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There’s no denying that apple cider vinegar, or ACV, has become increasingly popular in health circles in recent years. In fact, many “gurus” swear by the health benefits of drinking apple cider vinegar every day.

But is there any scientific evidence for drinking ACV regularly? And, is it safe?

The Researched Health Benefits of Raw Apple Cider Vinegar

Many scientific studies have examined ACV (and it’s high concentrations of acetic acid). So far, the findings aren’t quite as glamorous as some may have you believe. That said, there are some interesting findings worth mentioning.

1. ACV May Help Blood Sugar Levels

Several studies have found a correlation between ACV and blood sugar levels. One particular study found that ACV significantly lowered post-meal blood glucose levels.

The study used a simple meal of a bagel, some butter, and orange juice. Participants were given 20 grams of apple cider vinegar immediately after the meal. Researchers found that the vinegar significantly lowered the participants’ post-meal blood sugar levels.1

So, ACV and its acetic acid may have some effect on blood glucose levels. However, it should never take the place of traditional medications.

2. ACV May Help Boost Weight Loss

Drinking apple cider vinegar daily isn’t going to magically shed weight for you, but studies have shown that it may be helpful in giving you a small boost.

In one study, participants who consumed apple cider vinegar, along with a low-calorie diet, lost more weight than those who followed the diet alone. The researchers theorized that ACV may help you to lose weight by reducing your appetite.

apple cider vinegar | LCR HealthStudy participants took three teaspoons of ACV with lunch and dinner. Those in the ACV group lost an average of just under 9 pounds, while the placebo participants only lost around 5 pounds over 12 weeks.2

3. ACV May Help Protect You From Bacteria

Simply adding ACV to your salad dressing may have its bonuses. One study found that the natural anti-microbial properties of ACV might protect people from salmonella-tainted salad.

Researchers found that both lemon juice and vinegar were individually able to decrease the growth of salmonella bacteria. And, even better, combining the two reduced salmonella bacteria to undetectable levels.3

So, eating ACV as part of your salad dressing may just help keep you from getting sick if you eat lettuce tainted with salmonella. Toss a salad with some ACV and lemon, and you’ve got a delicious way to help fight off nasty bacteria!

4. ACV May Improve Hair Condition

Now, this one has nothing to do with drinking apple cider vinegar. Turns out, some people use ACV on their hair, as they believe it makes it shinier. And though no study backs this finding, one study does lend itself to the theory.

In a study on shampoo pH, researchers argue that alkaline hair products tend to cause hair to become damaged and frizzy. A low-pH solution should be applied, so that the electrostatic forces can be neutralized.4

So, the highly acidic nature of acetic acid in ACV may make it a suitable hair rinse to counterbalance an overuse of alkaline hair products. This may be why some people believe ACV makes their hair so shiny!

Potential Side Effects of Apple Cider Vinegar

It’s always best to be clear on some of the potential side effects of using ACV, whether internally or externally. This is because the acetic acid in ACV gives it a highly acidic nature.

  • Consuming too many acidic foods and beverages (like ACV) can wear down your tooth enamel. And tooth enamel can’t be replaced.
  • Apple cider vinegar may cause an irritated sore throat if consumed too regularly.
  • Acidic liquids can affect stomach acid and trigger nausea, acid reflux, or an upset stomach.
  • If you have a chronic kidney condition you may not be able to process the excess acid, so it’s best avoided.5
  • Vinegar may cause burns if applied to the skin for long periods.6

apple cider vinegar | LCR HealthIt’s always smart to dilute apple cider vinegar in a glass of water if you intend on drinking it, as it’s far more gentle on your teeth and throat.

Apple Cider Vinegar Benefits

Apple cider vinegar is incredibly sour due to its high level of acetic acid, which forms during the fermentation process. But this doesn’t stop people from embracing it with open arms.

As long as you take the right precautions – like always diluting with water before you drink apple cider vinegar, and understanding that ACV is not a miracle worker – it’s a relatively safe tonic.

But, if you’re unsure, talk to your doctor about the potential health benefits of ACV weighed against your own health concerns. They will be able to best advise how you proceed.

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