Apple cider vinegar is a popular home remedy around the world known for its many health benefits. This includes improving digestion, aiding in weight loss, and reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.
But did you know that it can also provide a positive boost to your immune system?
If not, you’re not alone, as many people are unaware of the benefits of apple cider vinegar on overall health, let alone on the immune system.
In this article, we’ll explore some of the most beneficial properties of apple cider vinegar and explain exactly how it can help keep your immune system functioning properly.
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How Apple Cider Vinegar Boosts Immunity
Apple cider vinegar has powerful immunity-boosting properties; therefore, there are multiple ways in which it can help to boost the immune system. Some of the top immunity benefits include:
- Supports Healthy Gut Microbiome
- Reduces Free Radical Damage
- Reduces Inflammation
- Modulate Immune Response
- Manages Blood Glucose
- Maintains a Healthy BMI
- Boosts Overall Nutrition
- Reduces Fat Accumulation in the Liver
- Fights Fungal Infections
- Fights Bacteria
When doing research for this article, I found studies and academic research to support how each benefit listed can help boost the immune system. Keep reading if you want to learn more!
1. Supports Healthy Gut Microbiome
Apple cider vinegar is packed with probiotics, which are beneficial bacteria that play a key role in gut health.
A healthy gut microbiome is essential for a strong immune system, as it’s responsible for producing short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), like butyrate, that support gut barrier function.
In addition, a healthy gut microbiome can help regulate the immune system by producing immunoglobulins (i.e., antibodies) that fight off infections and inflammation.
There are many studies that have shown a link between gut health and immunity, so it’s no surprise that apple cider vinegar can help boost the immune system by supporting a healthy gut microbiome.
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2. Reduces Free Radical Damage
Apple cider vinegar is rich in antioxidants, which are substances that help protect cells from damage caused by free radicals.
Free radicals are unstable molecule byproducts the body produces as a result of metabolism (i.e., turning food into energy). Because of their instability, they can steal electrons from other cells, causing a domino effect of unstable cells. They also block enzymes from doing their jobs and can change DNA, leading to cancer.
If left unchecked, free radical damage can lead to cell death and inflammation, which can weaken the immune system. Fortunately, apple cider vinegar is packed with antioxidants that can help to neutralize free radicals and protect cells from damage.
3. Reduces Inflammation
Apple cider vinegar has anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce inflammation throughout the body.
Inflammation is a normal immune response that helps to protect the body from infection and other injuries. However, when it becomes chronic (i.e., long-term), it can lead to several health problems, including weakened immunity.
Chronic inflammation can damage cells and tissues, as well as increase the risk of chronic diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
Apple cider vinegar is rich in caffeic acid, which is an antioxidant that is well-established for its anti-inflammatory effects.
4. Modulates an Immune Response
Apple cider vinegar can help to modulate an immune response, which is the body’s way of fighting off infections. It’s rich in catechins, which are flavonoids that help keep immune function balanced by making sure T lymphocytes and killer cells don’t attack healthy human cells.
More research is needed in this area, but researchers are certainly intrigued by the immune-modulating effects of apple cider vinegar.
5. Manages Blood Glucose
Apple cider vinegar has been shown to help to manage blood sugar levels, which is important for a strong immune system.
Researchers believe that the daily consumption of apple cider vinegar can reduce blood sugar and lipid profile spikes caused by hypercaloric foods. Other studies support that it may even help prevent metabolic disorders.
High blood sugar levels can weaken the immune system by damaging cells and making them more susceptible to infection. In addition, high blood sugar levels can also increase inflammation throughout the body.
Therefore, these are just a few of the many reasons to consume apple cider vinegar, especially if you’re looking for ways to boost your immune system by managing your blood sugar levels.
6. Maintains a Healthy BMI
Body mass index (BMI) is a measure of body fat based on height and weight. A healthy BMI is often associated with a reduced risk of chronic disease, including heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.
Maintaining a healthy BMI can also help to reduce inflammation throughout the body, and is associated with a lower risk of death from all causes.
Apple cider vinegar can help with weight loss and maintaining a healthy BMI in several ways. First, it can help to increase satiety (i.e., the feeling of fullness after eating). Second, it can help to boost metabolism.
Both of these effects can lead to a reduced BMI over time, which is associated with a host of health benefits, including a reduced risk of chronic disease and a stronger immune system.
7. Boosts Overall Nutrition
Apple cider vinegar is packed with nutrients that can help to boost overall health, including the immune system.
Some of the most important nutrients in apple cider vinegar include vitamins B1, B2, and B6, as well as folic acid, biotin, and pantothenic acid. Apple cider vinegar also contains minerals like potassium, magnesium, and calcium.
Not to mention, apple cider vinegar also contains vitamin C, which is a well-known immune booster.
In addition, the acetic acid in apple cider vinegar can help to chelate (i.e., bind to) minerals, making them more bioavailable to the body. This is especially important for calcium, which is essential for a strong immune system.
8. Reduces Fat Accumulation in the Liver
When you think of the immune system, you might not think of the liver. However, the liver is actually a key player in immune functioning, as its essential in filtering toxins and pathogens from the blood.
Therefore, a healthy liver is essential for a strong immune system.
In general, our body tends to store fat in the liver when we consume more calories than we burn. This can impact liver function and lead to a condition known as fatty liver disease.
Thankfully, studies found that apple cider vinegar can help to reduce fat accumulation in the liver. This is likely due to the fact that apple cider vinegar can help to improve insulin sensitivity and reduce triglyceride levels.
9. Fights Fungal Infections
Apple cider vinegar has antifungal properties that can help to fight fungal infections, both externally and internally.
For example, researchers found that it may slow the spread of C. albicans, a type of fungi that can cause yeast infections.
Apple cider vinegar can also be used topically to fight fungal infections, such as athlete’s foot and nail fungus. Simply soak a cotton ball in apple cider vinegar and apply it to the affected area.
However, there’s currently not much evidence to support these claims. In any case, the use of apple cider vinegar is low-risk when properly diluted.
10. Fights Bacteria
Vinegar has traditionally been used as a natural disinfectant and cleaning solution. This is because vinegar, including apple cider vinegar, contains acetic acid, which has antimicrobial properties that can help to fight bacteria.
In fact, multiple studies have shown that apple cider vinegar can help to fight bacteria, both internally and externally. One study even found that it was effective in killing E. coli and S. aureus, two types of harmful bacteria.
Therefore, you can take advantage of apple cider vinegar’s antibacterial properties by using it as a natural cleaning solution around your home. Or, you can add it to your diet to help fight harmful bacteria in your gut.
Apple cider vinegar is a popular home remedy with a variety of uses. It’s rich in nutrients and antioxidants, which can help to boost overall health, including the immune system.
Additionally, apple cider vinegar has been shown to fight bacteria, fungi, and viruses. Plus, it can help to reduce fat accumulation in the liver and improve insulin sensitivity.
While more research is needed to understand how it works, apple cider vinegar is generally safe to consume and has a host of other health benefits.
However, it’s important to speak with your doctor before adding apple cider vinegar to your diet, especially if you have a medical condition. Thanks for reading!
John Landry, BS, RRT
John Landry, a registered respiratory therapist from Memphis, TN, has a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology. He’s passionate about using evidence-based research to help others breathe easier and live a healthier life.