Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar Capsules: Real or Scam?
There have been many claims recently that apple cider vinegar, in its liquid form and in capsules as a supplement, has health benefits, among them as a weight loss diet aid, energy booster, and when taken externally, a hair beautifier, sunburn soother and insect repellent. Are these claims warranted? Or is the apple cider vinegar craze a scam, like so many other health fads recently?
Apple cider vinegar comes in the liquidform as well as supplementform in capsules. "Cider vinegar," as it's also known, is made by fermenting the strained juice from crushed apples until it has gone past the alcohol stage and becomes a food-safe vinegar with a minimum of 5% acidity.
Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar Supplements and Liquid
Some people dilute apple cider vinegar with water and drink it for their health. (Never take it undiluted; the acetic acid in vinegar can burn the delicate inner mucus linings in your digestive system.) Apple cider vinegar is certainly useful in cooking and baking; it has a sweet, fruity flavor and its acidity makes it a good substitute for lemon. But the jury's still out on whether or not it truly has a health benefit.
Studies as recent as 2007 have suggested that apple cider vinegar in its liquid form could help regulate blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetics. Some research seems to suggest there is merit to claims that apple cider vinegar may help with weight loss and lower blood pressure and cholesterol. The Mayo Clinic, however, says that there's no evidence that ingesting apple cider vinegar helps with weight loss. I have looked for controlled studies on whether or not apple cider vinegar helps with skin conditions such as sunburn and improving the appearance of hair, and have not successfully found anything.
So what about apple cider vinegar capsules? The supplement form of apple cider vinegar has not, to date, been medically established to be beneficial. If you are considering taking apple cider vinegar pills, choose your brands carefully - the quality of the supplements differs greatly from one brand to another - and talk to your doctor.
The Federal Trade Commission warns consumers to be wary of claims that apple cider vinegar pills can make you lose weight without any additional diet or exercise.
Whichever way you add apple cider vinegar to your diet - liquid or supplement - if you intend to take it in therapeutic doses (rather than the normal doses that occur naturally in your diet), check with your doctor, particularly if you're pregnant or taking any diuretics or other medications for heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, or digestive problems.
Apple Cider Vinegar Buying Tips
When you buy liquid apple cider vinegar, if you choose to bypass the filtered and pasteurized version for the unpasteurized version, pick vinegar stored in opaque or dark bottles. The "mother of vinegar" present in raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar is the cloudy, sometimes particulate substance that coalesces near the bottom of the bottle. It is edible and, some claim, good for you. Shake the bottle before using to distribute the mother of vinegar.