Apple cider vinegar is often promoted as being a ‘miracle cure’ for everything. Some people have explored it as a way to improve heart health, maintain blood sugar level, lose weight, and even for dandruff relief – though many of these benefits are still debatable. Does it also have an effect to your liver enzymes?
Increased amounts of liver enzymes in the circulation (bloodstream) may signal inflammation of the liver. When cells of your liver get injured or inflamed, they can leak high amounts of certain chemicals (higher than normal), including liver enzymes.
Unfortunately, there is usually no symptom until the inflammation or damage of the liver becomes quite advanced. It is often caught accidentally during routine blood testing.
Some common specific elevated liver enzymes that show up in blood tests are as follows:
- GGT, gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase.
- ALP, alkaline phosphatase.
- AST, aspartate transaminase.
- ALT, alanine transaminase.
The good news, most cases of elevated liver enzymes are mild and temporary. It usually doesn’t indicate a serious liver problem. However, it’s always important to keep your liver healthy, even though your blood tests are normal.
Your liver is a tough organ that can heal itself when it gets injured or inflamed. But this ability is not going without limit. Frequent, chronic injury and inflammation of the liver may turn into serious over time. This will increase your risk of having serious problems such as cirrhosis and even liver failure.
Apple cider vinegar is derived from crushed apples (mostly like apple juice), which are fermented in a two-step process.
The first fermentation is by adding yeast to turn the fruit sugar into alcohol. And then bacteria are added in the second step to turn the alcohol into acetic acid, which is the main active substance in vinegar and gives its strong smell & sour taste.
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Again, we can find many claims about health benefits from apple cider vinegar on internet.
One of them is its effectiveness to improve the liver health by easing liver inflammation and removing fat in /around the liver. But that claim is still debatable — there is still enough scientific evidence to support it.
However, this doesn’t mean that something isn’t happening. Even sometimes anecdote may end up getting supported by science down the line.
While the effectiveness of apple cider vinegar for liver health is not fully known, it’s quite clear that this vinegar may help lose weight and keep it off – and also could be effective to help blood sugar levels stable in diabetics. And in general, being obese (including overweight) and high blood sugar can factor into fatty liver disease, a condition in which there are too much fat deposits in your liver cells.
How does it help lose and control your weight?
A promising study was done by Japanese scientists that involved about 175 healthy, heavy people. The study showed that apple cider vinegar might have a role to lower BMI (body mass index) and viscera fat, and also decrease triglyceride levels. Participants also had lower waist measurements after following 12-week treatment.
Although it’s a very, very modest weight loss (according to that study), apple cider vinegar could provide you a slight edge if you were doing all the other things to burn excess pounds of your weight.
Some people also find that it might help promote satiety (feeling of fullness), helping them to control and eat fewer calories a day. But for better result, don’t only rely on this vinegar on its own. Instead, combine it with a healthy-balanced diet, calorie control, and regular exercise.
Is it good for your blood sugar control?
It can help improve insulin response in group of people with type-2 diabetes, according to one small study. Although the improvement is slight and there is no evidence for its effectiveness to alter /prevent diabetes, it is a good way to maintain insulin sensitivity and promote healthy blood sugar levels.
Acetic acid of apple cider vinegar can block the absorption of starch, preventing a spike in blood sugar level during a high-carb meal. This can be quite helpful if you have type-2 diabetes, though it may only work when you consume a starch (there is no effect if you drink sugar water).
Also, apple cider vinegar might amplify certain medicines for diabetes. If you’re taking medicines for your blood sugar control, your doctor may need to adjust your dosage!