Is Apple Cider Vinegar A Probiotic – The Common Mislead

April 6, 2018

Jelly Jeff

Is Apple Cider Vinegar A Probiotic – The Common Mislead

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Introduction

Apple cider vinegar is one of the most popular healthy foods in most of the housewives’ kitchen. It’s easy to make at home, and it contains lots of health benefits. Many people think that apple cider vinegar is a probiotic. Is apple cider vinegar a probiotic? Let’s find out together!

Apple cider vinegar

What It Is?

Is apple cider vinegar a probiotic? We will figure out the answer if we understand clearly what is probiotic and what is apple cider vinegar.

Apple cider vinegar is a type of vinegar made from fermented apple cider. Before that, apple cider is made by extracting the juice from minced apples. Apple cider vinegar has a good smell of apple and is sweeter than other kinds of vinegar.

Among various types of apple cider vinegar these are sold in the market, natural unfiltered apple cider vinegar is most popular type because it contains a source of probiotics which bring a lot of health benefits.

It’s recommended to mix two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar into water and drink three times per day for health support.

Let’s keep in mind the question “Is apple cider vinegar a probiotic?” and move to the next part.

How It’s Made

Apple cider vinegar can be homemade or mass-produced in large factories. The main ingredient is fermented apples and sugar. Basic instructions will be provided to help you making apple cider vinegar at home with easy-to-find equipment and ingredients.  

Apple cider vinegar can be homemade or mass-produced in large factories
Apple cider vinegar can be homemade or mass-produced in large factories

Ingredients & Equipments

  • Clean glass jar/or any glass containers
  • Fermented weight: clean stones, small glass,…
  • Cheesecloth or coffee filter
  • Rubber band
  • Organic apple
  • Cane sugar or honey

Make sure to clean up thoroughly all of your equipment and ingredients as we don’t want any bad bacteria to affect the fermentation process. If using conventional apples instead of organic apple, you should dispose of the peel due to pesticides remaining on the peel [6].

Instruction

  • Chop into small pieces or grin your pulp of apple. Cores, stems, and seeds are all usable.
  • Put pureed apple into the container so the amount of apple would take up to 75% space inside the container.
  • Add one tablespoon of cane sugar into 500ml water and stir until it’s dissolved completely. Depend on how big the container is; you will need to double or triple this sugar water so there would be enough sugar water to cover the apple.
  • You may replace sugar with honey in this recipe. However, contrary to common beliefs, using sugar in this recipe is not harmful. Sugar acts as the source of food for the good bacteria. Hence, after the fermentation, sugar will be metabolized into other substances which is harmless for your body.
  • Pour this mixture into the container until the apple is all submerged.
  • Keep all apples sink under the water with a clean stone, glass jar or anything to act as a fermentation weight. Any apples that contact with the air could grow mold.
  • Cover the container up with thin cloth or coffee filter and hold it with a rubber band. Remember that the fermentation process will create gas which needs to be released, so you should not use a thick cloth. In another hand, if you don’t cover the container at all, insects/ flies or any bad bacteria will attack the container. Therefore, cheesecloth or coffee filter would be appropriate.
  • Preserve in a dark place with moderately consistent room temperature.
  • The fermentation will take place for 3-4 weeks or longer depending on the temperature and the amount of apple cider vinegar you want to make. Check it once a week to ensure no mold appeared. Bubbles and white scum will show up at the top, and it’s completely normal.
  • After around three weeks, if you can smell the sweet and alcohol, strain the apple scraps out and pour the liquid back into the jar (the scraps can’t be reused anymore). At this point, Apple has become apple cider.
  • Cover the jar and leave it for another 3-4 weeks, and stir it once a week.
  • When you no longer smell the alcohol, and the liquid has had the taste of sourness that you expect, you can transfer it into a new container with a lid and enjoy your homemade apple cider vinegar.

As apple cider vinegar is made from fermented apple, it seems to contain probiotics. Is apple cider vinegar really a probiotic? Before rush to the answer, let’s dig deeper into apple cider vinegar’s health benefits.

Health Benefits

Blood Glucose Levels Control

Blood glucose level or blood sugar level is the amount of glucose contained in a unit of human blood. Diabetic people have the high level of blood sugar due to the insufficient level of insulin – a hormone secreted to balance the blood glucose levels.

Apple cider vinegar can regulate the blood sugar level by decreasing the amount of glucose in blood and improve insulin response.

Many findings have proven that consuming apple cider vinegar could reduce the blood sugar level. According to one study, a person drinking apple cider vinegar after eating white bread could cut down approximately 31 percent of blood sugar level. In another experiment in diabetic mice, feeding them apple cider vinegar for four weeks could moderately lower the blood sugar level [5].

The tissues generate glucose as fuels for all of their activities. Insulin controls the blood sugar levels by delivering glucose to the tissues. However, for diabetes type 2 or insulin resistance, the cells reject to utilize glucose from insulin due to several reasons; hence, the blood sugar levels rise.

Apple cider vinegar could increase insulin sensitivity up to 34 percents in patients who suffer from type 2 diabetes or insulin resistance according to Diabetes Care’ s research. Thank to that, the tissues could generate glucose delivered from insulin and the blood sugar level is managed better.

Apple cider vinegar is not an effective medicine in diabetes treatment, yet it has various supportive effects such as blood sugar level cut down and diabetes’ symptoms reduce (fatigue, weakness, unquenchable thirst, frequent urination).

We haven’t been able to answer the question “Is apple cider vinegar a probiotic?” yet with the above information, hence let’s move to the next benefit.

Weight Loss

Several experiments and research have presented that consuming apple cider vinegar bring up the feeling of satiety, which make you eat less and hence cut down intake and calories. In a particular study, it’s proven that total 275 calories intake could be reduced in a day by drinking apple cider vinegar.

Nevertheless, please note that drinking apple cider vinegar alone can’t help much in your weight loss process. To achieve a significant result, you should practice various methods altogether such as daily exercises, healthy diet, and lifestyle; and use apple cider vinegar as a supplementary drink in your diet.

Apple cider vinegar can help in weight loss, but is apple cider vinegar a probiotic? Let’s study further before getting to the answer.

Cholesterol Reduce

Cholesterol is a type of lipid molecule found in most body tissues. There is two kind of cholesterol: bad cholesterol (LDL) and good cholesterol (HDL), and both of them are an important substance of cell membranes, but a high level of bad cholesterol in the blood could result in an increased risk of heart disease.

Apple cider vinegar can nurture heart health and reduce the threat of heart failure in the olds by maintaining the level of cholesterol low. A medical experiment in animal (rat) has shown that apple cider vinegar was capable of both cutting down LDL cholesterol and boosting the HDL cholesterol.

Apple cider vinegar can reduce bad cholesterol, but is apple cider vinegar a probiotic? Let’s move to the next part.

Skin Enhancement

Apple cider vinegar is well-known for skin benefit in acne treatment and scar reducing. Many substances such as acetic acid, citric acid,… in apple cider vinegar could restrict the development of a specific type of bacteria which causes acne. Also, lactic acid in apple cider vinegar can improve the texture, pigmentation of skin; and brighten the scars.

Apple cider vinegar is a popular organic ingredient in various skin products such as toner, skin cream, lotion, masks,… May beauty guru mix it with water or other ingredients and utilize it as a home remedy for acne at home.

Apple cider vinegar can improve the skin texture, but is apple cider vinegar a probiotic? Let’s wait until the final part.

Apple cider vinegar can improve the skin texture
Apple cider vinegar can improve the skin texture

Digestive Benefit

Heartburn, belching and nausea is usually the common symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease or acid reflux which occurs when acid flows reversal from stomach up into the esophagus. Acid reflux appears in people whose body don’t secrete sufficient hydrochloric acid in the stomach.

Apple cider vinegar intake will prevent the acid reflux symptoms by supply more acid into the stomach. It would assist in digesting acidic foods such as meat, dairy, beans, and nuts. It’s recommended to dilute apple cider vinegar in water and drink before meals. People suffering from acid reflux should follow a special diet with an increase in vegetables, healthy fats, and fermented foods.

People can make use of apple cider vinegar as a treatment for constipation and diarrhea. Containing pectin – a soluble fiber which could support the bowels in waste gathering and excretion, apple cider vinegar could cure constipation. In another hand, it’s capable of easing the injured intestine.

For healthy people, drinking apple cider vinegar daily with appropriate potion could maintain and enhance the inner ecosystem of good and bad bacteria inside your digestive system.

Due to the apple cider vinegar’s apparent and well-known impact on the digestive tract, may people think that it’s a probiotic. Is apple cider vinegar a probiotic?

Side Effects

Consuming apple cider vinegar with suitable portion is helpful for your health. However, drinking too much apple cider vinegar could bring harmful effects such as aggravating the stomachache, weakening the tooth enamel and causing throat injury [3].

If you are under treatment process of diabetes or heart disease, it’s suggested to ask for your doctor’s advice before including apple cider vinegar in your diet and drink with care. Some studies have pointed out that apple cider vinegar may influence the medications such as diuretics and laxatives, and disturb the blood sugar control.

It’s recommended to drink no more than two tablespoons per day after eating. Make sure to dilute it with one liter of water in advance.

We have gone through the definition, how it’s made and the health benefit of apple cider vinegar. The question “Is apple cider vinegar a probiotic?” hasn’t been answered. Let’s dig in what probiotic is to figure out.

Probiotic

What It Is?

In the website of the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), probiotics are defined as the “live microorganisms (in most cases, bacteria) that are similar to beneficial microorganisms found in the human gut.” [4] In short, probiotics are good bacteria inside your body, mostly in your digestive tract which assist your body in occluding enough nutrients and operating correctly.

At this point, we have properly been able to guess the answer for “Is apple cider vinegar a probiotic?”. Why do many people mislead apple cider vinegar with probiotic? Is it due to its health effects? We will get to know in the later part.

How It Works

The digestive system comprises of both beneficial and harmful bacteria and yeast. Bacteria help to keep the suitable pH in the digestive tract and on your skin and support the metabolism process to produce nutrients for your body.

When a ratio of 85 percent good bacteria and 15 percent of bad bacteria is maintained, it’s called the ecosystem inside your body is underbalanced. If this ratio is broken, and the certain type of bacteria outgrow others, it would lead to several diseases. People try to re-establish this ecosystem by taking kind of probiotics foods and supplements.

If you would like to study further about how probiotics works, please read our latest article HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE FOR PROBIOTICS TO WORK and HOW LONG DO PROBIOTICS LAST.

Similar to apple cider vinegar, probiotics also play a vital role in maintaining a proper strong digestive tract. Thank to the development of science, now scientist can create several types of probiotic supplementary pills such as probiotics for men, probiotics for women, or probiotics which focuses on curing constipation. Please refer to our latest article BEST PROBIOTICS FOR MEN and BEST PROBIOTICS FOR CONSTIPATION for better choices.

Bu is apple cider vinegar a probiotic? Let’s get to know further about health benefits of probiotics.

Health Benefits

Digestive Benefit

Consuming probiotics foods or taking probiotic supplements could balance the ecosystem in the digestive tract, promote digestive health and prevent several diseases such as bowel diseases, ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, constipation, and diarrhea.

For further details on how probiotics could prevent constipation or any other digestive conditions, please refer to our last article DO PROBIOTICS MAKE YOU POOP, DO PROBIOTICS HELP WITH CONSTIPATION, and CAN PROBIOTICS CAUSE NAUSEA.

Like apple cider vinegar, probiotics owns several digestive benefits. Is apple cider vinegar a probiotic? We haven’t been able to come to the conclusion yet.

Various studies have presented a significant effect of probiotics in ulcerative colitis’ s treatment as well as several types of diarrhea such as antibiotic-associated diarrhea, acute diarrhea, and traveler’s diarrhea. Other researches also suggest that probiotics could ease the IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease) symptoms, and support the medication.

Restrict Antibiotic Resistance

Antibiotic resistance is the condition when several types of antibiotics become ineffective in curing diseases caused by bacteria due to overuse and incorrect use of antibiotics. Probiotics support to re-establish the strain of bacteria needed after taking a dose of antibiotics, hence promote the impact of antibiotics and reduce the antibiotic resistance [2]. However, is it OK to take both probiotics and antibiotics? Please read our article CAN YOU TAKE PROBIOTICS AND ANTIBIOTICS AT THE SAME TIME to find out the answer.

Apple cider vinegar can’t prevent the antibiotic resistance like probiotic. Does it mean the answer for “Is apple cider vinegar a probiotic?” is No? Let’s study further.

Healthy Skin

According to various studies, pediatric atopic dermatitis and infant eczema can be precluded by probiotic supplements intake. Other findings also suggest that many particular types of probiotic can obviate plentiful kind of skin infection. In common beliefs, people also agree that maintaining a healthy digestive tract could benefit for the skin and limit the expansion of acnes.

As we know so far, both probiotic and apple cider vinegar can be good to the skin. Is apple cider vinegar a probiotic? Let’s wait until the end of this article.

Infants Diseases Treatment

Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) and neonatal sepsis are two common severe diseases in newborns, and they’re deathly dangerous in low birth weight (LBW) and very low birth weight (VLBW) babies. Several studies have found that the threat of these two dangerous diseases can be significantly precluded if the mother takes probiotics during pregnancy or the period of breastfeeding.

In particular, a controlled trial conducted in 2017 in developing countries had confirmed that if mothers are given probiotics which have the bacteria type L. Plantarum, the potential of developing sepsis in newborns “could be effectively prevented.”

Unlike probiotics, apple cider vinegar don’t have any impact on infants diseases treatment. Does it mean the answer for “Is apple cider vinegar a probiotic?” is No? Let’s study further.

Blood Pressure Control

Numerous researches had confirmed that food or supplements containing beneficial bacteria could assist in decreasing blood pressure by balancing all types of lipid substances, cutting down insulin resistance, controlling renin levels and promoting antioxidants. Probiotics are considered to be more precious than other medications in hypertension treatment due to its fewer side effects.

While apple cider vinegar can reduce cholesterol level, probiotics can balance the level of good cholesterol and bad cholesterol and then control blood pressure. With this similarity, is apple cider vinegar a probiotic? We can’t answer yet.

Diabetes Treatment

An enormous analysis conducted in approximately 200,000 subjects and 15,156 patients with type 2 diabetes has determined that consuming probiotic yogurt frequently could obviate the threat of diabetes.

Another study in 2014 also supports this finding by confirming that probiotics could promote insulin sensitivity and reduce the protective auto system response in diabetes, hence prevent or control the diabetic symptoms.

Both apple cider vinegar and probiotics could manage the blood sugar level and promote the insulin sensitivity. With many similarities, is apple cider vinegar a probiotic?

Probiotics have many impacts on blood sugar level control as well as diabetes treatments. Some people may wonder whether probiotics make you gain weight. Please find out in our latest article DO PROBIOTICS MAKE YOU GAIN WEIGHT.

Probiotics have many impacts on blood sugar level control as well as diabetes treatments
Probiotics have many impacts on blood sugar level control as well as diabetes treatments

Other Conditions Benefit

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the condition when harmful cholesterol is formed with the high amount in the liver due to unhealthy eating habit, or lack of sufficient exercises. When NAFLD is not treated properly, it could be the cause of cirrhosis, liver failure, and even death.

In 2013, a researcher had conducted several experiments and presented several pieces of evidence to support the idea that: “Modulation of the gut microbiota represents a new treatment for NAFLD.”

For other diseases such as urinary tract infection (UTI) in women, rheumatoid arthritis (RA), or kidney stone; abundant studies have proven that probiotics have supportive impacts on these disease’ treatment due to its immune system’s improvement. However, further experiments need to be done to present clearly how probiotics could cure these severe diseases.

It seems that both apple cider vinegar and probiotic have a various similar health effect. Is apple cider vinegar a probiotic? The answer doesn’t seem to be YES.

Side Effects

Probiotics usually don’t create any particular side effects unless you consume too much or take it while you are under cancer chemotherapy or immunocompromised condition. In few cases, consuming too many probiotics recklessly can lead to stomachache, diarrhea, gas or bloating, or allergic reactions [1].

For people undertaking cancer treatment, consuming probiotics without doctor’s advice may result in infections and sepsis. Remember to consult with your doctor before taking any probiotics supplement under any circumstances.

If you are undertaking any diseases’ treatment process, please read our article DO PROBIOTICS INTERACT WITH ANY MEDICATIONS before taking probiotics.

Is apple cider venegar a probiotic?

Probiotics

Is apple cider vinegar a probiotic? First of all, as we know so far, probiotics are the beneficial microorganisms inside your body, so apple cider vinegar is not probiotics. It’s a prebiotics. If apple cider vinegar is prebiotic, then what is prebiotics?

Prebiotics are the source of nourishment in fermented food or fiber that is the food for the good bacteria and promote their flourishment in the digestive tract. In short, prebiotics is the food for probiotic. Prebiotics are made from foods which contain fiber – non-digestible part of foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds.

When both prebiotics and probiotics are consumed, it creates a synbiotic effect to your health. The good bacteria inside your body is raised and nurtured, hence the digestive process is implemented more effectively, and in turn, it benefits your body in various aspects.

Apple cider vinegar contains pectin – a natural carbohydrate which supports the development of probiotics. Pectin will cling to the waste product inside your intestines such as cholesterol, bad bacteria, or toxins; and encourage the daily bowel movements to get them out of your body. The probiotics will have the better environment to grow and defend your digestive system.

Comparative chart

Apple cider vinegar (prebiotics)Probiotics
Similarities
  • Both have good effects on your digestive tract and your health
  • Both can balance the healthy ratio of good bacteria vs. bad bacteria
  • Both are capable of blood sugar level control,
  • Both reduce the level of harmful cholesterol,
  • Both have a helpful impact on diabetes type 2’s treatment
Differentiations
  • Apple cider vinegar is prebiotics – food for beneficial bacteria
  • Apple cider vinegar encourage the growth of probiotics
  • Apple cider vinegar is made from fermented apple
  • Apple cider vinegar contains pectin – the main type of non-digestible part of the apple
  • The best type of apple cider vinegar is raw, organic, and unfiltered apple cider vinegar which includes “the mother.”
  • Apple cider vinegar needs to be kept in a cool, dry, dark place, and away from direct sunlight or heat, like the pantry or cupboard and tightly covered.
  • Probiotics are beneficial bacteria
  • Probiotics have other health benefits:
  • infants diseases treatment,
  • antibiotic resistance restriction,
  • other conditions benefit
  • Probiotics can be developed in various types of fermented food such as yogurt, sauerkraut, miso soup, kimchi, and others; or can be produced in the form of supplementary pills.
  • Probiotics must be preserved alive to maintain its health effect when consuming.
  • Probiotics will lose its beneficial impacts if the preservation is not implemented properly.

Summary

To sum up, since probiotics are good bacteria inside your body, the answer for “Is apple cider vinegar a probiotic?” is NO, it’s prebiotics – the nutrients for good bacteria. Apple cider vinegar contains pectin – main type of fiber in apple which promotes the flourishment of probiotics.

The most beneficial type of apple cider vinegar is raw, organic, and unfiltered apple cider vinegar which includes “the mother”; and it can be made from fermented apple.

Apart from apple cider vinegar, probiotics itself has many different benefits to your body such as infants diseases treatment, antibiotic resistance restriction, and other conditions benefit. Probiotics can be created in fermented food such as yogurt, sauerkraut, miso soup, kimchi, and others; or supplementary pills.

Yogurt is one of the most common probiotic food which ease the symptoms of constipation. Please read our last article IS YOGURT GOOD FOR CONSTIPATION for more details. If you would like to know more natural treatment for constipation, please refer to our latest article ESSENTIAL OILS FOR CONSTIPATION and HOMEMADE LAXATIVE.

Probiotics must be preserved in a certain condition to maintain its health effects. Foods which contains probiotics such as yogurt, kimchi, natto,… must be stored in cold environments such as fridge or cold cellar, the temperature should be maintained from 32 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit. The cold only restricts the growth of organisms but doesn’t kill them completely, hence it could preserve its health impacts.

Apple cider vinegar also needs to be kept in cold, dark area; and kept away from heat and sunlight. For example cupboard, cellar, pantry,…

Apple cider vinegar and probiotics have many similar good health impacts. Therefore, many people wonder “Is apple cider vinegar a probiotic?” and mislead them.

Both apple cider vinegar and probiotic all have good effects on your digestive tract in particular, and your health in general. They both balance the healthy ratio of good bacteria vs. bad bacteria in your gut, hence promote the digestive process and enhance the immune system.

Apple cider vinegar and probiotics have many similar good health impacts
Apple cider vinegar and probiotics have many similar good health impacts

They support in blood sugar level control, reduce the level of harmful cholesterol, and have the helpful impact on diabetes type 2’s treatment. They also have good effects on improving your skin, and support in other diseases’ treatments.

Conclusion

Is apple cider vinegar a probiotic? The answer is NO. Apple cider vinegar is prebiotics. Even though both apple cider vinegar and probiotics have beneficial effects on digestive tract, skin, blood sugar control, and diabetes treatment, they have various differentiations that need to be clarified. Apple cider vinegar nurtures and empowers probiotics. Together, they create the synbiotic impact on your health.

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