This Cheap Food May be the Best “Supplement” You’ll Ever Buy!
If it sometimes seems like supplements are too expensive – and there are too many you “should” take – I can sympathize. I take something like 30 or 35 pills and capsules every morning.
So today I’m happy to bring you some good news – one of the best “supplements” on earth is a food you’re almost sure to have in your kitchen right now, and it costs practically nothing.
The fermented combination of chopped apples, water and sugar—apple cider vinegar, in other words – is said to be useful for a huge range of ailments from healing acne to reducing warts.
Its use as a healing remedy goes back to ancient times, but it wasn’t until Dr. DC Jarvis wrote Folk Medicine in 1958 that a large number of people started to realize apple cider vinegar (and honey) were powerful “medicines.”
Advocates claim it cures so many ills, I do wonder whether all these medical problems really roll over for fermented apple juice. It sounds too good to be true. So I was interested to see some new findings from a doctor and a scientist in Britain.
In particular, their team was interested in testing claims that apple cider vinegar can lower blood sugar levels, reduce weight, lessen inflammation and control cholesterol.
Existing Evidence Offers Support
Each of these health claims, except inflammation, already had some science to support it. Here are some findings that predate the recent UK study.
A study published in Diabetes Care found that, compared to placebo, apple cider vinegar taken after eating high carbohydrate food improved insulin sensitivity by 34% in subjects with insulin resistance and by 19% in those with type 2 diabetes.
The researchers concluded that vinegar may be as effective as drugs when it comes to controlling blood sugar.1
A few small human studies also show that vinegar gives a feeling of being full after a carbohydrate meal,2 which leads to fewer calories being consumed,3 and reduced body weight.4
There is some evidence from animal research that vinegar may have an effect on cholesterol levels, but no human trials have been conducted until now.
Lowers Blood Sugar By 36%
For the new study, UK doctor, author and science journalist Michael Mosley teamed up with biologist Dr. James Brown from Aston University to, first off, assess apple cider vinegar’s effects on blood sugar.
After an overnight fast, 13 volunteers had their blood sugar tested before and after eating two bagels. As expected, there was a huge spike in blood sugar after ingesting the bread.
This was repeated the next day, but this time seven of the participants drank diluted apple cider vinegar before they ate the food.
This was repeated with the other six, but they drank diluted malt vinegar before eating the bagels.
The unexpected findings were that malt vinegar had little impact, but the apple cider vinegar lowered blood sugar by 36% over 90 minutes. This would suggest that benefits go beyond its acetic acid content, as this is common to both types of vinegar.5
Next, the researchers tested apple cider vinegar’s effect on weight loss, inflammation and cholesterol.
Lowers Cholesterol By 13%
27 volunteers were divided into three groups. The first took two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in 200 ml of water, twice a day before meals. The second group did likewise, but took malt vinegar instead of apple. The third (placebo) group drank colored water.
Results two months later revealed that none had lost weight.
C-reactive protein levels, which measure inflammation, rose in the malt and placebo groups but came down in the apple cider group. However, the effect wasn’t strong enough to be considered significant.
However, Mosley and Brown were “really excited” to see a 13% fall in total cholesterol, in spite of the fact that the volunteers had normal levels at the start of the study.5
So, apple cider vinegar really can have positive effects on health. My takeaway is that apple cider vinegar is definitely useful in managing blood sugar, and probably helpful in reducing cholesterol.
As to whether it can detox the body, heal poison ivy, fight seasonal allergies and all the other claims made for it, these may be true, but apparently aren’t confirmed in published studies. You’ll just have to try it for yourself.