Apple Cider Vinegar - ACV to its friends - a powerful tool in your wellness toolbelt.

The name “vinegar” comes from the French vin-aigre, meaning “sour wine.”

Basically, vinegar is produced when a certain type of bacteria, acetobacter, reacts with oxygen in a fermented liquid like wine or beer. This process creates acetic acid, of which vinegar is made. Apple cider vinegar comes from fermented apple cider. It’s a two-step process wherein yeast digests the sugars found in apples and converts them to alcohol and the acetobacter converts the alcohol into acetic acid. (1) The final product no longer has alcohol but does have the distinct sour taste of vinegar.

Apple cider vinegar has a long and colorful history of use. It may have been “discovered” as early as 5000 BC, although there’s no real way to verify this. At first, it seems to have been used mainly as a culinary ingredient, but its medicinal value began to be recognized somewhere around 3000-2000 BC.

It really came into its own around 400 BC when Hippocrates (often called the father of modern medicine) started prescribing vinegar for illnesses and as a preventative measure. He’s also credited with using it to clean and treat wounds.

Another famous proponent of apple cider vinegar was the Egyptian ruler Cleopatra (c. 50 BC) who drank it for good digestion and skin health. Soldiers of several different civilizations, including Greek and Roman soldiers as well Japanese samurais, drank apple cider vinegar as a tonic for strength, durability, and good digestion. They also carried it to

clean wounds on the battlefield.(1)

To this day, apple cider vinegar firmly remains a staple of what could be called folk medicine and is used as a natural tonic for many everyday ailments.

All apple cider vinegar is not the same, and there are a few things to look for when buying it to make sure you’ll actually be getting all its benefits.

Buying organic is always a good choice when possible but especially so if apples are involved. They are consistently on the “Dirty Dozen” list that keeps track of produce with the highest amount of pesticide residue and are frequently treated with a chemical called diphenylamine after harvest.(2)

Apple cider vinegar can be processed to remove the “mother,” a sediment made of enzymes, beneficial bacteria, and protein that forms as a result of the fermentation process. Raw and unfiltered vinegar keeps the mother along with its beneficial properties and is thought to have more powerful health benefits.

Helps Maintain Healthy Blood Sugar Levels

The ability of apple cider vinegar to help lower and regulate blood sugar levels is one of its most studied benefits. Lowering high blood sugar levels is especially important for those with diabetes but is also good for overall health in general.

A study published by the American Diabetes Association evaluated whether taking apple cider vinegar before a high carb meal would benefit the blood glucose levels of participants with insulin sensitivity, insulin resistance, or type 2 diabetes. It was found that the apple cider vinegar significantly reduced blood glucose levels compared to the

placebo.(3) Several other human and animal studies have confirmed these results.(4)

Of course, apple cider vinegar isn’t meant to replace any medication, but the best way to use it for blood sugar is to dilute 1-2 tablespoons in water and drink before a meal.

Helps Weight Loss

One of the more surprising confirmed benefits of apple cider vinegar is for weight loss. It won’t help the number on the scale go down all on its own but can be a much-needed aid on your weight loss journey.

Vinegar has been shown to promote a sense of fullness, which in turn will cause you to eat less and cut down on your overall calorie intake.(5)

Interestingly, at least one study has shown that consuming 15-30 mL (about 1-2 tablespoons) of vinegar a day can lead to a modest weight loss with no other lifestyle or diet changes. Not bad at all for a “folk remedy”! (6)

Take 1-2 tablespoons of vinegar a day (diluted in water) accompanied by healthy diet and lifestyle changes

Help Lower Cholesterol