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Apple Cider Vinegar, Folk Remedy Or Legitimate Health Aid?

Aug 28, 2008
Apple cider vinegar is an old folk remedy claimed to be beneficial in treating a long list of ailments. It is sold today by "health food" companies and others who claim it has remedial properties. Apple cider vinegar is a type of vinegar made by the fermentation of apple cider. Unlike white vinegar, apple cider vinegar is a light yellow-brown color and is often sold unfiltered and unpasteurized with a dark, cloudy sediment called mother of vinegar (consisting mainly of acetic acid bacteria) settled at the bottom of the bottle.

Over the centuries, vinegar has been used for countless purposes: making pickles, killing weeds, cleaning coffee makers, polishing armor, and dressing salads. While many of the folk medicine uses of vinegar are unproven (or were disproved), there is some medical research backing them up.

The main ingredient of apple cider vinegar, or any vinegar, is acetic acid. Apple cider vinegar is also said to contain an abundance of complex carbohydrates and dietary fiber. Do not use a metal container when making vinegar or storing it; acid in the mixture will corrode metal or aluminum objects making the solution unfit for consumption.

When it comes to losing weight, experts say you are what you drink. Apple cider vinegar has recently found new use as a weight loss and weight management aide, and has been included in many over the counter weight loss nutritional supplements. Anecdotally, ancient Egyptians used apple cider vinegar for weight loss. The acetic acid in this vinegar can curve the appetite which benefits those trying to loose weight and keep it off.

Some say apple cider vinegar can help arthritis, osteoporosis, high blood pressure, and assist in digestion. It is also thought to help the body maintain a healthy alkaline level. The acidic nature of this vinegar has been said to help scalp problems such as dandruff, itchy scalp, baldness and thinning hair. Apple cider vinegar can also help gastric problems as well.

Civil War, soldiers used vinegar to prevent gastric upset and as a treatment for various ailments including pneumonia and scurvy. Research suggests that this vinegar can delay gastric emptying. Ten patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus and diabetic gastro paresis were studied; when the study was over the patients were able to demonstrate a significant delay in already delayed gastric emptying after the ingestion of vinegar. So delaying the rate at which the stomach empties can keep a sense of fullness for those looking to loose weight.

The effect of vinegar on blood glucose levels is perhaps the best researched and the most promising of apple cider vinegar's possible health benefits. Several studies have found that vinegar may help lower glucose levels. For example, a small study compared the effect of vinegar with white bread on blood glucose and insulin levels. Keeping blood sugar lower is important to diabetic patients which can help reduce the use of insulin. Subjects with type 2 diabetes showed a slight improvement in insulin sensitivity, but postprandial blood glucose and insulin levels were not affected when apple cider vinegar was added to a meal.

In conclusion, apple cider vinegar could theoretically interact with diuretics, laxatives, and medicines for diabetes and heart disease so you must be careful. Apple cider vinegar should always be diluted with water or juice before swallowed. If you have diabetes, check with your doctor before using apple cider vinegar. Furthermore, blood glucose must be monitored more frequently in patients with diabetes treated with insulin experiencing gastro paresis to prevent adverse hypoglycemic episodes. All those taking medications should consult a doctor because the acid in this vinegar can enhance absorption and increase Side effects.
About the Author
More information on apple cider vinegar is available at VitaNet , LLC Health Food Store. http://vitanetonline.com/
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