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Apple Cider Vinegar: Friend or Foe

Updated: Apr 4, 2019

History records the use of vinegar around 5000 BC when the Babylonians were using it to make wine from the date palm. It was also used as a pickling agent to preserve food. Apple cider vinegar first appeared around 400 BC, when Hippocrates prescribed it along with honey to cure coughs and colds.

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How is it made?

Apple cider vinegar is made from taking apples and adding water and letting it sit. The apples are then fermented into vinegar. This can easily be done at home. The mother of vinegar is jelly like substance that is combination of cellulose and acetic acid bacteria that is used to ferment alcohol from the apple and oxygen into acetic acid, creating the characteristic sour taste of vinegar.

Is it Good For You?

There are many uses for apple cider vinegar. It has been shown to assist with weight loss. The mechanism is believed to "turn on" genes involved with fat breakdown. Apple cider vinegar has also been shown to regulate blood sugar. Studies show it having equal effectiveness to medication.

It has been thought that most of the medicinal properties come from the mother, an amino-acid like substances, found in the unfiltered form. Apple cider vinegar can also be used as a probiotic and helps with digestion. Apple cider vinegar has been shown to decrease triglycerides and cholesterol. Hippocrates used it as an antibacterial for wound healing. It also may prevent cancer, but more research needs to be done. Other uses, yet unproven, include treating acid reflux, warts, hot flashes and gout. These can used as an ingredient in recipes and can be dissolved in water.

How to use it?

It is best used incorporated with food, such as salad dressings. However it can be diluted in water and drank. A common dose is one teaspoon to one tablespoon per day. It is possible to take it in pill form, but the vinegar content is questionable.

If you have any more questions regarding apple cider vinegar or any other nutrition questions, contact Dr. Schreiber at

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