Celebrities including Kourtney Kardashian and Scarlett Johansson have long touted the benefits of apple cider vinegar. But once Kim Kardashian got on the bandwagon with an Instagram Story featuring Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar in May 2019, the organic, raw, unfiltered vinegar became poised to break through to the mainstream.
Apple cider vinegar, or ACV to the uninitiated, is a wellness staple that’s been used for centuries as a home remedy for everything from soothing a sore throat to helping cure dandruff to aiding in digestion — which is why it has a natural health and homeopathic reputation. Some proponents claim that it works as a weight loss aid because it helps curb hunger. Before we determine whether it’s fact or fiction, let’s understand first what ACV is.
“Apple cider vinegar is made by combining crushed apples, yeast and bacteria, fermenting the apples into acetic acid,” Rachel Berman, RD, general manager of Verywell, tells Us Weekly. “‘The mother’ is what makes ACV cloudy and is a mix of the acetic acid and beneficial bacteria found within.” And the acetic acid is the component that packs a punch.
ACV’s purported wonders — from weight loss to toxin removal — know no bounds, but unfortunately there’s not much research to back it up. “There aren’t any clear studies to substantiate these claims,” says Berman. “Also, there’s a big red flag whenever a product claims to ‘detox’ your body — that’s what your organs like your liver and kidneys are for!”
There is some research to support the claim that ACV can help lower blood glucose, says the dietitian. Though “it’s likely true of any type of vinegar,” she notes. And before you begin consuming ACV, check with your doctor, adds the NYC-based pro. It “may interact with medications.”
That doesn’t mean you should avoid ACV by any means! If you like the taste of apple cider vinegar — which also has beauty benefits and can be found in some natural face toners — go ahead and make it into a salad dressing. If “it replaces salad dressing that is high in artificial or highly processed ingredients, great!” says Berman. You can also dilute it with water and add “a sweetener like Stevia and flavorings like ginger, lemon or cayenne pepper,” if you want to drink it, notes the pro.
And while you can get fiber and other nutrients simply by eating a balanced diet, “ACV does contain antioxidants and probiotics,” she notes. So, again, if you’re a person who can stomach it, feel free to have up to two tablespoons a day.
Scroll through to see the diet-savvy celebrities who swear by the stuff and the benefits they say it gives them.