Running short of disinfectant amidst the crush of coronavirus panic buying? You might have an option you didn’t even realize.
Vinegar is a product of fermentation. Making apple cider vinegar involves two processes. In the first stage of fermentation, sugars are turned into alcohol, then that alcohol ferments again and turns into vinegar. The main ingredient in apple cider vinegar is acetic acid, which has been singled out as an especially healthful tonic.
For more than 2,000 years, vinegar has been used to flavor and preserve foods, heal wounds, fight infection, clean surfaces, and manage diabetes, to name a few. But does it really work? Let’s find out.
Apple cider vinegar can lower glucose levels. A small 2007 study of 11 people with Type 2 diabetes found that taking 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar lowered glucose levels in the morning by 4–6 percent. A 2018 study found apple cider vinegar had significant antihyperglycemic and antioxidant effects and could prevent diabetic complications in liver and kidneys.
Apple cider vinegar has well-known antimicrobial properties. For this reason, it can also be used as a disinfectant that’s a safer compound than bleach. A 2018 study tested apple cider vinegar on multiple dangerous bacteria strains and concluded “ACV [apple cider vinegar] has multiple antimicrobial potential with clinical therapeutic implications.”
Apple cider vinegar is a source of polyphenols, which are compounds synthesized by plants to defend against oxidative stress. Polyphenols enhance oxidative protection, reducing cancer risk as well as conditions like heart disease.
Apple cider vinegar has been linked to weight loss in many cultures for generations. A 2016 French study found apple cider vinegar had a satiating effect in rats that could counter the high-fat diet they were put on. However, it is worth noting, one trial found that healthy women consumed fewer calories on the days they ingested vinegar in the morning.
Sara Novak specializes in health and food-policy writing for Discovery Health. Her work has also been featured on TreeHugger, HowStuffWorks.com, TLC Cooking, and Animal Planet. This article was originally published on Naturally Savvy.