Cider Vinegar: Are There Health Benefits?

Cider vinegar, also known as apple cider vinegar, is made from fermented apples. You can easily make it at home if you have sugar, apples, and 4 weeks for fermenting.

Vinegar has been around at least since 3,000 B.C. Residue from vinegar has been found on ancient Egyptian urns. Vinegar is even mentioned in the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. In its long history across civilizations, vinegar has been used as a medicine, a beverage, and a preservative.

Recently, cider vinegar has made a name for itself as a kind of “cure-all” elixir, said to help everything from acne to belly fat. Science backs up some of the claims made about vinegar's many health benefits.

Nutrition Information

Cider vinegar contains many of the same nutrients as apple cider, which include Vitamin C, B-Vitamins, and polyphenols. The process of fermenting apple cider also produces acetic acid. Acetic acid helps the body better absorb certain minerals in our food. 

To get the most nutrients out of cider vinegar, it’s best to purchase the unfiltered variety. Unfiltered cider vinegar will look cloudy, as it contains some of the “mother” — helpful enzymes and bacteria that are good for your digestive tract. Filtered cider vinegar is usually pasteurized, a process that removes the beneficial mother from the vinegar.

Each teaspoon of cider vinegar contains:

  • 7 calories
  • 2 grams of carbs
  • 0 grams of fat.

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Potential Health Benefits of Cider Vinegar

The polyphenols in cider vinegar contain antioxidants that fight cell damage. B-vitamins help various enzymes in your body do their jobs, including transporting oxygen and helping create energy from food.

Other benefits include:

Insulin control. Cider may help control blood sugar, which could be particularly important to people with type 2 diabetes. A 2015 study of people with type 2 diabetes found that consuming cider vinegar led to improved blood sugar control, insulin levels, and triglyceride levels.

Another study demonstrated that consuming vinegar before bed helped morning fasting glucose concentration in people with type 2 diabetes.

Studies have shown that cider vinegar can also help lower your blood sugar after a meal high in carbohydrates. The vinegar does this by delaying the absorption of carbohydrates in your gastrointestinal tract. 

Weight loss. A study done in 2012 found that women who drank a cup of cider vinegar daily experienced more significant weight loss than women who did not. Other research suggests that cider vinegar might decrease appetite.

Stronger immune system. The vitamin C in cider vinegar helps your immune system work better. It also strengthens blood vessels.

Potential Risks of Cider Vinegar

The acid in cider vinegar can break down the enamel of your teeth. Drinking water after you have cider vinegar will ease this.

Those with chronic kidney disease may want to steer clear of cider vinegar. Your kidneys may not be able to handle the extra acid in it.

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Dan Brennan, MD on December 13, 2020

Sources

SOURCES:

Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health: “Vinegar.”

University of Washington: “Beyond the Hype: Apple Cider Vinegar as an Alternative Therapy.”

Diabetes Care: “Vinegar Ingestion at Bedtime Moderates Waking Glucose Concentrations in Adults With Well-Controlled Type 2 Diabetes.”

Colorado State University: “Should You Be Using Apple Cider Vinegar?”

University of Washington: “Beyond the Hype: Apple Cider Vinegar as an Alternative Therapy.”

European Journal of Clinical Nutrition: “Vinegar Supplementation Lowers Glucose and Insulin Responses and Increases Satiety after a Bread Meal in Healthy Subjects.”

West Virginia University Extension Service: “Apple Cider Vinegar Myths and Facts.”

Northwest Career College: “5 Steps You Can Take to Keep Your Enamel Healthy.”

HCA West Florida: “Does Apple Cider Vinegar Really Improve Your Health?”

Harvard Health Publishing: "Apple Cider Vinegar Diet: Does It Really Work?"

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