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Benefits of Drinking Vinegar

By Andrea Boldt

Vinegar has long been used as a folk remedy to treat health problems and promote weight control. A country doctor, D.C. Jarvis, prominent in the 1950s, lauded the curing effects of apple cider vinegar in his book “Folk Medicine.” Recent studies also point to the potential of drinking vinegar to promote weight loss and to treat insulin sensitivities. Processed and filtered vinegars are less desirable because many of the beneficial properties are lost in over-manufacturing—seek out raw, organic varieties. A daily 1- to 3-tsp. serving in a glass of water is sufficient to provide health benefits.

Weight Loss

Anecdotal evidence dates the use of vinegar for weight loss back to the ancient Egyptians. D.C. Jarvis maintained that apple cider vinegar helped to burn fat, improving the functioning of the metabolism and leading to weight loss. The "Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism" reported a study in 2010 in which 2 tsp. of vinegar ingested during mealtimes reduced the glycemic response to food by about 20 percent as compared to placebo. C.S. Johnston, from the Department of Nutrition at Arizona State University East, notes that this is “a phenomenon that has been related to satiety and reduced food consumption.”

Management of Diabetes

The ability of vinegar to moderate insulin and glucose levels seems to offer some benefit for diabetics. A Swedish study, published in a 2005 issue of the" European Journal of Clinical Nutrition," showed that when participants ate a simple carbohydrate meal based on white wheat bread, but supplemented it with vinegar, they experienced less of a spike in blood glucose and insulin levels than participants who ate just the bread meal. An animal study, reported by the "Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences" in December 2008, indicated that apple cider vinegar ingestion may be of “great value in managing the diabetic complications.”

Detoxification and Digestion

The use of vinegar to promote cleansing dates back to Hippocrates, who recommended apple cider vinegar to cure joint pain, digestive distress and blood disorders. D.C. Jarvis wrote in his book that apple cider vinegar destroys harmful bacteria in the digestive tract—creating more efficient digestion and elimination of waste. He also noted that vinegar’s ability to break up fat helped improve the functioning of the liver and kidneys, whose primary role is to detoxify the body.

Chronic Pain

D.C. Jarvis maintained that apple cider vinegar was an effective treatment for a number of ailments that cause chronic pain. He prescribed a regular tonic of apple cider vinegar to treat migraines, gout, chronic fatigue and arthritis. Apple cider vinegar’s high malic acid content may be responsible for its pain-killing effect.

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