Health benefits of apple cider vinegar - real or bunk?

I recently heard that apple cider vinegar is supposed to have a lot of health benefits. Googling it brings up claims that it helps with weight loss, regulates blood pressure, cures allergies, etc. I’m skeptical, but I felt the same way about rinsing my hair with vinegar, and that actually does make my hair softer and smoother.

Have any of you tried using apple cider vinegar for health reasons? I just tried drinking 2 tsps mixed in a glass of water (supposedly doing this 3 times a day will get rid of allergies, give you more energy, and improve overall health). It tastes a lot better than I thought it would. I don’t really feel healthier or more energized or whatever, but I guess that’s supposed to happen gradually over time.

I think it’s the bomb. I take it when my sinuses are congested, as it thins mucus. It was recommended to me by my surgeon after sinus surgery. I could have saved a fortune in over the counter cold products, over the years. Wish I’d heard of it sooner.

I’m interested to know if anyone has done this, too. My mom is constantly buying books and magazines touting “natural” cures and cider vinegar is always prominently featured. Mom informed me that Lady Gaga drinks vinegar every day, we know not why, so it’s obvious it’s good for you…

I used to drink apple cider vinegar every day in college- girlfriend thing… I don’t actually recall any benefits.

BUT I do remember vaguely that you have to drink the stuff that comes in dark or opaque bottles because most the benefit comes from the “mother” and clear bottle stuff doesn’t have that.

I mix some with water and do the final rinse on my hair with it.

That’s actually how I first found out about it. I had a head cold, and I’m breastfeeding, so I can’t take anything over-the-counter. I was mostly over it when a friend told me I should try cider vinegar. I’ll try it the next time I’m good and stuffed up. :slight_smile:

WebMD is on the fence.

That WebMD article is definitely wrong about at least one thing - it suggests that vinegar is used to treat jellyfish stings, which is not true. It’s used to prevent remaining nematocysts from firing - it’s to prevent stings, not to treat new ones. And you wouldn’t use apple cider vinegar for that anyway.

Feels good when it hits my tummy. Settles my stomach when it’s kind of queasy.

Anecdotal evidence, but this is IMHO after all.

Look at it this way, between 20% and 35% of people in an average drug study get better by taking the placebo. That is a lot, and in the end, they still get better. So if it works fine, and if not, well it’s not like vinegar is gonna bankrupt you and it won’t hurt you

No, but it may prevent you from taking something else which would cure you, or cure you faster.

Apple cider vinegar (ACV) might be tasty when added to your salad. But there’s nothing special about it, healthwise compared to cheap ordinary vinegar, and vinegar overall is no panacea.

ACV got a big boost back in the '50s when a Vermont doc who was big into folk medicine (D.C. Jarvis) wrote a book extolling it for all kinds of health problems. It was considered quackery even then - but lots of people still buy into it for everything from weight loss to curing cancer (according to some, it’s great for both weight loss and gaining weight, which really covers the waterfront :dubious:).

Part of its appeal stems from fundamental misunderstandings about the body’s acid-base balance, and there are also misconceptions about it supposedly containing vital nutrients (it’s actually a poor source of vitamins and minerals).

This site comprehensively debunks the ludicrous claims made for ACV.

I’ve seen Dopers mention this site before. I don’t take anything this woman says seriously. For example, in this entry, she engages in a lot of faulty reasoning in an heroic effort to prove that processed food is healthy.

I also find it interesting that she does not allow comments on her blog. And an internet search of her name reveals that she is a marketing consultant who seems to have made a nice career out of writing articles that show that questionable or unhealthy foods and practices are healthy. Her blog may not be affiliated with any “organizations” as stated but I have no doubt that her writing “skills” can be bought by any manufacturer or trade association, etc. that wants them.

Apart from your personal conviction that she’s not to be trusted (which you present no evidence to support), what does she say about apple cider vinegar that is untrue?

I’ve seen similar commentary on ACV’s unfounded reputation on other sites, including this Mayo Clinic report on the fallacy that ACV is a good weight loss aid.

The nonsense about diet readily altering body pH (which is a foundation of many claims about ACV) is debunked here.

I read the WebMD article, and it isn’t really “sitting on the fence” about ACV.

“Most of these claims have no evidence backing them up. Some – like vinegar’s supposed ability to treat lice or warts – have actually been studied, and researchers turned up nothing to support their use. Other claims have been backed up by studies, but with a catch: vinegar may work, but not as well as other treatments.”

WebMD does note the existence of a scattering of preliminary studies (some in rats, others in small numbers of humans) that indicate that ACV (or just plain vinegar) may have some positive health effects. But the evidence is far from good enough to justify the hype about ACV.

I don’t know about health benefits, but a mug of apple cider vinegar, boiling water, and some honey is tasty.

Believe the corporate shill all you want, but her BLOG is not exactly a peer reviewed journal, is it? Have you read her entries on “Obesity Paradoxes?” Have you noticed that absolutely zero questions or comments, much less criticism, are invited? In my OPINION, this BLOG is simply one entry after another consisting of logical leaps and obfuscation all designed to prove that our corporate sponsors have our best interests at heart.

One thing I found interesting about her BLOG about ACV was how thoroughly she crapped all over the science students and their experiment without actually discussing the experiment or the results… she seems to leave out lots of details like that when she writes. Oops! For example, she says that people have made all sorts of claims about ACV so that she can disprove them, but she doesn’t link to any claims so that we can see what she’s talking about. Now, I’m not saying that these claims don’t exist but doesn’t it make things easier on yourself to state someone else’s case in your own words when your ultimate goal is to prove how silly that case is?

I can’t take somebody seriously when they present themselves as a scientist promoting science and then proceed to act like a lobbyist.

Well, it was recommended to me by my surgeon, so, y’know it is his job to know what thins mucus. And he was absolutely right, like I mentioned, I wish I’d heard of/tried it years ago, I could have saved a fortune.

He did not pronounce that it had any other health benefits, only that it thins mucus. As he told it, the skin of the apple contains an enzyme that has this side effect, it’s concentrated in cider vinegar as it’s fermented with the skins on.

Should you feel like experimenting, the next time you have congested sinuses, swallow half an ounce or so, and see for yourself. You will not be disappointed. It will clear your sinuses within a few minutes. I am confident, that for this one thing, it is indeed effective and you can easily test it yourself.

Enzymes are almost invariably destroyed during any fermentation process. That sounds a bit off to me.

I’ve tried elbows’ advice, and found that in situations where I wasn’t already on any kind of sinus-clearing medication, the vinegar did seem to loosen things up. Could be placebo effect, could be the sharp smell, could be anything.

Sorry, enzyme may not be the right word.(I’m an arts girl not a science girl!) It has something in it that thins mucus and is concentrated by the fermenting with the skins on.