Apple cider vinegar

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Apple cider vinegar and apples

Apple cider vinegar, otherwise known as cider vinegar or ACV, is a type of vinegar made from cider or apple must and has a pale to medium amber color. Unpasteurized or organic ACV contains mother of vinegar, which has a cobweb-like appearance and can make the vinegar look slightly congealed.

ACV is used in salad dressings, marinades, vinaigrettes, food preservatives, and chutneys, among other things. It is made by crushing apples and squeezing out the liquid. Bacteria and yeast are added to the liquid to start the alcoholic fermentation process, and the sugars are turned into alcohol. In a second fermentation process, the alcohol is converted into vinegar by acetic acid-forming bacteria (acetobacter). Acetic acid and malic acid give vinegar its sour taste.[1]

Health effects[edit]

Vinegar (and other acidic liquids) have long been proposed as agents to enable weight loss;[2][3] a proposed mechanism is that it prolongs the sensation of satiety after eating.[4]

Apple cider vinegar contains chromium which can alter insulin levels and it is therefore recommended that people who have diabetes should talk to their doctors before using ACV.[5] ACV is highly acidic; in one recorded instance, a woman experienced esophageal burns after an ACV pill got caught in her throat.[6][7] In another case, apple cider vinegar was mistakenly used to treat a young boy with molluscum contagiosum, which caused a chemical burn.[8] Other chemical burns have been reported.[9]

Apple cider vinegar tablets are not well-regulated, may vary dramatically in terms of vinegar content from brand to brand, and lack evidence of efficacy.[6]

Critical reception[edit]

Alternative medicine proponents such as Paul Bragg have written that apple cider vinegar is a rich source of potassium and can aid in curing a number of diseases.[10] Such claims have been disputed by medical health experts.[11] Nutritionist Arnold E. Bender disputed the claim that it has a high potassium content:

"Some of the most far-fetched, improbable and dishonest claims of all are made from cider vinegar... Chemically and nutritionally wine and cider vinegar are both a 4.8 per cent solution of acetic acid with no protein, fat or vitamins and only minute traces of minerals. Claims that cider vinegar's marvellous properties are due to its high potassium content are untrue. Apples themselves contain only 120 mg of potassium in 100 g — and some cider vinegar preparations contain only 20 mg of cider vinegar — which would, even if they were pure apple juice, supply only 0.02 mg of potassium. Compare this with 150 mg of potassium in 100 g of white flour or 450 mg in the same amount of wholemeal flour and 350 mg in 100 g of meat, chicken, fruit or vegetables. Even one raisin at 860 mg of potassium per 100 g will provide more than most of these cider vinegar preparations."[12]

In one case hypokalemia was observed in a woman who had consumed apple cider vinegar for six years.[13]

A 2006 investigation stated that "scientific investigations do not support the use of vinegar as an anti-infective agent, either topically or orally".[14] However, two recent studies in 2015 suggest that apple cider vinegar may offer antifungal properties against denture-related stomatitis.[15][16]

See also[edit]

Notable proponents


  1. ^ "Apple Cider Vinegar", WebMD, Sept. 2009
  2. ^ Ruth Chambers; Gill Wakley (2002), "History of over the counter medicines", Obesity and Overweight Matters in Primary Care, Radcliffe Publishing, p. 101 
  3. ^ Charles Knight (1867), "Obesity", The English Cyclopaedia, 4 "Arts and Sciences", Bradbury, Evans, pp. 12–13 
  4. ^ J. Östman; M. Britton, eds. (2004), "4.7.3 Alternative Medicine Methods Used to Treat Obesity", Treating and Preventing Obesity: An Evidence Based Review, Wiley-VCH, pp. 202–204 
  5. ^ "Healthy Eating & Diet." WebMD. N.p., 2005. Web. 11 October 2010. <>.
  6. ^ a b Hill, L.; et al. (2005). "Esophageal Injury by Apple Cider Vinegar Tablets and Subsequent Evaluation of Products". Journal of the American Dietetic Association. 105 (7): 1141–1144. doi:10.1016/j.jada.2005.04.003. PMID 15983536. Retrieved 7 July 2014. 
  7. ^ "WebMD: Apple Cider Vinegar". WebMD. Retrieved 13 March 2011. 
  8. ^ Bunick, Christopher G. et al. (2012). Chemical burn from topical apple cider vinegar. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology 67: 143-144.
  9. ^ Feldstein et al. (2015). Chemical Bum from Vinegar Following an Internet-based Protocol for Self-removal of Nevi. Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology 8: 50.
  10. ^ Bragg, Paul. (1999). Apple Cider Vinegar Health System. Health Science. ISBN 0-87790-041-8
  11. ^ Wolman, P. G. (1987). Management of Patients Using Unproven Regimens for Arthritis. Journal of the American Dietary Association 87: 1211-1214.
  12. ^ Bender, Arnold E. (1986). Health or Hoax?: The Truth About Health Foods and Diets. Sphere Books. pp. 57-60. ISBN 0-7221-1557-1
  13. ^ Lhotta K, Hofle G, Gasser R, Finkenstedt G. (1998). Hypokalemia, hyperreninemia and osteoporosis in a patient ingesting large amounts of cider vinegar. Nephron 80: 242-243.
  14. ^ Johnston, Carol S; Gaas, Cindy A. (2006). Vinegar: Medicinal Uses and Antiglycemic Effect. Medscape General Medicine 8: 61.
  15. ^ Mota AC, de Castro RD, de Araújo Oliveira J, de Oliveira Lima E. (2015). Antifungal Activity of Apple Cider Vinegar on Candida Species Involved in Denture Stomatitis. Journal of Prosthodontics 24: 296-302.
  16. ^ Castro, Ricardo Dias de. (2015). Use of alcohol vinegar in the inhibition of Candida spp. and its effect on the physical properties of acrylic resins. BMC Oral Health 28: 15: 52.