Despite the hype in the health and wellness community surrounding apple cider vinegar, a nutrition expert says most of its alleged medical benefits have not been proven.
Cindy Lai, a surf instructor and apple cider vinegar enthusiast, told ABC News that she drinks one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar a day for her health, and also uses it in her hair after she goes surfing.
“It’s something to get my metabolism going in the morning, but it also makes me feel good,” Lai said, adding that she drinks it “in place of coffee.”
Apple cider vinegar, which is essentially fermented apple juice, has been used for years as a home health remedy to treat or prevent a variety of ailments, but has recently seen a resurgence in popularity.
Some proponents of apple cider vinegar claim it can be used for anything from helping relieve symptoms of acid reflux to lowering blood pressure, and even aiding in weight loss.
“It’s got so many diverse uses,” Lai told ABC News.
Kelly Hogan, a nutritionist at Mt. Sinai Hospital’s Dubin Breast Center in New York City told ABC News that many of the claims made about apple cider vinegar, however, have not been proven.
Hogan added that a potential downside to apple cider vinegar is that “it’s really acidic, especially if you consume it in its concentrated form,” saying that large doses can even interfere with medication absorption or cause low potassium levels. In smaller amounts, however, it is considered safe, according to Hogan.
“There are so many claims,” Hogan said of apple cider vinegar, “but at the end of the day it’s not a magical elixir.”