Can Apple Cider Vinegar Help Improve Your Gut Health?
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) has become somewhat of a health phenomenon over the past few years. Many natural health gurus have lauded ACV for its alleged health benefits, although many of these claims remain unfounded. When it comes to gut health, how effective is ACV at making you healthier?
Apple cider vinegar has several healthful properties that may have a mildly positive impact on your gut health. As a prebiotic food, ACV can help introduce new bacteria to your gut microbiome. ACV may also help with weight loss, lowering blood sugar, and consuming antioxidants.
While this apple derivative certainly won’t be powerful enough to reverse dysbiosis, it may help improve overall gut health when combined with a healthy diet. Keep reading to learn more about how ACV can interact with your gut.
Is Apple Cider Vinegar a Probiotic?
Apple cider vinegar is a probiotic food in its raw form as it contains live bacteria that help keep your gut healthy. It is important to make sure that the ACV is raw as it will still include the live bacteria that your gut needs to stay balanced.
Apple cider vinegar contains acetic acid, which results from ACV’s fermentation process. As you may know, fermented foods generally include probiotics, which are the live bacteria in your digestive tract. Consuming probiotic foods is a great way to improve gut health, so ACV can be a solid part of your gut health diet.
Does Apple Cider Vinegar Help Reduce Inflammation?
There is not enough evidence to support the claim that apple cider vinegar reduces inflammation. Although this is often touted as one of the biggest health benefits of consuming ACV, it is probably not true that ACV can reduce inflammation in the gut or elsewhere.
Although not enough studies have been conducted to conclusively decide whether ACV can fight inflammation, one study done on arthritic rats found that ACV consumption is ineffective at reducing inflammation. Thus, until more research is done on ACV’s anti-inflammatory properties, the evidence suggests that this is not a real benefit of apple cider vinegar.
Does Apple Cider Vinegar Help With Bloating?
There is little evidence to support that apple cider vinegar helps with bloating. As bloating is often a result of digestive issues, there are not enough studies showing a positive association between ACV consumption and improved digestion. Thus, it is unlikely that ACV can help with bloating.
Those who claim that ACV helps with bloating usually base their arguments around two alleged benefits of ACV: its acidity and its antimicrobial properties. While it’s true that acidic beverages could help those with low stomach acidity, this is not a common issue for digestion.
The second argument about microbes may have some more validity. It is true that ACV is an antimicrobial substance, and it is also true that SIBO may cause bloating. Thus, it could be true that consuming ACV could help reduce bloating in those with SIBO. However, more scientific studies are needed to confirm this connection.
Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar
Besides the mild gut health benefits previously discussed, apple cider vinegar does offer other science-backed health benefits that could make it a worthwhile addition to your pantry. Let’s take a look at three ways ACV could help improve your overall health.
Apple cider vinegar contains a significant amount of vitamin E, which is a powerful antioxidant. A study performed on diabetic rats found that ACV consumption had a significant positive impact on antioxidant levels, which can prevent diabetes and other related liver problems.
Lowering Blood Sugar
Apple cider vinegar won’t cure or even prevent diabetes, but it can have a moderate effect on reducing blood sugar levels. According to a 2004 study from the Journal of the American Association of Diabetes, diabetic patients were given ACV after a meal and had their glucose levels measured 30 and 60 minutes after. Those who consumed the ACV instead of the placebo recorded a significant drop in blood sugar levels after the meal.
This is probably the most controversial health benefit of apple cider vinegar. However, several scientific studies show that ACV consumption does have a positive impact on weight and body fat mass.
A double-blind trial in 2009 found that consumption of acetic acid—one of the main components of ACV—was effective at reducing body weight and body fat mass in obese Japanese subjects. Similarly, a meta-study reviewed 10 scientific studies and found a positive impact of ACV consumption on fasting plasma glucose and blood lipid levels, suggesting a positive effect on weight loss.
As weight loss and gut health are intricately related, you may expect slight gut health benefits from weight loss due to ACV consumption. However, do not expect ACV to have a significant impact on eliminating weight. Instead, focus on an improved diet that includes ACV.
Should You Take Apple Cider Vinegar for Gut Health?
Taking apple cider vinegar may have a mildly positive impact on your gut health. However, ACV should not be considered a key player in a diet for a balanced microbiome. Instead, focus on eating a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, consuming fermented foods, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.If you’re looking for a quick way to boost your gut health, you can order a custom gut health test kit from OSbiome. Our Gut Health Test Kits will analyze a stool sample and provide you with 15 detailed reports on your gut health and personalized recommendations for an improved gut microbiome. Are you ready to discover your formula for a healthier gut? Order your kit today!