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The good news and bad news about apple cider vinegar

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QUESTION: I hear that apple cider vinegar helps with weight loss and improves glucose tolerance for people with diabetes. Is this true? — Emma S., Los Angeles

ANSWER: Dr. Oz reported on this subject on his April 30 show, “the Apple Cider Vinegar Project.” It takes a look at the good and bad news about using apple cider vinegar as a health booster.

The basics: apple cider vinegar starts off as apple juice, but adding yeast (for fermentation) turns its fruit sugar into alcohol, then bacteria turn the alcohol into acetic acid — the key ingredient that conveys its health benefits. Studies show that apple cider vinegar can reduce the rise in your blood glucose level after a meal and help promote weight loss as part of a calorie-restricted diet.

Dr. Oz recommends 1 teaspoon before or with each meal (add to salad dressing or a berry shake) in his apple cider vinegar detox.

However, one of the show’s guests, Dr. Tod Cooperman, president and founder of ConsumerLabs.com, wants consumers to be careful with apple cider vinegar. High levels (remember, it’s acidic) potentially can damage your teeth, throat and stomach. In fact, household products with acetic acid content above 20 percent should be labeled as poisons, but foods and supplements are exempt from such labeling!

Due to its growing popularity, apple cider vinegar is now popping up in pill form, and ConsumerLabs.com tested some to see how they compared with the liquid.

All the liquid apple cider vinegars they tested had between 5 and 6 percent acetic acid in them. But when they tested the pills, they found a wide range of results, from an acetic acid level of 0.4 percent (ineffective) up to 30 percent (potentially dangerous). After the show aired, one maker of the pills told ConsumerLabs.com that it’s going to add a warning label and include specific instructions for use.

Bottom line: Stick with the bottled liquid apple cider vinegar, and watch the segment online at doctoroz.com.


Mehmet Oz, M.D., is host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” and Mike Roizen, M.D., is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. Email questions to youdocsdaily@sharecare.com.


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