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Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar may provide some health benefits when taken with meals, such as reducing glucose spikes and suppressing appetite. That being said, the magnitude of the benefits is unclear, and excessive vinegar consumption may damage the gastrointestinal tract.

Our evidence-based analysis on apple cider vinegar features 33 unique references to scientific papers.

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Apple Cider Vinegar Summary

What is Apple Cider Vinegar?

Apple cider vinegar is a vinegar made from apple juice. It contains the usual acetic acid content of vinegar and small amounts of various phytochemicals found in apples. It’s one of those widely beloved and yet widely scoffed-at word-of-mouth health remedies. Mix it with lemon juice and coconut oil, and you have the trifecta of popular home remedies (seems like a bad flavor combination though).

What are Apple Cider Vinegar’s benefits?

It seems to have a modest ability to reduces the glycemic index of foods, making it a possible tool for helping to manage blood sugar. More research is needed, and it’s unclear how its effects differ from any other type of vinegar, but the benefits are unlikely to differ a great deal since acetic acid may be the main driver of its benefits. Apple cider vinegar also seems to be mildly appetite-suppressing and may assist dieting, with a little research finding a spontaneous reduction in food intake and body fat.

What are Apple Cider Vinegar’s side effects and drawbacks?

Due to its acidic nature, it can damage various tissues and tooth enamel. Application to sensitive skin, excessive consumption (especially of undiluted vinegar), and excessive consumption of pickled foods may lead to damaged tissue. There is an association between pickled food and gastric cancer, and while it’s unclear what the connection might be, vinegar is a plausible explanation.

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How to Take

Medical Disclaimer

Recommended dosage, active amounts, other details

30 ml daily, spread out between meals.

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Human Effect Matrix

The Human Effect Matrix looks at human studies (it excludes animal and in vitro studies) to tell you what effects apple cider vinegar has on your body, and how strong these effects are.
Grade Level of Evidence
Robust research conducted with repeated double-blind clinical trials
Multiple studies where at least two are double-blind and placebo controlled
Single double-blind study or multiple cohort studies
Uncontrolled or observational studies only
Level of Evidence
? The amount of high quality evidence. The more evidence, the more we can trust the results.
Outcome Magnitude of effect
? The direction and size of the supplement's impact on each outcome. Some supplements can have an increasing effect, others have a decreasing effect, and others have no effect.
Consistency of research results
? Scientific research does not always agree. HIGH or VERY HIGH means that most of the scientific research agrees.
Notes
grade-c Minor Moderate See all 5 studies
There's an inconsistent effect on blood sugar after meals, with the most plausible explanation being the baseline insulin sensitivity of the participants. Those with notable insulin resistance are more likely to see a reduction than those with good glucose clearance. One study looked at fasting levels and noted a benefit in people with type 2 diabetes while another didn't find a notable effect, but fasting levels were normal so this is unsurprising.
grade-c - Moderate See all 5 studies
While some studies suggest a reduction in insulin after meals, many others don't, and it's not apparent if differences in insulin sensitivity can explain the changes. One study looked at fasting insulin and found a comparable reduction in the apple cider vinegar group as compared with the placebo group in type 2 diabetes patients. Another study looked at fasting insulin and found a small reduction in the low dose (15 ml) group but not the high dose group (30 ml).
grade-d Minor - See study
Subject ratings of appetite according to the Simplified Nutritional Appetite Questionnaire were reduced somewhat more in an apple cider vinegar group than a placebo group in one study. More research is needed, though spontaneous reductions in caloric intake are common in other studies., lending support to the idea of apple cider vinegar as an appetite-suppressant.
grade-d Minor Moderate See 2 studies
One study on obese participants found a small reduction over 4 weeks with doses of 15 and 30 ml, but not a placebo. The greater reduction was seen in the 30 ml group While both apple cider vinegar groups reported a greater reduction in energy intake than the placebo group, the low-dose group reported the greatest reduction. It's important to note that these records can be inaccurate.
grade-d Minor - See study
One study noted a very slight increase in the apple cider vinegar group and a decrease in the placebo group. It's unclear why this was the case, and more studies are needed to verify.
grade-d Minor - See study
One study found a reduction in the apple cider vinegar group, though it's possible that the effect is due to a reduction in caloric intake and overall weight loss.
grade-d Minor - See study
Somewhat of an increase in one study. Needs replication.
grade-d Minor High See all 3 studies
One study found a notable reduction in both 15 ml and 30 ml groups, but not for placebo, while another found a small increase. More research is needed to determine what can be expected from apple cider vinegar.
grade-d Minor Very High See 2 studies
One study in overweight participants found a reduction in both 15 and 30 ml groups, and none in the placebo group. The low dose group saw a reduction of 1.2 kg while the high dose group saw a reduction of 1.9 kg over the course of 4 weeks. While both apple cider vinegar groups reported a greater reduction in energy intake than the placebo group, the low-dose group reported the greatest reduction. It's important to note that these records can be inaccurate.
grade-d - - See 2 studies
While one study found a modest reduction with 30 ml (which was more effective than 15), another study failed to find a greater reduction with 20 ml than a placebo. Much more research is needed before knowing if and when apple cider vinegar may have a reliable effect on blood pressure.
grade-d - - See study
One study didn't find a notable difference in malondialdehyde with 20 ml per day over 4 weeks, though the placebo group saw a considerable increase. Thus, even there the difference was statistically significant it's unclear if this is a genuine effect of apple cider vinegar. More studies are needed.
grade-d - Moderate See 2 studies
One study found a modest improvement only in the 15 ml group and not the 30 ml group, while another didn't note an effect. Much more research is needed to assess the effects of apple cider vinegar, and particularly independently of weight loss.
grade-d - High See all 3 studies
Two studies have failed to note a clear effect.
grade-d - Moderate See 2 studies
One study noted a small but statistically significant reduction in non-diabetics, while another didn't find a difference compared with placebo. Much more research, particularly in type 2 diabetics, is needed.
grade-d - - See study
One study found a small reduction in the apple cider vinegar group but an increase in the control group. It's unclear if the difference is a genuine effect of apple cider vinegar.
grade-d - High See all 3 studies
No apparent meaningful effect in two studies.
grade-d - Low See all 3 studies
Slightly greater reduction with 15 ml and 30 ml as compared with placebo in one study, while there was a slight, inconsequential increase in another.

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Things to Note

Other Functions:

Primary Function:

Also Known As

ACV

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Click here to see all 33 references.