Vinegar has a very long history, going back to Babylonia in 5,000 BC and is used in lots of different cuisines around the world. Although vinegar has various ingredients the main component is 4–8% acetic acid (AcOH). Vinegar also has chemicals known as polyphenols. They’re antioxidants that can curb cell damage that can lead to other diseases.
I can only find one good study on this, and basically, that means we cannot make firm conclusions from it, so take it with a grain of salt, or a sip of vinegar as the case may be. The study was done in Japan in 2009 looked at weight loss and other benefits associated with ACV. It took 175 people and put them into 3 groups. One group had a placebo, the other 2 groups had either 7.5mls of ACV after breakfast and dinner or 15mls after breakfast and dinner and followed them for 12 weeks.
The group that took one tablespoon of vinegar lost 1.2kg or 2.7 pounds after the 12 weeks and those who took two tablespoons lost 2 kg or 4.2 pounds. In addition, waist circumference, waist-hip ratio, and serum TG values also fell from week 8.
In a 2017 review published in Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice, researchers analyzed previously published studies and concluded that vinegar may be effective in blunting the glucose and insulin levels after meals which may help in preventing diabetes.
Now whilst a few trials look promising it is wise to use it sensibly. If you’re considering trying apple cider vinegar, maybe limit the amount because it is highly acidic and either dilute it with water or add it to your food, like in salads.
Because it is so acidic it can irritate the throat, oesophagus and other parts of the digestive tract, especially when taken concentrated or in large amounts. Other issues associated with excessive, long-term consumption include low potassium levels and negative effects on bone mineral density. It can also damage the enamel in your teeth and it may interact with certain medications like heart and diabetes medication, so it’s a good idea to consult your healthcare provider before taking apple cider vinegar regularly.