Advertisement

Hailey Bieber Takes A Shot Of Apple Cider Vinegar Daily, But Why?

a man and woman smiling
Is Apple Cider Vinegar Worth The Hype?LAUNCHMETRICS SPOTLIGHT

Between lemon water and liquid chlorophyll, there’s a growing appetite for health shots. Apple cider vinegar (ACV), for instance, was once an old wives tale for aiding digestion and is now on the lips of every wellness obsessive; it’s become an omnipresent term on TikTok and is gulped down daily by the likes of Victoria Beckham, Kourtney Kardashian and Hailey Bieber, who purportedly take a spoonful of the fermented drink every morning before breakfast.

With promises of glowing skin, balanced glucose-levels and better gut health, it’s pretty easy to see the appeal. But for anyone who’s played victim to the wellness industry’s enticing terminology, you’d be prudent not to be lured in just yet. Among its many talents, apple cider vinegar is being touted for its ability to help kickstart your metabolism, aid weight loss and boost digestion. But while the term continues to grow in popularity, and the list of apple cider vinegar acolytes climbs by the day, deciphering whether it's going to glean actual results for you is an altogether different question.

apple cider vinegar benefits
Getty Images

So, is ACV actually a catch-all health hero? Calling upon some of the best experts for the job, we've dug into the health benefits behind apple cider vinegar, explored the most effective way to take it, and why so many of us are turning to this natural remedy to support our overall health.

What is apple cider vinegar?

Put simply, ACV is a type of vinegar that's created using a fermentation process of apple juice. ‘It is naturally high in an acid known as acetic acid which is the key component linked to its health benefits and what gives its distinctive "vinegar" taste and smell,’ says Lola Biggs, a leading dietitian for Together Health.

Of course, ACV is nothing new; it's been around long before the dawn of social media, but thanks to all those viral videos and a string of celebrity endorsement, it's been thrust into the spotlight once again, with more of us jumping on the ACV bandwagon than ever before.

What are the benefits of drinking apple cider vinegar?

'Its traditional use is as a cleansing tonic to help stimulate digestion and enhance metabolism, and whilst there still isn’t an abundance of research on ACV, the studies we do have are showing a variety of benefits,' adds Rhian Stephenson, nutritionist and founder of ARTAH.

Though the science is still in its infancy, there are a few compelling studies that support the notion of ACV's health benefits. 'Several studies have shown that drinking ACV helps reduce postprandial glucose levels,' says Stephenson. 'In layman's terms, it can slow the rise of blood sugar after eating. This can be beneficial for blood sugar management and cravings.'

It's also been making waves for its ability to support gut health; another TikTok-favourite term. 'Raw ACV has live bacterial cultures and has demonstrated a protective effect on the microbiome,' says Stephenson.

The key is in finding 'good quality' apple cider vinegar, which contains polyphenols; 'plant compounds that can benefit gut health and immunity'. A good quality ACV can also contain probiotics, which are also beneficial for the latter. However, Stephenson advises against relying solely on ACV to support your immunity. 'A fresh apple will have a higher polyphenol content than ACV, alongside other vitamins, minerals and fibre,' she says.

apple cider vinegar health benefits
Getty Images

Biggs agrees: 'ACV intake has also been linked to improved blood sugar balance, healthier cholesterol levels and improved weight loss goals; however promising this sounds, the evidence has not uncovered strong mechanisms for this,' she notes.

What are the pros and cons of taking apple cider vinegar?

As Sonia Wahlroos, a nutritional therapist and founder of Nordic Nutritionist, points out, while apple cider vinegar is a popular natural remedy, she notes: 'like any supplement, it has potential benefits and drawbacks.'

Below she outlines the pros and cons to consider:

Pros

  • Blood Sugar Control: 'ACV has been shown to have a modest effect on blood sugar levels, which can be beneficial for people with insulin resistance or type 2 diabetes,' she shares.

  • Weight Management: Some studies do suggest that ACV may help with weight loss by 'promoting satiety, reducing the speed at which food leaves the stomach, and lowering blood sugar and insulin levels.'

  • Antimicrobial Properties: 'ACV can kill pathogens, including bacteria, which has made it a traditional food preservative and a home remedy for treating infections.'

  • Digestion: 'ACV is believed to increase acid production in the stomach, which can help with digestion issues for some people.'

Cons

  • Tooth Enamel Erosion: 'The high acidity of ACV can damage tooth enamel if consumed excessively,' she warns.

  • GI irritations: 'As it may help with Gastrointestinal issues, ACV can cause or worsen symptoms for people with ulcers or acid reflux.'

  • Medication Interference: 'ACV could interact with certain medications, such as diuretics or insulin, which may lead to low potassium levels or hypoglycemia.'

  • Osteoporosis Risk: 'Overconsumption of ACV may lower potassium levels, potentially increasing the risk of osteoporosis.'

How long does it take to see results?

The time it takes to see visible results from apple cider vinegar can vary depending on the person and the benefits they're seeking, says Wahlroos. 'Some people may notice digestive benefits, like decreased bloating, quite quickly, often in a few days. For other benefits, such as weight loss or improved blood sugar control, it can take several weeks to months of consistent use to observe noticeable changes.'

Of course, as she stresses, 'scientific evidence supporting these benefits is not conclusive and individual results can vary.' To add, long-term goals will require a number of changes and lifestyle choices, including diet and exercise.

How to take apple cider vinegar

It's the question on everyone's lips: exactly how much apple cider vinegar should you drink each day? Though safe to drink every day, and on a regular basis, there are a few things to note. 'In terms of safety, if you have an ulcer or are on diuretics, you need to be careful with consuming excess ACV,' says Stephenson. Equally, you should avoid if dealing with Chrohn's disease or any severe digestive issues as some experts caution against using it.

Most important of all, you should always talk to your healthcare provider or GP before starting ACV, particularly if you have pre-existing health conditions or are taking medications.

these are all the health benefits of apple cider to know
Getty Images

'If you're using ACV to address digestion and blood sugar, take it 30 minutes before your meal,' says Stephenson. 'Don't forget, however, that ACV can also be beneficial during meals; I always add it to salad dressings and it's a core ingredient in sauces, dips and dressings in our nutrition plans,' she adds.

Another question also missing from the conversation on TikTok: how should you take apple cider vinegar? And no, it's not straight up. 'It's really important to dilute it; if you drink it neat or undiluted, over time it has the potential of damaging your tooth enamel,' warns Stephenson.

Then there are myriad ways to take apple cider vinegar - gummies, shots, salad dressings - but not all yield optimal results. According to Wahlroos, the best way is to add 1-2 teaspoon of ACV to 2 teaspoons of water and the same amount to salads. Dilute it with water and lemon, or add it to salad dressing, salads and on top of steamed vegetables. She also advises rinsing your mouth with water after drinking apple cider vinegar to protect the enamel.

And if you're wondering if all apple cider vinegar is created equal, it's not. Look for 'organic, raw, and unfiltered versions' say the experts. 'When introducing ACV, the darker the shade the higher level of plant pigments which act to reduce oxidation,' adds Biggs.

Do apple cider vinegar gummies actually work?

Those gummies you've seen on Instagram have become a divisive topic with naysayers claiming them to be futile. Stephenson says she hasn't seen any indication that a gummy with added sugar, emulsifiers and preservatives would have the same effect as drinking apple cider vinegar. However, that's not to say that all of these gummies don't have benefits.

The benefits of apple cider vinegar gummies might, in theory, seem akin to drinking a cup of ACV (see: aiding your metabolism, lowering your blood sugar levels and so forth), however, when it comes to dosage and efficacy, they do differ.

It's thought that some apple cider gummies don't actually provide the same dose of ACV as drinking it diluted with water in its unfiltered, raw form. To add, while apple cider vinegar gummies do often contain other nutrients such as vitamins B12, which is important for overall immune function, some can contain excess sugar with as much as 1 gram per serving.

'I've also found that the ritual of drinking ACV for people is hugely beneficial; they usually increase their water intake, and generally become more mindful of what they're putting into their body. If you're doing something on a daily basis that is super easy and effective, it's easier to build on this momentum and add in other foods, practices or habits that are beneficial,' she says.

Is apple cider vinegar good for your skin?

Apple cider vinegar has even been making waves in the world of skincare. But, as Dr Justine Hextall, a consultant dermatologist for La Roche-Posay, points out, gulping down ACV every morning doesn't necessarily translate to a glowier complexion.

First of all, you need to be drinking a good quality apple cider vinegar to reap the rewards. 'In studies, when analysed many versions [of ACV] only contained the acetic acid that we find in table vinegar. Organic raw unpasteurised apple cider vinegar, however, can contain variable acids, anti-oxidants and probiotics,' she says. 'This is going to support a healthy gut microbiome with all the health benefits including those for the skin.'

According to Dr Hextall, studies suggest that drinking diluted apple cider vinegar before eating food can reduce the 'glucose spike', which can reduce the release of insulin. 'We know that glucose spikes are pro-inflammatory, and this will have effects on both our general health and skin,’ she says. Spikes in insulin can stimulate oil production and cause acne vulgari, an inflammatory skin condition.

‘Glucose damages our collagen through a process called glycation,' she adds. 'This makes collagen and elastin brittle and also drives oxidative stress and inflammation.' Organic unpasteurised cider vinegar can also contain probiotics which we know can help to support a healthy gut. But happy gut is good for your dermis too. 'This has many benefits such as reducing inflammation,' notes Dr Hextall. 'ACV can also contain anti-oxidants such as polyphenols that help to mop up damaging free radicals, which are very important when protecting skin from external aggressors such as UV and pollution,' she concludes.

So, is apple cider vinegar right for you?

Like most viral wellness terms, it's not going to be a catch-all hero for everyone. While there are significant benefits synonymous with apple cider vinegar - better blood sugar balance, healthier cholesterol levels and improved digestion - there are some drawbacks to consider too.

Though a handful of studies are stacking up in its favour, and there are certainly benefits worth considering, as Stephenson states, it's not the sole solution. 'Adding ACV is a nice way to include a functional food with proven health benefits to everyday meal prep, but I wouldn't see it as a magic bullet.'

Apple cider vinegar cannot be substituted in place of a healthy diet and lifestyle (hello eight hours of sleep, reduced alcohol intake and less stress). The best takeaway here? Always do your research, consult your GP beforehand and know that not all apple cider vinegar is created equal.


ELLE Collective is a new community of fashion, beauty and culture lovers. For access to exclusive content, events, inspiring advice from our Editors and industry experts, as well the opportunity to meet designers, thought-leaders and stylists, become a member today HERE.


You Might Also Like