Home health hack: Benefits of apple cider vinegar

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For thousands of years, apple cider vinegar was used as a home remedy for everything from healing wounds to soothing stomach aches. However, there are questions behind the science of apple cider vinegar and whether this remedy really works. 

We were joined by Carol Johnston, Professor and Associate Dean of Faculty Success in the College of Health Solutions at ASU, to help give more insight into her research on apple cider vinegar.

“The benefits that we’re seeing from vinegar seem to relate mainly to the acetic acid. And so any vinegar, red wine vinegar, grape vinegar, or pomegranate vinegar all have the acetic acid,” Johnston said. 

According to Johnston, there are advantages to feeding your gut microbiome and acetic acid will help benefit quite a few different metabolic pathways. 

“There are reports out there showing a slowing of gastric emptying. There’s also reports showing that acetic acid can inhibit the enzymes that digest your starch. And so that’s where the glucose comes from,” Johnston said. “You need to get the acetic acid into the small intestine before the starch.”

Johnston said while scientific research has been conducted on the digestive benefits of apple cider vinegar, there is still no evidence that applying apple cider vinegar topically can help with eczema and acne. 

According to Johnston, there is a proper way people should be ingesting it. 

“What we recommend is people dilute a tablespoon or two into a glass of water, and drink it at the start of the meal,” Johnston said. “You’re diluting it; you’re not chugging it, which we don’t recommend because it’s a strong acid. So you want to dilute it and consume it as you’re consuming foods.”

Carol Johnston, Professor and Associate Dean of Faculty Success in the College of Health Solutions at ASU

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