For more than 1,000 years, vinegar has been used for medicinal purposes. The Babylonians fermented the fruit of date palms for vinegar, and Hippocrates prescribed vinegar for his patients. Apple cider vinegar drinks, with honey added for sweetness, remain a traditional remedy for many health ailments. It is believed that apple cider vinegar can correct and restore pH balance in the body to fight conditions such as infection, joint pain, osteoporosis, stomach problems and suppress appetite.
Apple cider vinegar is used as a detoxifying elixir to help control weight and is incorporated in many weight-reducing regimens. Japanese researchers conducted a study in which they fed animals a high-fat diet supplemented with acetic acid, as in vinegar. The results, published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, showed the acidic diet produced 10 percent less body fat than in the control group, suggesting that vinegar was influencing genes linked to fatty acid oxidation and proteins.
In his book, Arthritis and Folk Medicine, Dr. D.C. Jarvis states his belief that calcium deposits contribute to arthritis because the stomach cannot make hydrochloric acid. His remedy is apple cider vinegar and honey in water, taken at each meal, to release calcium back into the blood for recirculation. However, the Department of Biology at the University of Bridgeport in Connecticut, conducted a study using rats with adjuvant arthritis, similar to human rheumatoid arthritis, which suggested that apple cider vinegar is ineffective as an anti-arthritis and anti-inflammatory agent.
A study performed by the Department of Nutrition at Arizona State University required fasting subjects to consume apple cider vinegar or a placebo. The conclusion, published in Diabetes Care, is that that vinegar may possess physiological effects similar to oral anti-diabetes drugs, warranting further investigations as to the effectiveness of vinegar for diabetes therapy.
Many people believe in vinegar’s ability to curb the appetite. A study from Lund University in Sweden studied the effects of vinegar supplementation on glucose levels. The findings, which were published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, suggest that high acetic acid levels lower blood glucose levels. Acetic acid also had an effect on lowering satiety. Before drinking apple cider vinegar, consult with your doctor for information on its interaction with medications and the risks of throat irritation.
- Amazing Apple Cider Vinegar: The History of Vinegar; Earl L. Mindell, R.Ph., Ph.D.; McGraw-Hill Professional, 1998
- Science Direct: The Effect of Apple Cider Vinegar on Adjuvant Arthritic Rats; M.S.Christine M. Ross et al.; 1984
- “Diabetes Care”: Vinegar Improves Insulin Sensitivity to a High-Carbohydrate Meal in Subjects With Insulin Resistance or Type 2 Diabetes; Carol S. Johnston et al; 2004
- “European Journal of Clinical Nutrition:” Vinegar Supplementation Lowers Glucose and Insulin Responses and Increases Satiety After a Bread Meal in Healthy Subjects; E Östman et al.; 2005
- John A. Rizzo/Photodisc/Getty Images
This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.