There’s no ‘miracle’ cure for this: Learn all about apple cider vinegar and how beneficial it really is – Healthcare News

Apple cider vinegar is sold as a panacea for many ailments. But is it beneficial in any way? Dr. Priyanka Rohatgi, chief nutritionist at Apollo Hospitals, says that apple cider vinegar has been touted for several health benefits, some of which have scientific backing, while others remain anecdotal. One of the well-researched benefits is its ability to aid weight loss when consumed as part of a balanced diet. Some studies suggest that it can help lower blood sugar levels, which could be beneficial for people with diabetes or prediabetes. However, evidence of its effectiveness in treating other conditions, such as lowering cholesterol levels or improving skin health, requires further research.

It is important to note that excessive consumption of apple cider vinegar can erode tooth enamel and irritate the throat or stomach lining. Moderation and consultation with a health professional is recommended, says Dr. Rohatgi.

Lowers blood sugar, fights obesity?
Several studies have shown that consuming apple cider vinegar before or with a high-carb meal can improve insulin sensitivity and help regulate blood sugar levels in people with insulin resistance or type 2 diabetes. It is believed that the acetic acid in apple cider vinegar delays the absorption of sugars from the digestive tract, preventing rapid spikes in blood sugar levels. However, it is important to note that while apple cider vinegar may have a modest effect on blood sugar control, it should not be considered a substitute for prescribed medications or a diabetes management plan recommended by a healthcare professional. As for its potential role in fighting obesity, some research suggests that apple cider vinegar may contribute to weight loss when combined with a calorie-controlled diet. However, the evidence is inconclusive.

Antimicrobial and antioxidant properties
Apple cider vinegar is believed to have antimicrobial properties due to its acetic acid content. Some studies have shown that apple cider vinegar can inhibit the growth of certain bacteria, such as Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus. This antimicrobial effect has been attributed to the ability of acetic acid to alter the pH balance and cellular processes of harmful microorganisms. However, these studies were conducted in controlled laboratory settings, and the effectiveness of apple cider vinegar as an antimicrobial agent in the human body requires further research.

Apple cider vinegar contains polyphenolic compounds, known for their antioxidant activity. These compounds, such as chlorogenic acid, gallic acid, and caffeic acid, can help neutralize free radicals and potentially reduce oxidative stress in the body. However, the antioxidant capacity of apple cider vinegar is generally considered moderate compared to other sources such as fruits and vegetables.

Who should consume it as medicine and in what doses?
Apple cider vinegar should be consumed as a supplement or alternative medicine with caution and under the guidance of a healthcare professional. Although it may offer potential benefits for certain people, it is not a one-size-fits-all solution, and the right dose may vary depending on the individual’s health status and other factors. For people with type 2 diabetes or insulin resistance, some studies suggest that consuming 1-2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar diluted in water before a high-carb meal can help regulate blood sugar levels . However, it is crucial to consult with a doctor or dietitian to determine the appropriate dosage and ensure that it does not interfere with any prescribed medication or diabetes management plan.

For people looking to incorporate apple cider vinegar as a potential weight loss aid or for its purported antimicrobial or antioxidant properties, the recommended dosage is generally lower, ranging from 1 to 2 teaspoons per day.

Any conditions to avoid?
There are certain conditions and situations where apple cider vinegar should be avoided or consumed with caution. People with digestive disorders such as ulcers, gastritis or acid reflux should exercise caution when consuming apple cider vinegar due to its high acidity, which can aggravate these conditions. Also, people with kidney disease or those prone to kidney stones should limit their intake of apple cider vinegar, as it can contribute to an increased risk of stone formation. Apple cider vinegar should also be avoided or consumed in moderation by people taking certain medications, such as insulin or diuretics. Also, people with dental problems such as enamel erosion or sensitive teeth should be cautious when consuming undiluted apple cider vinegar, as it can further damage tooth enamel. People who are pregnant or breastfeeding should also consult a health professional.

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