have shown similar results that the antioxidant properties of apple cider vinegar have a positive effect on “bad” cholesterol.7

Also, the pectin content of apple cider vinegar could also play a role in helping to reduce cholesterol. A study from 1997 found that pectin helps to reduce blood cholesterol levels and also improve the symptoms of gastrointestinal problems.8

Apple Cider Vinegar Lowers Blood Sugar Levels

Drinking apple cider vinegar to improve your health also has a beneficial effect on your blood sugar levels.

The European Journal of Clinical Nutrition published a study on a small group of people. It was found that acetic acid has a positive effect on blood glucose and prevented blood sugar spiking after meals.9

Also, the American Diabetes Association reported that taking apple cider vinegar before bedtime can help control blood fasting glucose levels. It was found that apple cider vinegar has an anti-glycemic effect and can help to control the symptoms of type 2 diabetes.10

Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar for Your Skin

There are also many benefits of apple cider vinegar for your skin if you use it as a topical application.

Many inflammatory skin conditions and acne raise the skin’s pH levels which result in itching and redness. The intense itching can then lead to secondary bacterial infections that damage the skin.

According to the journal Annals of Dermatology, applying skin tonics containing acetic acid can help reduce the symptoms of atopic dermatitis (eczema). The low pH levels of apple cider vinegar help to provide a protective barrier on the skin.11

Other studies have shown that acetic acid in apple cider vinegar has an antibacterial effect and can help wounds heal by inhibiting the growth of harmful bacteria.12

Before using it on your skin, you should always dilute apple cider vinegar with equal amounts of water. Always do a skin test on a small patch of skin, first of all, to see how your skin reacts. If you have sensitive skin that is getting irritated easily, you might need to add more water to the apple cider vinegar remedy.

ACV helps treat acne

Apple cider vinegar can also help in your battle with acne and pimples. The Annals of Dermatology reported that excess sebum often raises the skin’s pH level on the chest, back, and face.13 So, applying diluted apple cider vinegar to cleanse acne-prone skin can help to reduce the number of pimples and the inflammation in acne bumps.

Apple Cider Vinegar Helps to Treat Kidney Stones

Kidney stones form when there is a buildup of mineral deposits in your kidneys. These can form small stone-like objects that cause intense pain if they move into your urinary tract.

Drinking a few glasses of diluted apple cider vinegar daily can help to get rid of the stones by dissolving them and helping you pass them easier. How does apple cider vinegar help remove kidney stones?

The Journal of Mass Spectrometry reported that human kidney stones dissolve when placed in acetic acid, the main component in apple cider vinegar.14

There is another way that apple cider vinegar can help prevent and get rid of kidney stones. When the body ingests apple cider vinegar, it turns it into alkaline. The journal Kidney International says that an acidic body usually causes renal stones to form. By increasing alkalinity in the body, a person can prevent the formation of stones.15

Apple Cider Vinegar and Blood Pressure

Apple cider vinegar also has an anti-hypertensive effect and can assist in managing high blood pressure. High blood pressure can lead to heart disease and also cause complication in other organs in the body.

One clinical study into the benefits of acetic acid shows potential in lowering blood pressure. Scientists found that acetic acid helps lower an enzyme (renin) that plays a role in regulating blood pressure. This, in turn, lowered blood pressure, leading scientists to conclude that acetic acid has a positive effect on hypertension.16

For more ways on how to use apple cider vinegar to keep your cardiovascular system healthy, please read my article on how apple cider vinegar lowers blood pressure.

Apple Cider Vinegar Helps to Relieve Acid Reflux

Acid reflux describes a condition where stomach acid leaks back up your esophagus and causes irritation and discomfort in your chest. A healthy digestive system needs the right amount of stomach acid to break down food and absorb nutrients.

Researchers from the Arizona State University found that apple cider vinegar can help reduce the symptoms of acid reflux and heartburn. The small study found that drinking diluted apple cider vinegar helped to reduce the symptoms of heartburn after meals.17

Apple Cider Vinegar Benefits Your Heart

The proven benefits of apple cider vinegar for your cardiovascular system have already been documented in this article. Apple cider vinegar helps to reduce LDL cholesterol in your blood which reduces your risk of heart disease.

Apple cider vinegar also helps to lower blood pressure by regulating enzymes that control blood pressure.

However, an interesting observational study noted that women who regularly consumed salads with an oil and vinegar-based dressing had less risk of heart attack. However, because the salad dressing contained heart-healthy alpha-linolenic acids, it is too early to say if the heart benefit was due to the healthy oils, the vinegar, or a combination of the two.18

Apple Cider Vinegar Helps Flush Toxins

Consuming apple cider vinegar regularly helps to boost your liver health and destroys free radicals that can oxidize in the liver.

Just consuming one glass a day containing 1-2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar can help to boost circulation and help detoxify your body.

For example, the journal Pharmaceutical Biology reported that fruit vinegars, including apple vinegar, helps to reduce liver damage caused by toxins. In the experiment, regular intake of fruit-based vinegars helped to reduce oxidation in the liver and regular fat metabolism. This had an overall effect of reducing liver damage.19

Apple Cider Vinegar May Help Ward Off Cancers

There is not enough scientific research into the possibility that apple cider vinegar can help to treat cancer. However, some studies into the effect of certain vinegars on cancer cells have shown positive results.

For example, some scientific studies into vinegar have shown that certain vinegars can be used to kill off certain cancer cells and shrink tumors.20, 21

It is also possible that drinking apple cider regularly could have an indirect effect on preventing cancer because it helps to reduce inflammation and oxidative stress in the body. But, it’s too early to say if apple cider vinegar can be used to treat cancer.

What Are the Side Effects of Consuming Apple Cider Vinegar?

Apple cider vinegar is generally safe with few or no side effects when consumed in reasonable quantities.

A few people have reported some side effects of drinking apple cider vinegar daily.

Nausea. Although apple cider vinegar can help to improve your digestion and gut bacteria, some people find the sour taste and smell are difficult at the start. When studying the weight-loss effects of regularly drinking apple cider vinegar, one study reported that some individuals felt a bit queasy after drink it.22

Tooth enamel. Consuming undiluted apple cider vinegar (or any other vinegar) could weaken tooth enamel and lead to tooth erosion. Apple cider vinegar should always be consumed diluted. You can swish your mouth with clean water to remove any leftover vinegar residue from your teeth to prevent tooth enamel erosion after drinking diluted apple cider vinegar.

Can delay gastric emptying. If you have type 1 diabetes, drinking apple cider vinegar could delay gastric emptying and this could impact your levels of insulin.23

May cause burns when consumed undiluted. The journal Acta Paediatrica reported that ingesting undiluted vinegar is a reason for suffering burns to the throat or esophagus.24

What is the Daily Dosage of Apple Cider Vinegar?

There is not official dosage of drinking apple cider vinegar, so how much cider vinegar should you drink for its health benefits?

Most people who drink apple cider vinegar regularly for its health benefits find best results by drinking a glass of water with 1-2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar once or twice a day.

What is the Best Type of Apple Cider Vinegar?

The best type of apple cider vinegar that has all the health benefits is raw, unfiltered and unprocessed apple cider vinegar. This should contain the “mother” – so don’t be put off if there are bits floating in the vinegar or sediment on the bottom. It’s this part of the vinegar that contains the healthy enzymes.

Many people choose Bragg’s apple cider vinegar, however, there are many other types available at health stores and online.

How to Use Apple Cider Vinegar

Let’s briefly look at some of the most popular ways to use apple cider vinegar for its health properties and improving the appearance of your skin.

Healthy apple cider vinegar and honey drink

Adding some natural, raw honey to your apple cider vinegar tonic not only helps to improve its taste but it boosts the health properties of the drink.

Various studies point to the fact that a honey and apple cider vinegar tonic can help to reduce joint inflammation, improve digestive health, and kill off bacteria that cause sore throats.

For more information on how to make a health-boosting honey and apple cider vinegar health drink, please see my article on the health benefits of apple cider vinegar and honey.

For shiny healthy hair

You can use apple cider vinegar to get beautiful shiny hair that is well-conditioned and free of dandruff.

How to use:

To use apple cider vinegar to rinse your hair and help get rid of dandruff, this is what you should do:

  1. Put 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar in a cup of water.
  2. Shampoo your hair as normal with your favorite natural shampoo.
  3. After rinsing the shampoo, apply the apple cider vinegar rinse to your hair and massage into your scalp and hair.
  4. Leave for 5 minutes.
  5. Rinse with warm water and dry as usual.
  6. Repeat once or twice a week for healthy, shiny-looking hair.

Reduce skin inflammation

If you have skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis, then diluted apple cider vinegar can help to reduce skin inflammation. Apple cider vinegar will help to remove bacteria from the skin and also reduce itching and redness.

You can also use apple cider vinegar to wash your face. This has a mild skin-peeling effect that helps to unclog your pores and balance the skin’s pH levels.

How to use:

To use apple cider vinegar to apply to your skin:

  1. Dilute apple cider vinegar with equal amounts of water.
  2. Try a small skin patch to see how your skin reacts.
  3. Dip a cotton ball in the apple cider vinegar remedy and apply to the area of skin you want to cleanse.
  4. Leave for up to 5 minutes then rinse the natural skin tonic off with warm water.
  5. Repeat 2-3 times a week for best results.
  6. Apply your favorite natural skin moisturizer to keep your skin looking fresh and youthful.

Detox drinks

Regularly drinking a glass or two a day of diluted apple cider vinegar is enough to detoxify your body and get rid of free radicals.

However, you can also spice things up and make a detox drink with apple cider vinegar and other ingredients. This is what you will need for the detoxifying drink recipe:

  • 1 glass of water
  • 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon raw honey

Mix all the ingredients together and drink immediately. Use a few times per week as a refreshing tonic and help keep your liver in good health.

Yeast infections

The antifungal properties of apple cider vinegar make this a great ingredient for treating various yeast and fungal infections.

Oral thrush. For treating oral thrush, this is what you should do:

  1. Put 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar and 1 teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water.
  2. Use as a mouth rinse and swish around your mouth for 2-3 minutes and spit out.
  3. Continue using 2-3 times a day until you no longer have any signs of oral thrush.

Vaginal candidiasis. If you have symptoms of a vaginal yeast infection, you can use apple cider vinegar to kill off the yeast pathogens. This is what you should do:

  1. Dilute apple cider vinegar with equal parts of water.
  2. Soak an unscented tampon in the home remedy.
  3. Insert into your vagina for 30-60 minutes.
  4. Remove and rinse your vagina with water. Dry thoroughly to help prevent moisture that promotes yeast growth.
  5. Use daily to get rid of the vaginal yeast infection.

Read my other related articles:

Medical Sources

  1. WebMD. Apple cider vinegar.
  2. WebMD. Apple cider vinegar and your health.
  3. MedGenMed. 2006; 8(2): 61.
  4. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem.2009 Aug;73(8):1837-43.
  5. Eur J Clin Nutr.2005 Sep;59(9):983-8.
  6. Br J Nutr.2006 May;95(5):916-24.
  7. Pak J Biol Sci.2008 Dec 1;11(23):2634-8.
  8. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr.1997 Feb;37(1):47-73.
  9. Eur J Clin Nutr.1995 Apr;49(4):242-7.
  10. Diabetes Care. 2007 Nov; 30(11): 2814-2815
  11. Ann Dermatol. 2016 Dec; 28(6): 690–696.
  12. PloS One. 10(9):e136190.
  13. Ann Dermatol. 2016 Apr; 28(2): 216–221.
  14. J Mass Spectrom.2011 Mar;46(3):313-9.
  15. Kidney Int. 1983 Sept;24(3):348-352.
  16. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem.2001 Dec;65(12):2690-4.
  17. ASU. Is apple cider vinegar effective for heartburn symptoms?
  18. Am J Clin Nutr.1999 May;69(5):890-7.
  19. Pharm Biol.2016;54(2):260-5.
  20. 2004;22(1-4):93-7.
  21. J Exp Clin Cancer Res.2004 Mar;23(1):69-75.
  22. Int J Obes. 2005 Aug;38(5).
  23. BMC Gastroenterol. 2007; 7: 46.
  24. Acta Paediatr.1994 Nov;83(11):1200-5.

Healthy and Natural World