Does apple cider vinegar help create health?
Mary B, Wisconsin
Hi Mary and thanks for your question.
Apple cider vinegar is high in pre- and probiotics and is made from apple peel fermentation. You are looking for the ‘mother’ or the part that makes apple cider vinegar murky and is found in organic apples. Apples are high in polyphenols which are known to have antioxidant effects (anti-inflammatory). Polyphenols include a better-known chemical constituent group called flavonoids.
The internet is full of interesting opinions of cure all’s, apple cider vinegar being one of them. As for heartburn, the intake of too much apple cider vinegar may lead to increased heartburn. The thought here is that apple cider vinegar helps to increase stomach acid naturally. The real question is why is your stomach acid low? The goal is to get to the root cause of the heartburn. Another perspective to consider is that apple cider vinegar does degrade the enamel and so if you do decide to consume apple cider vinegar make sure to rinse your mouth out with fresh water twice to remove the acid.
Apple cider vinegar has known and well researched antimicrobial effects on the human microbiome. It is somewhat antifungal specifically against candida strains and may be helpful for denture-related oral candida. It is antibacterial towards a common cause of food poisoning and UTIs known as E. coli. It also has benefits against a very common bacteria called S. aureus which is responsible for a slew of infections in the respiratory tract, the skin and the joints.
Currently on the internet there are several statements about apple cider vinegar being antidiabetic and anti-lipid forming. The data is not solid on these statements as most of the cited studies are in rats and mice. Though data can be extrapolated, this is not ideal because rat and mouse data do not always transfer over equally to humans. However, something of interest is that it reduces inflammatory markers which are things that increase the likelihood of elevated lipid markers.
Why is this? The body is innately intelligent and so it produces fats to protect itself from the increased inflammatory cytokines (like IL6 and TNF alpha). Think of the lipids being like bandages to cover up the effects from the elevated blood glucose and inflammation.
As naturopathic doctors, we understand that we need to give the body what it needs and help the body take out the trash followed by allowing the body to do its job!
Thanks for the question Mary!
Dr. Shayna Keller