Introduction and description
Cider vinegar is a food, not a medicine, although like all ‘good’ foods it has beneficial effects – but only if you treat it as a food.
Vinegar is a product of fermentation. This is a process in which sugars in a food are broken down by bacteria and yeast. In the first stage of fermentation, the sugars are turned into alcohol. Then, if the alcohol ferments further, you get vinegar. The word comes from the French, meaning "sour wine." While vinegar can be made from all sorts of things -- like many fruits, vegetables, and grains -- apple cider vinegar comes from pulverized apples and is possibly the most common cider vinegar.
Balsamic vinegar can be classed within the same family of vinegars. Balsamic vinegar is made from a reduction of cooked white Trebbiano grape juice, and has been produced in Modena and Reggio Emilia since the Middle Ages, being mentioned in a document dated 1046. The name balsam refers to its health-giving properties. Sherry vinegar also comes within the same category and is also delicious.
The main ingredient of apple cider vinegar, or any vinegar, is acetic acid. However, vinegars also have other acids, vitamins, mineral salts, and amino acids dependent on the fruit used as the basic ingredient.
Cider vinegar has long been used as a folk remedy. Apple cider vinegar, in particular, became well known in the U.S. in the late 1950s, when it was promoted in the best-selling book Folk Medicine: A Vermont Doctor's Guide to Good Health by D. C. Jarvis.
More sinister and less helpful are the apple cider vinegar pills now being sold as ‘health giving’ dietary supplements. Like all supplements, there is a serious risk of overdose and often you get none of the real benefits of the vinegar itself – one of which is its nice taste when used in salads!
Using apple cider vinegar supplements -- instead of the liquid itself -- adds a layer of risk. You just can't be sure what you're really getting. Unlike medicines, supplements are not regulated by the FDA. They aren't routinely tested for effectiveness or even basic safety. A 2005 study looked at the ingredients of eight different brands of apple cider vinegar supplements. The researchers found that:
- The ingredients listed on the box did not reflect the actual ingredients.
- The ingredients varied a great deal between different brands.
- The recommended dosages varied a great deal between brands.
Most disturbing, the chemical analysis of these samples led the researchers to doubt whether any of these brands actually contained any apple cider vinegar at all.
Cider vinegar’s main benefit is in helping with alkalosis. In effect, it only has health giving properties if you have alkalosis, if you have acidosis it could do you harm.
Alkalosis often affects the elderly or at least those over 50 and is characterised by symptoms such as high blood pressure, allergies, arthritis, anal itching, shortness of breath, distended stomach, indigestion, flatulence, itchy crawling sensations on the skin and a high red blood cell count.
Cider vinegar and honey together are a great help in controlling this along with the correct intake of fats and oils, lots of sun and foods with phosphorus and potassium in them such as nuts, cheese, seeds, oily fish etc. Foods with Vitamin A also appear to help. NOT SUPPLEMENTS.
If you have high blood pressure, it may be caused by alkalosis. Calcium may be precipitated in the bloodstream under alkaline conditions, as such if you suffer from alkalosis then cider vinegar may help with heart problems – high blood pressure, endothelial dysfunction and atherosclerosis.
According to WebMD “A large observational study found that people who ate oil and vinegar dressing on salads five to six times a week had lower rates of heart disease than people who didn't”. Which actually tells us nothing, because who knows what else they were eating and what their lifestyle was, but it shows that oil and vinegar dressings, as well as being tasty may help and don't seem to do any harm.
BUT YOU MUST BE TESTED for alkalosis before you start embarking on a diet which apparently helps it. Ultimately those with alkalosis need to cut out cereals, cut out the high levels of processed grapefruit and orange juice they are probably consuming and cut out baked good and cookies as the first step in helping themselves.
There is thus a sort of madness in people using cider vinegar as a cure-all medicine. Pure apple cider vinegar taken in this way – as a sort of teaspoon a day medicine - can damage the tooth enamel and the tissues in your throat and mouth. Supplements are even worse. “One study found a woman who got an apple cider vinegar supplement stuck in her throat suffered lasting damage to her esophagus”.
And what if you are actually suffering from acidosis? Think of the damage you are doing to yourself - Potassium deficiency, osteoporosis, phosphorus deficiency, constipation, hyper-irritabality.......
Cider vinegar mixed with any of the good oils like olive oil, hazelnut oil, walnut oil, toasted pumpkin seed oil, etc and with a little added honey is simply delicious on salads. Balsamic vinegar is good without the need of oils.
Any salad is improved by the use of this dressing. Let us take some examples
- Strawberry, pecan nut and pea shoot salad
- Lamb's lettuce, roasted pumpkin seed, and apple salad
- Roasted beetroot [sliced] with Rosemary
- Avocado pear sliced with fresh dessert pear and blue cheese salad
- Radicchio, toasted sunflower seeds and dried apricot salad [with the option of a little crumbled parmesan cheese]
- Roasted red pepper and sliced egg with caraway seed salad
- Grilled filleted mackerel, stuffed with seaweed and toasted almonds
- Roasted sliced root vegetables [squash, pumpkin, carrot etc] with feta cheese,and toasted pumpkin seeds
All good and all tasty and all help in reducing alkalosis, when served with the dressing on them.
- Antifungal Activity of Apple Cider Vinegar on Candida Species Involved in Denture Stomatitis 027490
- Antimicrobial activity of apple cider vinegar against Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus and Candida albicans; downregulating cytokine and microbial protein expression 027491
- Authenticating apple cider vinegar's home remedy claims: antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral properties and cytotoxicity aspect 027493
- Goodheart, George - On the Acid-Alkaline balance 011173
- Vaginal Candidiasis Infection Treated Using Apple Cider Vinegar: A Case Report 027492