The Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar Supplements, According to the Pros

If you’re still scrolling TikTok for health morning routine inspo, then you’ve probably noticed that people are loving apple cider vinegar right now. The hashtag #apple cider vinegar has over 255.8 million views, while #ACVgummies currently has 10 million, both of which feature videos dedicated to the benefits that 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 StokesNaturopathic Doctor and Medical Director at MegaFoodand it’s something people have been eating and taking in shot form for ages due to 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. “Fortunately, apple cider vinegar is very easy to find at any natural grocer and can easily be ingested in warm water or in a salad dressing,” she says.

That said, supplements – and in particular ACV gummies – 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, CDNa registered dietitian with Apple Cider Vinegar Gummy Months.

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 Mollie Ferguson, RD, LDNdietitian and CEO of Functional well-being RDstudies have shown that taking apple cider vinegar before a meal can cause delayed gastric emptyingwhich can affect how you feel after eating.

“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 can support healthy blood sugarStokes adds that it’s still unclear if apple cider vinegar 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, RDRegistered Dietitian Nutritionist.

“Stomach acid helps you break down your food, and a lack of stomach acid could be a contributing factor. can cause 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 gutwhich 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 the immune system is in your gut, so it is important to take care of it. Ferguson suggests incorporating a variety of probiotic and prebiotic foods in 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, power through a tough workout routines and generally feel 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 acetic acid in apple cider vinegar can improve muscle energy supply“, she notes.

Can apple cider vinegar help detox your body?

One of the great appeals of apple cider vinegar is that it’s supposed to “detoxify” 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 go the food route, Ferguson recommends buying apple cider vinegar in a glass bottle that contains the “mother” for added antioxidant benefitsthen mix 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 go with a Gummy ACVcheck the amount of sugar and look for a candy that’s free of gelatin, common allergens, and GMOs.

Side effects

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 erode your tooth enamelsays Ferguson, especially if you forget to dilute it.

Whereas Apple cider vinegar is generally well tolerated in the form of foods and supplements, you should always consult your doctor before adding it to your routine, especially if you are taking other medications.

Referenced studies:

Anderson, S. 2021. Evidence that daily vinegar ingestion may contribute to erosive tooth wear in adults. J Med Food. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2020.0108.

Aykın, E. 2015. Bioactive Components of Mother Vinegar. J Am Coll Nutr. 2015;34(1):80-9. doi: 10.1080/07315724.2014.896230.

Cobb, KM. 2021. Acetic Acid Supplementation: Effect on Resting and Exercise Energy Expenditure and Substrate Utilization. Int J Exerc Sci. PMID: 34055150.

Liljeberg, H. 1998. Delayed gastric emptying rate may account for improved blood sugar in healthy subjects on a starchy meal with added vinegar. Eur J Clin Nutr. doi: 10.1038/sj.ejcn.1600572.

Siddiqui, FJ. 2018. Diabetes Control: Is Vinegar a Promising Candidate to Help Achieve Goals? J Evid Based Integr Med. 2018 Jan-Dec;23:2156587217753004. doi: 10.1177/2156587217753004.

Wiertsema, SP. 2021. The interaction between the gut microbiome and the immune system in the context of infectious diseases across the lifespan and the role of nutrition in optimizing treatment strategies. Nutrients. doi: 10.3390/nu13030886.


Dr Erin Stokesnaturopathic doctor

Melissa Rifkin, MS, RD, CDNregistered dietitian

Mollie Ferguson, RD, LDNregistered dietitian

Amanda Sauceda, MS, RDregistered dietitian nutritionist

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