The acetic acid found in apple cider vinegar (ACV) is the most likely component for the weight loss benefits of ACV.
Acetic acid has been shown to improve insulin resistance and glucose metabolism. Additionally, acetic acid inhibits sugar (disaccharidase) activity in the small intestine, resulting in blocking the complete digestion of starch molecules.
Study: “The role of acetic acid on glucose uptake and blood flow rates
in the skeletal muscle in humans with impaired glucose
European Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2015) 69, 734–739
Apple cider vinegar is made from the natural fermentation of apples. It is a fermented alcoholic beverage made from apple juice. During a second ferment, the bacterial strains Acetobacter and Acetomonas convert the alcohol to acetic acid.
Yes in moderation, 2-3 tablespoons mixed with 1/2 cup purified water after meals. Be sure and rinse your mouth out and brush your teeth afterward because the acids can erode tooth enamel.
What are the benefits of apple cider vinegar?
- Improves glucose metabolism
- Weight loss
- Increases intestinal probiotic bacteria
- Reduces heartburn (possibly)
- Reduces cholesterol
- Helps improve fatty liver
- Prevents the keto flu
Where to buy apple cider vinegar with the mother?
You can find the Braggs brand almost anywhere, I think it’s a good product. However, I buy the Kirkland brand of apple cider vinegar at Coscto . It’s raw, unfiltered and has the “mother” just like Braggs, but it’s cheaper.
Costco, by the way, is a great place to buy keto friendly products. Here’s a helpful Costco keto shopping list.
One of the unsung benefits of apple cider vinegar is the reduction of cholesterol
This study published on the National Center for Biotechnology Information was done on rats but was pretty interesting. Apple cider vinegar lowered both cholesterol and triglycerides. It was also shown to stimulate bile acid production and prevent fat accumulation (lipogenesis) in the liver.
Apple cider vinegar was one of the tools I mentioned when I did the research for the article: Can keto heal a fatty liver?
One of acetic acid’s benefits is the stimulation of bile
This makes sense because acetic acid is a component of bile acids. Bile acid is essential for breaking down fat (lipid metabolism) into usable fatty acids. This is helpful if you follow a ketogenic diet as fat is your primary fuel source.
“Disorders in bile acid metabolism cause cholestatic liver diseases, dyslipidemia, fatty liver diseases, cardiovascular diseases, and diabetes.”Bile Acid Metabolism and Signaling
John Y. L. Chiang
Another reason cholesterol is not all bad…but I digress
Bile is made from cholesterol by the liver and stored in the gallbladder. It is then secreted into the intestinal tract to aid fat digestion and nutrient absorption. We need cholesterol to produce bile acid.
Apple cider vinegar can improve your gut microbial diversity
You see the best apple cider vinegar (ACV) advertised as raw and unfiltered with the “mother.” That is the cloudy looking sediment floating in the ACV. It’s a mixture of yeast, bacteria, and pectin formed during fermentation.
Lactobacillus sp. and Oenococcus sp. (O. oeni) are the most common LAB identified bacteria found in apple cider vinegar. I covered lactobacillus quite extensively in the article titled, “How to fix your digestive health” So I’m only going to focus on Oenococcus bacteria here.
Normally only found in wine, “O. oeni” is non-conventional lactic acid bacteria which will increase intestinal biodiversity. Additionally, due to its phenolic compounds, it has potent anti-inflammatory properties.
The “mother” also has small amounts of pectin in it from the apples, which is a non-digestible prebiotic starch. The combination of probiotics and prebiotics makes apple cider vinegar beneficial in helping relieve keto constipation.
Since the “mother” is only present in raw, unpasteurized ACV, that is the only form of ACV that can be considered a probiotic.
Don’t expect to have massive bowel movements from drinking apple cider vinegar, but it might help a little.
Can apple cider vinegar help with heartburn?
I couldn’t find any scientific proof to confirm or deny this potential apple cider vinegar benefit. I just read a 65-page study and this was the conclusion:
“Compared to the placebo trial, the vinegar trials do not show significant alleviation of the heartburn sensation.”Is Apple Cider Vinegar Effective for Reducing Heartburn?
In other words, it did help some people, but not others. I would recommend giving apple cider vinegar a try because it might help alleviate your heartburn.
The reality is, diet plays only a small roll in determining stomach acid levels
I have heard of a diet called the “alkaline diet” where people try to keep their stomach acid as low as possible. This diet seems like a waste of effort to me.
We need stomach acid to digest food properly. Additionally, most harmful microorganisms have their growth inhibited by an acidic environment. In other words, if your stomach gets overly alkaline, it could open you up to infections.
The body works hard to maintain homeostasis in the gut with a PH value between 1.5 and 3.5. When you eat or when the stomach gets too alkaline the gastric glands release gastric acid that converts to hydrochloric acid to lower the PH.
Conversely, when your gut gets too acidic, your parietal cell releases bicarbonate, which causes a temporary rise of PH, known as an alkaline tide.
This is a very basic explanation, so if there are any medical biologists reading this, please forgive me.
Heartburn is also called GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease)
Heartburn is usually caused by stomach acid moving up and coming into contact with the esophagus. The esophagus doesn’t have a protective lining (mucous) like the stomach, so we experience the burning sensation.
There is a barrier or “valve” to keep the acid away from the esophagus called the sphincter. Medically, the sphincter could become eroded and leak, but in most cases, heartburn is caused by obesity and/or eating a very large meal.
If you have a large amount of fat over your stomach (belly fat), the fat can cause pressure and basically push the stomach acid through your sphincter into your esophagus and cause the burning sensation (heartburn).
So does apple cider vinegar work for heartburn or not?
There’s about a 50:50 chance. When developing an answer for a question like this we must also take into consideration real world, anecdotal evidence from testimonials. In other words, a lot of people swear that taking apple cider vinegar does help reduce heartburn.
The exact mechanism is unclear, but what might be happening is this. When you drink apple cider vinegar it makes the gut more acidic, the body recognizes this and tries to raise the PH by releasing bicarbonate. The bicarbonate comes in and buffers the acid and the heartburn goes away. Hence a natural ant-acid.
Apple cider vinegar can’t help you in the short term if obesity is contributing to your heartburn.
However, apple cider vinegar can benefit you in conjunction with a ketogenic diet to reduce your belly fat and provide long term relief.
Here is a thorough explanation of the keto diet if you want to know more about how the belly-fat reducing process works. Yes, apple cider helps with weight loss, but if you don’t lower the consumption of sugars and simple starches, it won’t be enough to eliminate belly fat on its own.
You can read more about my keto transformation here, but I will tell you after about 90 days on the keto diet, my belly fat went down considerably and I don’t suffer from heartburn anymore.
How do you use apple cider vinegar?
It’s best to take immediately after meals. The acetic acid can go to work and help digest the food. Additionally, if you take it on an empty stomach it could give your stomach a slight burning effect.
Shake up the bottle really well to get the “mother mixed up. Put 2-3 tablespoons in 1/2 cup of purified water and a couple of squirts of lemon or lime juice. Then gulp it down to keep it off your teeth as much as possible.
Some people are even so paranoid about keeping it off their teeth that they drink it with a straw. It is believed that the high acetic acid content can damage the enamel on your teeth with constant exposure.
Just to be cautious, make sure to rinse your mouth out with water and/or brush your teeth after consuming apple cider vinegar.
What does apple cider vinegar do for Keto?
The benefits of apple cider vinegar (ACV) seem like a match made in heaven with the ketogenic diet. It could potentially have a synergistic effect on achieving the state of ketosis.
The biggest benefit of apple cider vinegar is in improving glucose (blood sugar) control and, oh, by the way, that’s exactly the same primary benefit of a low carbohydrate ketogenic diet.