Does apple cider vinegar improve gut health?

What is apple cider vinegar?

Apple cider vinegar is a type of vinegar made using sugar, crushed apples and yeast.1, It is made using a two-step process and can be made at home!

Firstly, crushed apples are exposed to yeast which causes the sugars in the apples to ferment and turn to alcohol. Then, bacteria is added, which further ferments the alcohol turning it into acetic acid. This is the main active compound found in vinegar.2

Many apple cider vinegar that is organic and unfiltered will state that they contain the mother, a substance with strands of proteins, enzymes and good bacteria. This substance is responsible for the murky appearance of apple cider vinegar.2

Apple cider vinegar naturally contains the nutrients Pectin, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B6, Biotin, Folic Acid, Vitamin C, Potassium, and Calcium, making it an incredible boost for your health.5

Is apple cider vinegar good for gut health?

Apple cider vinegar contains probiotics - good bacteria essential for gut health. The gut microbiome contains hundreds of trillions of bacteria, both good and bad.

To maintain balance in the gut, there must be more good bacteria than bad. If there aren’t enough good bacteria, bad bacteria can multiply and cause an imbalance known as dysbiosis which has been linked to many diseases.3

Probiotics add new strains of good bacteria to the gut microbiome, meaning apple cider vinegar can positively impact the gut. By adding new good bacteria and diversifying the bacteria within the gut, the bad bacteria have less room to cause issues.

70% of the immune system is found in the gut, meaning an unhealthy gut can limit how well your immune system functions. An unhealthy gut can cause inflammation which the immune system will focus on keeping under control. This means the immune system has less time to focus its efforts on keeping you well.

Apple cider vinegar can help fight off the gut's bad bacteria, reducing inflammation and allowing the immune system to function correctly. By boosting blood circulation, it can also help to remove toxins from your system faster and keep you healthy and thriving.5

Can apple cider vinegar help weight loss?

Studies have indicated that apple cider vinegar can have a positive effect on weight loss for overweight and obese people. The health of the gut microbiome has been shown to be connected to fat accumulation and energy homeostasis, whilst bad bacteria, in particular, have been linked to the regulation of fat metabolism.4

In simpler terms, this means that the health of your gut can impact how well your body burns fat cells, gives you energy and how fat is stored. If your gut is healthier, your body can burn fat cells and help you to lose weight that is being unnecessarily stored.

As apple cider vinegar contains probiotics that help to heal, maintain and diversify the gut, it has the potential to aid in weight loss. The acetic acid in apple cider vinegar has been linked to a reduced appetite, which can also help in weight loss by reducing snacking and overeating.5

Does apple cider vinegar help type 2 diabetes?

Apple cider vinegar can help your body to use insulin better as it increases sensitivity to insulin. This can help blood sugar levels to be regulated after eating. A study has also shown that having apple cider vinegar before bed can moderate blood sugar levels upon waking.6

More research is needed in this area, as many studies have not been completed on humans. Although current research does look promising, true benefits are not currently fully understood.

For those with type 1 diabetes or those on insulin with type 2 diabetes, contact a medical practitioner before taking apple cider vinegar. A study found apple cider vinegar delayed gastric emptying for those taking insulin, making it more difficult to control blood sugar levels.6

How is it best to consume apple cider vinegar?

Apple cider vinegar can be consumed on its own, although it is a bit of an acquired taste. A spoonful first thing in the morning is excellent to reap the benefits, as this is when your stomach acid is at its lowest point.7 Probiotics work best when they reach the intestines and surpass stomach acid, so this is the best time of day to absorb nutrients. 

Mixing apple cider vinegar with water or lemon juice can make it more palatable and allow you to reap the benefits of the added fluid.

Final Thoughts

Apple cider vinegar can be an excellent tool for health. If you get any stomach burning or tooth pain, discontinue use as you may have an intolerance. If you have any health concerns that may be impacted, check with your doctor before adding it to your diet. It’s always better to proceed cautiously when adding anything new to your routine!

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