Are the health claims about apple cider vinegar true? – BBC News
Are The Health Claims About Apple Cider Vinegar True? - BBC News
Apple cider vinegar is a traditional folk redres that has been around for many centuries. But is it beneficial for our health, asks Michael Mosley.
Cider vinegar is made by mixing chopped-up apples with water and sugar, then letting the mixture to ferment, turning some of it into acetic acid.
Despite being acidic and definitely something of an acquired savour, in recent years cider vinegar has become incredibly popular. At least a part of that is because of claims that it can help with everything from obesity to split ends and arthritis.
But which, if any, of the many different health claims induced on its behalf stand up to scientific scrutiny? For Trust Me, I’m A Doctor we teamed up with Dr James Brown from Aston University to find out.
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Michael Mosley( left, above, with Dr James Brown) presents Trust Me, I’m A Doctor which returns for a new series on Thursday 1 September on BBC Two at 20:00 BST – catch up on BBC iPlayer
We started by testing a claim which does seem to have the most scientific credibility – the claim that drinking a couple of tablespoons of vinegar, diluted in water, before a meal will assist you control your blood sugar levels.
To see if there was substance to this idea we recruited healthy volunteers and asked them to eat two bagels, after having fasted overnight. We measured their blood sugar levels before and after feeing and, as we expected, bagel consumption was followed by a large and rapid rise in their blood sugar levels.
The next day we asked them to devour another two bagels, but this time we asked them to knock back a diluted shot of apple cider vinegar just before doing so. Finally, we repeated the test a few days later, but this time we got our brave volunteers to gulp down some dilute malted vinegar before the bagel.
It turned out that the cider vinegar, but not the malt vinegar, had a big impact, reducing the amount of sugar in the volunteers’ blood by 36% over 90 minutes.