Updated: Oct 12
Apple Cider Vinegar has been peddled by many as the miracle cure for everything. Since its initial craze, it's been broken down, refined, and mutilated into forms that are just usable enough to get its name listed in the "Ingredients" under the products nutrition facts. What exactly is Apple Cider Vinegar? What claims are being made about its uses? And what does the science have to say about the matter? Is Apple Cider Vinegar Safe? Great questions! Let's get started.
What exactly is Apple Cider Vinegar?
Apple Cider Vinegar is made from the juices of crushed apples, which is then fermented into an alcohol using yeast and bacteria, before being converted into a vinegar using acetic-acid bacteria. If this description doesn't make you want to pour it down your throat...🤷. The actual purpose of this product? Originally a preservative, it's an ingredient in marinades, salad dressings, and similar products.
What claims are being made about its uses?
A list of claims about what its not able to do would probably be shorter, but it's primary claims are that it helps you lose weight, manage blood sugar levels and triglycerides, and manage hunger. Why are these the primary claims? They're the only ones that have any shred of evidence, even if that "evidence" is questionable.
What does the science say about this matter?
Short Answer: 🤷 Science doesn't really know yet.
Long Answer: Out of almost 500 research papers reviewed, about 2% of those dealt with humans. The longest study, about 12 weeks. (Yes, I'm also drowning in this plethora of scientific information. By drowning I mean the water is about knee height... for the ant next to me... do ants technically have knees?)
Apple Cider Vinegar might provide health benefits, but all of the data (overwhelming amounts I know 🙄) is considered questionable at best and likely straight up poor. There have been no high quality studies with appropriate control groups to even strongly suggest benefits, let alone any benefits of consistent use (12 weeks just doesn't cut it).
And a reminder, it was made as an ingredient for preserving food. But accidently ended up being the miracle cure for everything? I'll wait for more research.
Is Apple Cider Vinegar Safe?
With all things that we put in our bodies, that depends. Consuming large amounts have resulted in hospitalization. I'm not sure how anyone can manage to choke down amounts that high, but don't. Taking a high dose of four tablespoons can lead to frequent bowel movements, frequent burping, and frequent farting... so take four tablespoons before your next date and make 2021 your year! (kidding!)
The probable safest maximum dose: two tablespoons.
Who is this article written for?
There are two groups of people who strongly believe in Apple Cider Vinegar: Quacks and Well Intentioned people wanting to get back to more natural roots and have a borderline rational-irrational distrust of modern medicine. While this article will convince neither of these groups, I have a lot more respect for the latter.
There's a third group. This group is likely to respond most aggressively to the logical information presented. This group meets the following criteria:
They might be quacks, but they are not well-intentioned people with a distrust for modern medicine. If they're not quacks, they likely pretend to be the latter.
They work in the supplement industry and profit millions by tricking groups yet to be mentioned into buying Apple Cider Vinegar and other shit products that list Apple Cider Vinegar as an ingredient.
They likely don't even use the product themselves, but might only as a token. They know it's not supported by science.
The next couple groups could be grouped as one: The group that wants to try Apple Cider Vinegar, but has read articles like this one so they're on the fence AND the group that's unsure about Apple Cider Vinegar but has heard so much about its benefits. I call this group, the skeptics. This article is for them.
Still want to try it?
If you want to try it after reading this, make it an experiment. Become the scientist for two weeks.
3-5 days before your experiment, start a journal that you record the following things in: 1. Everything you eat or drink that day, 2. How you feel when you wake up, 3. How you feel going to bed, 4. A summary of your days activity, 5. A record of your exercise, and 6. Anything emotional or stressful that happens to you.
2 Weeks during your experiment: Continue the journal you started and try to replicate your typical day as stated during your 3-5 days or journaling. Make no other changes. Take your daily dose (safely, no more than 2 tablespoons a day no matter what quack you talk to!).
After the 2 Weeks. Compare the data from the experiment (2 weeks) to what's typical (your 3-5 days). Feel free to share your results with me to discuss further.
Even if the data was found to be of high quality and trustworthy, the results from the studies were not significant, especially when compared to proven methods such as exercise and nutrition implemented in small steps over time.
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