There are certain things that get a ton of buzz in the media. These can include food, diets, exercises, apps, books, technology products and more.
One thing that has gotten a lot of media exposure is that of apple cider vinegar. It has been touted by celebrities and regular people as doing various wonderful things. Does it really though?
Let’s look at what the research has to say about apple cider vinegar!
What is apple cider vinegar?
Apple cider vinegar is like white vinegar except that is made from fermented apple juice instead of grain alcohol. That is why it is brown instead of clear. They both have a strong scent but you can definitely pick out the apples in apple cider vinegar.
Vinegar contains something called acetic acid. This is a chemical that has antibacterial and antiseptic properties. Apple cider vinegar is about 5-6% acetic acid with the rest being water.
This type of vinegar has a PH level of two which means it is mildly acidic. It contains trace amounts of potassium, calcium, magnesium, sodium, iron, calcium and sulfur.
You can also find apple cider vinegar in gummies and capsules.
What can it allegedly do for us?
There are a lot of claims in regards to what apple cider vinegar can be used for. Some of these claims have a little bit of research behind them and some are purely anecdotal.
Here is a list of what people use apple cider vinegar for and if there is any evidence that it can actually help:
- Weight loss- This is one of the uses for apple cider vinegar that people read/hear about the most. There are only one or two scientific studies that show it aiding in weight loss. It is probably best not to rely on this if you are trying to lose some weight.
- Diabetes- There are a few studies that show there being a small decrease in blood sugar levels when apple cider vinegar is consumed. These studies involved two tablespoons of it a day.
- Blood pressure- Only one study showed a small decrease in blood pressure and it was done on rats.
- Skin- There are accounts of people using vinegar for issues such as acne, eczema and itchiness. A couple of studies done show that there is no significant benefit for its use in treating skin conditions. There is plenty of anecdotal evidence of it helping though.
- Varicose veins- Some people say that soaking cotton balls with apple cider vinegar and putting it on varicose veins will improve the appearance of them. There is no scientific evidence that it will do this at all.
- Acid reflux- Using apple cider vinegar for acid reflux is thought to work because of it balancing the PH level of the acid. This is another case where there is only some anecdotal evidence. It may actually make the burning worse in some cases.
- Stomach flu- On some parenting/mommy blogs you will read about people taking apple cider vinegar to prevent and kill off the stomach flu. There is absolutely no evidence for this and it may actually make things worse.
- Sore throats- Some people think that apple cider vinegar will kill off bacteria that is causing the sore throat but researchers say that it probably will not help at all.
- Yeast infections and fungus- There is very little scientific evidence to suggest that apple cider vinegar can treat yeast and fungus issues. Lots of anecdotal evidence though.
- Hair and scalp- People say it can help with dandruff, itchy scalp and build-up in the hair by way of lowering the PH level. This is all anecdotal.
- Hair loss- Apple cider vinegar has been touted by some to help with hair loss. No evidence of this has been found.
- Food- No scientific evidence needed for this one as anecdotal is just fine! There are lots of ways to use apple cider vinegar in recipes. You can use it in salad dressings, sauces, meat marinades, baking etc.
- Household uses- There is plenty of anecdotal evidence about its use around the house. People find it is useful for laundry, deodorizing, shining, removing stains, killing mold and more.
Some warnings on using it
Apple cider vinegar is not totally harmless. Here are some things that one needs to be aware of if they choose to use it in any way:
- It needs to be diluted- Vinegar is very strong and can cause burning and erosion at full strength.
- May cause stomach discomfort.
- May drop potassium levels.
- May cause slow digestion
How I use it
Okay, so I do love apple cider vinegar even though there is very little scientific evidence for the benefit claims. The following is a list of how I use it:
- For my hair- Once every other month I use it to “restore” my locs (I call them that because they are NOT dreadful!). I soak my hair for a few minutes in a big bowl of water mixed with apple cider vinegar and baking soda. After rinsing it out and shampooing/conditioning, my hair looks and feels wonderful. The color looks less dull as well. I also have used the vinegar as an after-shampoo rinse when we have hard water from not refilling the water softener machine. It prevents the dry feeling I get if I were not to do that.
- In my “hot toddies”- I put up a post about these hot toddies I make before. They are alcohol free and have apple cider vinegar instead. I just love the taste of vinegar (strange, huh?) and I do not really expect it to do anything for me health wise.
- Toilet bowl cleaner- Instead of always buying the containers of toilet bowl cleaner, I pour in baking soda and apple cider vinegar. I then scrub the bowl just as I would do if it were the cleaner I sometimes buy.
- Laundry- If some of our clothes are particularly stinky for whatever reason, I pour some apple cider vinegar in with them in the washing machine. Works like a charm!
Lots of people like apple cider vinegar
No, apple cider vinegar does not have a lot of scientific evidence behind it but people obviously still like using it. Through trial and error there are many different ways that it has been used.
Apple cider vinegar works great for me and I will continue to keep it around.
Do you use apple cider vinegar? If so, how?
Thanks for reading!
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