Apple Cider Vinegar was used by Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, around 400 BC in ancient Greece, to treat a variety of ills. Through the centuries, it has been used for a variety of treatments, including use during the Civil War for stomach ills. Now this ‘folk remedy’ that has endured the ages is a staple in our arsenal of health care products.
What’s the magic ingredient? Acetic acid, the main ingredient in apple cider vinegar (ACV). Among its qualities, acetic acid plays an important role in the digestive process, helping to stimulate the production of hydrochloric acid and the enzymes needed to break down fats.* It also creates an environment that is hostile to germs.* Many people take ACV as part of their daily health regime as a preventive measure.
Five Benefits of ACV
1. Improve digestion. While the idea of taking something acetic to counteract stomach acid doesn’t at first seem to make sense, ACV can help stimulate production of hydrochloric acid, which helps the digestive process.* It also can help balance pH levels, reducing the occasional burn of backflow from the stomach into the esophagus. It is thought that ACV can deliver a host of gut bacteria benefits along with improved ability to absorb nutrients.* (Occasional heartburn may result from an over-production of hydrochloric acid in the stomach, in which case ACV should not be taken.)
2. Weight Loss. ACV appears to reduce hunger as well as the total amount of food consumed.* This may be because the acetic acid in ACV helps reduce sugar “spiking” and reducing the sugar “high” that triggers cravings; it also helps let your brain know when you are full, so you tend to eat less.* Several laboratory studies (published in Bioscience, Biotechnology and Biochemistry) seem to support ACV as a weight management tool. In one study, mice given ACV were found to be less likely to gain body fat, while having higher energy expenditure and oxygen intake, and they burned more fat for energy than those just given water, suggesting that acetic acid helps suppress body fat buildup.(1) A similar study of 155 people who were considered obese (BMI 23-30) found that ACV helped reduce body fat, resulting in a smaller waistline and less abdominal fat for those taking ACV than those in the control group that did not take ACV.(2) While scientific data is limited, there is ample anecdotal evidence that ACV can have a positive impact on weight management.
3. Heart Health. How our bodies break down fats is a complex process. ACV may help improve how fats are broken down by counterbalancing the underproduction of hydrochloric acid. Maintaining adequate levels of hydrochloric acid is essential for digestive health as well as heart health.
It helps to understand a little more about how digestion works and how the body breaks down fats. When food reaches the stomach, a small amount of the enzyme gastric lipase is produced to begin the process. Once the food moves to the small intestines, bile made by the liver and stored in the gallbladder is released to help emulsify the remaining fat. The pancreas then releases pancreatic lipase to break it down further. The liver produces two primary bile acids (cholic acid and chenodeoxycholid acid) which combine with amino acids (glycine and taurine) to form bile salts. Bile salts act as a detergent to break down big molecules of fat into smaller molecules, so the lipase enzyme can further break them down into fatty acids and monoglycerides.
Bile production is triggered by fat. When people don’t eat enough fat, or they eat too many processed vegetable oils and hydrogenated fats, the liver may not produce enough bile, or the bile may become stagnant in the gall bladder. And if the gall bladder must be removed, the bile production process is affected. If bile doesn’t signal the pancreas to produce lipase, fats cannot be split into fatty acids and glycerol, and fat-soluble vitamins aren’t digested.
As a result, lipase-deficient people may have issues properly breaking down fat. Lipase-deficient individuals also have a tendency toward low stomach acid, leading to occasional heartburn. ACV helps stimulate the production of hydrochloric acid for people who have lipase deficiencies.
4. Healthy blood sugar levels. Insulin is an important hormone secreted by the pancreas that regulates the amount of nutrients circulating in the blood stream. When too many carbohydrates are consumed, blood sugar increases, triggering the pancreas to release more insulin into the bloodstream. Insulin tells the body’s cells to pick up and store sugar, reducing the amount of sugar in the blood. When too much sugar is consumed, cells may become insulin resistant, triggering the pancreas to increase its output of insulin, ultimately triggering a drop in blood sugar. The acetic acid in ACV may have a beneficial effect on maintaining blood sugar levels already in the normal range by preventing complete digestion of complex carbohydrates, by either accelerating gastric emptying or increasing the absorption of glucose by body tissues.*(2) The hypothesis is that vinegar may inactivate some digestive enzymes that break down carbohydrates. By slowing the conversion of complex carbs into sugar, the body has more time to pull sugar out of the bloodstream, and sugar spiking is avoided.
5. Keep Germs at Bay - Clean With ACV. The acetic acid in ACV creates a hostile environment for germs to propagate.* In addition to internal use, it can be diluted with water and applied topically to the skin as an astringent or can be used as a cleaning agent in the home to kill household germs.
These are just five reasons ACV can be beneficial and there are many more. For many people, getting past the taste, smell and acidic sting of liquid apple cider vinegar is a challenge. That’s why Enzymedica’s Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) ™ is a good option. In convenient capsule form, it contains the fermented brown sediment known as the "Mother" that is a hallmark of quality natural apple cider vinegar. A single bottle of Enzymedica's ACV capsules is produced from 10 wild-picked apples that are pressed and fermented. It’s also “Teeth Friendly,” because the capsule form eliminates the challenge of damage to tooth enamel presented by liquid ACV, as it bypasses teeth and delivers the ACV directly where it is most beneficial. Two capsules are recommended with each meal, with each serving equal to 1 ounce of liquid apple cider vinegar.
(1) Maiko HATTORI, Tomoo KONDO, Mikiya KISHI & Keigo YAMAGAMI (2010) A Single Oral Administration of Acetic Acid Increased Energy Expenditure in C57BL/6J Mice, Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry, 74:10, 2158-2159, DOI: 10.1271/bbb.100486 To link to this article: https://doi.org/10.1271/bbb.100486
(2) Tomoo KONDO, Mikiya KISHI, Takashi FUSHIMI, Shinobu UGAJIN & Takayuki KAGA (2009) Vinegar Intake Reduces Body Weight, Body Fat Mass, and Serum Triglyceride Levels in Obese Japanese Subjects, Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry, 73:8, 1837-1843, DOI: 10.1271/bbb.90231 To link to this article: https://doi.org/10.1271/bbb.90231
(3) Rutala, W.A., Barbee, S.L., Aguiar, N.C., Sobsey, M,., & Weber, D.J. Antimicrobial activity of home disinfectants and natural products against potential human pathogens. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2000 Jan;21(1):33-8.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.