The healthful properties of apple cider vinegar have been known for a long time, but do their scientific studies confirm this? This was decided to find out the professor of family medicine from Texas Gabriel Neal.
In 1980, when my brother and I were still children, we loved to go to Long John Silver's (the American fast food chain), writes Gabriel Neal on with the BBC.
But we were not attracted to fish dishes, but bottles with malt vinegar, which stood on the tables.
We unscrewed the cap and sipped spicy divine nectar with a caramel tint straight from the bottle.
Do you feel disgusted? Maybe. My brother and I are ahead of time? Obviously so.
Now, vinegar as a panacea for any ailment is advertised in social networks, and a simple search on the Internet will give you a huge number of links to articles about this miraculous seasoning.
Friends and colleagues vied with each other to tell stories about healing with apple cider vinegar.
“Cut the grass on the front lawn and now you can't straighten up? Vinegar is your best friend. Can't you lose the extra five kilograms? They will simply dissolve from the vinegar. What, syphilis? Well, you know what to do - vinegar. "
As a practitioner and medical educator, I am constantly asked about the health benefits of apple cider vinegar. I love these questions - you can talk in detail about the history of vinegar, and then get to the heart of the question: what exactly vinegar can be useful for.
Throughout history, many diseases have been treated with vinegar. Hippocrates, for example, advised taking it for coughs and colds, and Italian doctor Tommaso del Garbo washed vinegar hands, face and mouth with an vinegar during an outbreak of plague in 1348 to prevent infection.
Vinegar and water were considered to be an excellent means to quench the thirst of the ancient Roman legionaries, and modern athletes take an example from them.
In general, the story provides plenty of evidence of the beneficial effects of vinegar on the human body. But do modern medical studies confirm this?
The most reliable evidence of the health benefits of apple cider vinegar can be found in several studies. One of them showed that consuming apple cider vinegar improves blood glucose levels after eating in people with insulin resistance.
For 11 diabetic patients, taking one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar lowered blood sugar through 30-60 minutes after a meal more effectively than the group that took the placebo. Well, not bad, but this is only for 11 individuals who are prone to diabetes.
Another study, in which adult Japanese obese participated, showed a noticeable decrease in their weight, level of fats and triglycerides in the blood after taking this vinegar.
Scientists divided the participants in the experiment into three groups of 155 people. One group took 15 ml (about a tablespoon) of apple cider vinegar daily, the second took 30 ml, and the third a placebo. The researchers then measured weight, fat mass, and triglyceride levels. The participants in both groups, who took 15 and 30 ml of vinegar, all three indicators decreased.
What can I say? Although these findings need to be confirmed by more extensive research, they are encouraging.
Experiments on animals, especially rats, show that vinegar can reduce blood pressure and the amount of fat in the abdominal cavity. These experiments encourage similar studies with human participation, since the conclusions based only on experiments with animals are not sufficiently convincing.
So, the real health benefits of vinegar have yet to be tested on research involving a large number of people. And such studies are likely to appear soon.
Now let's try to come in from the other side: is there any evidence that vinegar can harm human health?
In general, no. Unless you drink it in large quantities or too concentrated - for example, distilled white vinegar used for cleaning (the content of acetic acid in vinegar allowed for consumption is 4-8%).
And, of course, you should not rub it into your eyes (why ?!) or heat it in a lead vat, as the Romans did, so that the vinegar becomes sweet. It is, indeed, very dangerous for health. And, by the way, never heat the food in a lead tank at all, it is harmful.
Well, for fish and potato fries, apple cider vinegar fits perfectly. He will not heal you from all ailments, but gastronomic pleasure is guaranteed.
And if you stumble upon a bottle of malt vinegar somewhere, think of my brother and me and take a sip of it - to your health!