The Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar Supplements, According to the Pros
If you’re still scrolling TikTok for a healthy morning routine, you’ve probably noticed that people are loving apple cider vinegar right now. The hashtag #applecidervinegar has over 255.8 million views, while #ACVgummies currently has 10 million, both featuring videos dedicated to the benefits apple cider vinegar supplements claim to offer.
Of course, apple cider vinegar (ACV) is nothing new. You may even have an old bottle in your kitchen. The sour concoction is made from apple cider that has been fermented, says Dr. Erin Stokes, naturopathic physician and medical director of MegaFood, and it’s something people have been eating and taking in shot form for ages in because of its many health benefits.
To participate in the apple cider vinegar game, Stokes recommends taking a “food first” approach, which means it’s always best to eat or drink your vitamins and nutrients before considering adding them. in supplement form. “Luckily, apple cider vinegar is very easy to find at any natural grocer and can easily be ingested either in warm water or in a salad dressing,” she says.
That said, supplements — and ACV gummies in particular — are popular for a reason. For one thing, they help you bypass the fermented pungent taste that can make apple cider vinegar so difficult to take. And the supplements have a higher concentration of apple cider vinegar than you would get, say, from eating a salad with it in your dressing, says Melissa Rifkin, MS, RD, CDN, registered dietitian at Monat Apple Cider Vinegar Gummies. .
But do they work? Here’s what to know about apple cider vinegar supplements in case you want to add them to your #morningroutine.
The Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar Supplements
1. It can help regulate your blood sugar
According to Mollie Ferguson, RD, LDN, Registered Dietitian and CEO of Functional Wellness RD, studies have shown that taking apple cider vinegar before a meal can delay gastric emptying, which can affect how you feel after having eat.
“Essentially, your food is released from the stomach into the small intestine at a slower rate,” she told Bustle. “In turn, your body absorbs glucose, or sugar, from your meals more slowly, which decreases the spike in your blood sugar and the amount of glucose released into your bloodstream.”
Although there is some evidence that apple cider vinegar may support healthy blood sugar levels, Stokes adds that it’s still unknown if ACV supplements are as effective as the food itself.
2. It May Help Improve Digestion
Some TikTokers note that apple cider vinegar aids their digestion or reduces bloating. The idea here may be related to stomach acid, says Amanda Sauceda, MS, RD, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist.
“Stomach acid helps you break down your food, and a lack of stomach acid could be a factor that can lead to indigestion,” she told Bustle. “So if someone were to take apple cider vinegar, the idea is that the acid in the vinegar helps give their body a little digestive boost, which in turn can help their indigestion. .”
Of course, these benefits are often anecdotal. If someone says it helps their digestion, it’s possible, but as of now, there’s no research to prove it. “It would also be a red flag if someone felt they still needed apple cider vinegar for their digestion,” Sauceda notes. “Ideally, your body should do it on its own.”
3. It can support your immune system
Although apple cider vinegar does not directly boost your immune system, taking it regularly can help your gut, which in turn can help your immune system. Apple cider vinegar containing “the mother” — meaning the unpasteurized kind — is thought to help build a healthy gut microbiome, which can support immune function, Ferguson says.
About 70-80% of your immune system is in your gut, so it’s important to take care of it. Ferguson suggests incorporating a variety of probiotic and prebiotic foods into your daily diet, not just apple cider vinegar. “Probiotic foods introduce live bacteria to your gut and can be found in foods like apple cider vinegar, sauerkraut, kimchi, and natto,” she says. “Prebiotic foods feed the good gut bacteria already present in our gut and include foods like beans, onions, garlic, artichokes, and cabbage.”
4. It could increase energy
Many TikTokers show themselves jumping up and down, going through tough workout routines, and generally feeling more energized after taking apple cider vinegar. But is it a real side effect?
According to Rifkin, an energy boost may be experienced secondary to other benefits of the supplement, such as improved blood sugar levels, immunity, and digestion. “Limited research also suggests that the acetic acid in apple cider vinegar may improve muscle energy refueling,” she notes.
Can apple cider vinegar help detox your body?
One of the great benefits of apple cider vinegar is that it is said to “detox” your body. And while it may be tempting to take a supplement that promises to rid your body of toxins, it’s important to remember that it’s actually a job for your “detoxification organs,” Sauceda says, like your liver, kidneys, skin and digestive system. with your liver being the shining star.
Your body should be able to detox just fine if you sweat regularly, drink 64 ounces of water a day, eat 30 grams of fiber a day, get enough protein, and eat colorful fruits and vegetables, says Ferguson. “If you don’t master these basics, no amount of detox product will help you.”
Are Apple Cider Vinegar Supplements Worth It?
According to Ferguson, it’s also tempting to pin a lot of hope on a supplement that claims to solve a bunch of different health issues. But you can get just as much benefit from the whole food source, she says, so you might be better off buying a cheaper bottle of apple cider vinegar and calling it a day.
That said, there’s nothing wrong with trying gummies or supplements if you want to. Just remember, “It’s not the magic thing that TikTok is trying to make people believe,” she says.
How to Choose an Apple Cider Vinegar Supplement
If you want to get to the root of foods, Ferguson recommends buying apple cider vinegar in a glass bottle that contains the “mother” for the added antioxidant benefits, then mixing it in water or juice. to dilute its strong taste.
If you want to buy a supplement, read the label first. “The main thing to watch out for with gummy supplements overall is the additional ingredients,” Stokes says. “If you choose to use ACV gum, check the amount of sugar and look for gum that’s free of gelatin, common allergens, and GMOs.”
Because it’s acidic, a real hit of apple cider vinegar might burn your throat a bit on the way down. It could also start to erode your tooth enamel, Ferguson says, especially if you forget to dilute it.
Although apple cider vinegar is generally well tolerated in food and supplement forms, you should always consult your doctor before adding it to your routine, especially if you are taking other medications.
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Dr. Erin Stokes, Naturopathic Physician
Melissa Rifkin, MS, RD, CDN, Registered Dietitian
Mollie Ferguson, RD, LDN, Registered Dietitian
Amanda Sauceda, MS, RD, Dietitian Nutritionist