Here's What Apple Cider Vinegar Can And Can't Do For You

Here's what apple cider vinegar can and can't do for you

You've heard that apple cider vinegar is the miracle elixir that can aid in weight loss. Friends have told you that just one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar at night mixed with 8 ounces of water have done wonders for their belly bloat. Is apple cider vinegar some sort of magic? Can it really do all the incredible things you've heard or are all those things just myths?

Apple cider vinegar, also known as ACV, has become so popular in recent years that you barely even have to taste it. You can just swallow it in pill or capsule form or chew a gummy (OK, then you might have to taste it) and you don't have to try to gulp down a glass of bitter water right before bed. You can even use it for cooking to add a little kick to a sauce or dressing and create an apple cider vinaigrette for your salad or as a dip for a snack. But does this magic potion do all the wondrous things for your body that it purports?

Apple cider vinegar has some benefits

According to Today, apple cider vinegar can help aid digestion, which can definitely help rid you of that unwanted belly bloat and promote better gut health, thanks to the probiotic properties of the fermented apples. However, registered dietician Samantha Cassetty pointed out that you might not get any benefit from the small amount of probiotic bacteria found in ACV. In addition, any vinegar from fruit contains antioxidants, particularly polyphenols, that promote good bacteria in the intestine rather than bad.

Another small study has shown that ACV can also improve your cholesterol levels if taken at bedtime for 12 weeks, but it also needs to be combined with a better diet. Yet another small study suggested that ACV can prevent your blood sugar from spiking, especially if you take 2 tablespoons at night, resulting in more stable blood sugar levels in the morning after fasting during sleep. Cassetty also noted that ACV is a great way to enhance food, as well as the health benefits of other foods like fruits and vegetables. While it may not be the definitive health food, ACV can enhance other aspects of clean eating.

Apple cider vinegar also has some drawbacks

Despite sales of apple cider vinegar spiking after the coronavirus pandemic began, as some people looked for anything to boost their immune health, ACV cannot cure or prevent COVID-19 or any other virus. ACV might be able to help cells that kill bacteria, but COVID-19 is a virus. While there are ways to enhance your immune system by sleeping well at night and eating a balanced diet, no one thing like ACV is going to do the trick (via Today).

While ACV might relieve that belly bloat, it doesn't actually make you lose fat, according to Quick and Dirty Tips. The acetic acid in ACV or any vinegar might give your metabolism a very slight boost, but you won't burn more than a few extra calories. ACV also won't cleanse and flush your body of toxins and won't enhance your body with added vitamins and minerals.

Unfortunately, ACV can also do some harm as it can erode your tooth enamel, according to Today. Just like anything with a high acid content (think soda), ACV can eat right through that protective enamel, especially if you drink it right before sleep when the mouth doesn't produce as much saliva. If you still insist on having that bit of ACV at night, swish some water around in your mouth right after and wait another half hour before brushing your teeth.