Apple cider vinegar has gained quite a lot of recognition. People recommend this type of vinegar for weight loss, to fight against certain conditions, and even to improve gut health. While the nutritional value of apple cider vinegar, apart from its potassium content, is one the low side, studies have still associated some of these benefits – and even more – with the use of this product.
The main compound in apple cider vinegar that is associated with the majority of health benefits offered is known as acetic acid. Let’s consider what exactly acetic acid is and how this compound might be a solution to a healthier you.
What Is Acetic Acid?
If you have ever had a taste of vinegar and found the taste unbearable, then you have had an experience with acetic acid. This compound is what causes vinegar to get that sour, tangy taste. Even though it might cause apple cider vinegar, as well as many other fermented goods like pickles, get a sour taste that some find unpleasant, the compound has several beneficial effects on your body.
Before we move on to look at the benefits, it is important to note that not all types of acetic acid are safe. There are cases where acetic acid is produced in industrial settings. Industrial facilities utilize specific types of chemicals to produce acetic acid – and when this is the case, then the acetic acid is certainly not meant for human consumption. When you get a dose of acetic acid through a daily serving of apple cider vinegar, however, then there is no need to worry – as this is considered very safe.
What Benefits Can Acetic Acid Offer You?
There are many studies that have focused on providing data on how acetic acid could benefit the human body. Below, you will find a list of some important benefits that should be noted when it comes to considering the effects of acetic acid and apple cider vinegar in human health.
1. Fat-Fighting Capabilities
One of the most common reasons for people to take apple cider vinegar capsules is to lose weight, possibly. The only problem is, the opinions on the fat-fighting capabilities of this product are mixed. While some do believe that it can help to reduce fat in the body, others consider it false and ineffective.
Luckily, a study that was reported by the American Chemical Society has shed some light on this particular topic. In Japan, a group of researchers analysed the impact of acetic acid on the body fat in laboratory testing subjects.
Laboratory mice were used in the experiment. There were two groups of mice involved in the study. Both groups were fed a diet that contained high amounts of fat. In one group, acetic acid was provided alongside the diet, while the other group did not receive this type of supplementation. Following the study, the body fat in the mice that were provided acetic acid was up to 10% lower than that of the mice who did not receive this compound in their diet.
2. Appetite Suppressant
When trying to lose weight, getting the hold on your eating habit is key when it comes to the effectiveness of your diet.
Apple cider vinegar helps to control your eating habits by stimulating the production of enzymes that suppress cravings for some specific types of foods. It, also, seems to have positive impact on the body's natural production of chemical serotonin, which, on the other hand, helps with controlling emotional imbalances that cause you to consume food due to emotional behaviour.
In other words, the regular consumption of apple cider vinegar before meals help you feel fuller quicker.
3. Antimicrobial Activity
Bacterial infections can cause harm to the body and lead to serious, sometimes life-threatening complications. While antibiotics can effectively treat such an infection, there is a risk of side-effects associated with these drugs. Additionally, we also see an increase in antibiotic resistance.
Multiple studies have found that the acetic acid in apple cider vinegar is highly effective at killing certain types of bacteria. A study published in the Journal of Scientific Reports explains that acetic acid seems to downregulate the expression of microbial proteins, as well as cytokine proteins.
This study found acetic acid, specifically from apple cider vinegar, to be effective against three specific types of pathogenic microorganisms:
- Escherichia coli
- Candida albicans
- Staphylococcus aureus
4. Improves The Gut Health
The gut is the power house of the body! Behind the scenes, our gut is responsible for putting our body into working order. While it breaks down the food we eat, our gut absorbs all the nutrients that support our body’s functions — from the productions of energy to hormone balance, skin health to mental health, and even the body's detoxification.
Maintaining the gut healthy is fundamental for the overall wellbeing. ACV is knows to reduce the “bad” bacteria and increase the “good” ones, acting as a natural antibiotic to improve gut health without adverse effects on your body.
5. Effective in Fighting Acne
As we've seen above, Apple cider vinegar is amazing in fighting bacteria. Along with the acetic acid, ACV is also rich in citric, lactic, and succinic acid, all of which have been shown to be effective in killing Propionibacterium acnes or P. acnes, which is the primary bacteria that causes acne. These acids can also help with the prevention of acne scars by reducing inflammation and smoothing out texture and pigmentation leaving the skin smoother and cleaner.
6. Helps with Blood Sugar Regulation
High blood sugar levels, associated with a condition called type 2 diabetes, can cause serious damage to the human body. This is yet another area where acetic acid may come into play.
According to a study in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the use of acetic acid in the form of vinegar seems to reduce the spikes in blood sugar levels that occur following the consumption of food. In the study, there was a 31.4% reduction in glucose response among the individuals who had consumed bread with acetic acid and olive oil, compared to those who were not provided with acetic acid as part of the meal.
7. Gets Rid Of Bad Breath
Say goodbye to your bad breath for good – apple cider vinegar helps clear the bacteria in your mouth and it has an anti-septic property that helps breakdown plaque, which fights the bacteria causing the breath to smell bad.
8. Regulates Blood Pressure Levels
Hypertension, a term used to describe high blood pressure, is another serious issue that leads to blood vessel damage, as well as heart disease.
Another study, also published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that the acetic acid content in vinegar may effectively downregulate the expression of AT1R. In turn, this may assist in reducing blood pressure levels among study subjects who have hypertension.
The acetic acid found in products like apple cider vinegar has been associated with a relatively large number of health benefits. This is a low-calorie option perfect for people trying to burn excess fat, but could also yield effective results when treating issues like an infection.