Can vinegar prevent illness?
Vinegar is a condiment known for its health benefits. A family medicine professor pointed out from the perspective of scientific research, although vinegar may not be able to prevent diseases, but it is always good for human health.
As a medical practitioner and professor, people always ask me what the benefits of drinking apple cider vinegar are, according to foreign media reports. I love these moments because we can talk about the history of vinegar and then refine the conversation to benefit them.
Historically, vinegar has been used to treat many diseases. For example, Hippocrates, a famous Greek doctor, recommended vinegar for coughs and colds. Tommaso Del Garbo, an Italian doctor, recommended washing hands, face and mouth with vinegar to prevent infection in the outbreak of the plague in 1348.
From Roman soldiers to modern athletes, vinegar has been used to quench their thirst. Both ancient and modern cultures around the world have found a wide range of USES for “sour wine”.
While there’s plenty of historical and anecdotal evidence for the virtues of vinegar, what do medical research say about vinegar and health?
The most reliable evidence of the health benefits of vinegar comes from some human studies involving apple cider vinegar. One study showed that apple cider vinegar improved post-meal blood sugar levels in insulin resistant subjects. Among the 11 prediabetic patients, those who drank 20 ml (a little more than a tablespoon) of cider vinegar lost blood sugar 30 to 60 minutes earlier than those who took a placebo. That’s good, but we have to remember that it was only proven in 11 former diabetics.
Another study of obese adults found that drinking vinegar significantly reduced weight, fat and triglycerides. Researchers selected 155 obese Japanese adults to consume 15ml, about a tablespoon, and 30ml, or just over two tablespoons of vinegar or placebo drinks a day and tracked their weight, fat mass and triglycerides. In the test group that drank 15 and 30 milliliters of vinegar, the researchers found that all three markers were reduced. While these studies need to be confirmed by larger tests, they are encouraging.
Studies in animals (mostly mice) have shown that vinegar lowers blood pressure and reduces fat cells in the abdomen. These results could help support follow-up studies in humans, but it would be premature to make a statement based on any benefits from animal research.
All in all, the health benefits of vinegar need to be confirmed by larger human studies, and this will certainly happen as researchers build on existing studies in humans and animals.
Is there evidence that vinegar is bad for you? Not really. Unless you drink too much alcohol, or you drink too much acetic acid, or rub your eyes with vinegar directly, or, as the Romans do, heat vinegar to sweeten it. That’s not healthy.
Also, do not heat any food in a lead pan. It’s always bad.
So are fish, chips and vinegar. It won’t hurt you. It may not give you the benefits you hoped for; It’s certainly not a panacea. But vinegar is something that people all over the world will love. Now join me in raising up that bottle of malt vinegar and let’s drink to our health.