The dreaded bloat. Many of us, and especially women will try anything to get rid of bloating. It's becoming all too common, with the rate of people in their 20's developing chronic stomach conditions rising exponentially. Many people with IBS and SIBO claim that Apple Cider helped cure them.
Not surprisingly, the ancient Greeks were among the first to discover that ACV has a plethora of impressive health benefits and began using it as a natural antibiotic and disinfectant.
Advocates of apple cider vinegar have made countless claims about its health benefits. The most well-known claim is that drinking a tablespoon of raw apple cider vinegar in a glass of warm water can heal bloating and other digestive issues like cramping.
ACV possesses antibacterial properties that may be helpful in the treatment of bloating, as it stimulates the hydrochloric acid in your stomach and assists in the healthy breakdown of foods, without creating harmful toxins. This digestive regulation can help you feel less bloated! Research has also shown that ACV has many other health benefits, thanks to its natural properties.
What is bloating?
Bloating is the term used for a build-up of gas in the stomach or intestines. It's important to note that the creation of gas is a natural part of both eating and digestion, but it can cause intense discomfort in some cases:
- There is an overproduction of gas and too much of it.
- Too much of the wrong kind of gas.
- The gas accumulates in the upper intestines rather than the colon.
A person with bloating may exhibit a 'pregnant' appearance and feel like they have an inflated balloon in their stomach. They may also feel pressure in their intestines and lower abdomen. Bloating can happen when:
- You eat too much
- You eat too fast and don't chew properly
- You eat foods that your body cannot digest due to food intolerances
- The bacteria are migrating to the small intestine, such as in small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO)
The body naturally produces two main gases when bacteria ferment carbohydrates in food. These two gases are methane and hydrogen. Research has linked higher amounts of methane gas with various digestive conditions, including constipation, IBS, SIBO and even obesity.
You can't cure bloating overnight, usually, the body passes it out over time. Some treatments like Peppermint Capsules may help control the symptoms or help the gas pass quicker, but the bloating usually returns if the underlying issues aren't addressed.
In the past year specifically, 'Home remedies' using ACV to treat intestinal concerns have become very trendy. Although there is no real scientific proof that connects ACV with less bloating, there are many claims and personal testimonies that swear its effectiveness.
Let's get to the nitty-gritty and see if ACV can alleviate bloating?
Let's turn to Dr Ruscio. He is the author of Healthy Gut, Healthy You.
He says, 'There are two possible links between ACV and gut health. One is acetic acid, a mild acid that is found in all kinds of vinegars. The other is the probiotic bacteria which is found in some brands of apple cider vinegar.'
Apparently, it's normal for a GPs to prescribe apple cider vinegar or digestive acid supplements to patients with low stomach acid. This is based on the assumption that since continued low stomach acid is bad, supplementing with extra acid should counteract it.
But the issue is that none of these methods is based on actual scientific evidence.
He continues, "Despite exhaustive literature searches, I haven’t found any compelling research to back up acid supplementation. That doesn’t mean that acid supplementation doesn’t work, but it is a mostly untested therapy".
A few brands of ACV like Bragg’s contain “the mother,” which is a naturally-formed, cloudy layer of acetic acid bacteria. While this bacterium is used to ferment all types of vinegar, most commercial vinegar brands separate and filter it out. The 'mother' is made up of good bacteria and can be very beneficial to gut health.
There is a lot of scientific evidence that reveals the many benefits of probiotics for IBS and SIBO.
Dr Ruscio says that ACV on its own won't provide a therapeutic dose of probiotics, but it’s one type of fermented food that you can add to your diet to help with digestive issues.
So, while there isn't sufficient evidence to prove that ACV can banish bloating, there are too many people who swear by it alleviating their symptoms not to take ACV seriously.
It certainly has many benefits and is scientifically proven to neutralise stomach acids and prepare your gut to digest food properly.
Remember what Hippocrates said: “All disease begins in the gut”. Well, he's not far off! Every time we eat or drink or expose ourselves to chemicals and hormones, we are either feeding disease or fighting it!
Be very cautious about what you put in your mouth, and drink ACV a few times a day. This can help with overall health and help acidify our guts. It's recommended to take 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar diluted in water 3 times per day, before meals. You can also use it to marinate meat and add it to drinks.
Note: I am not a dietician or qualified nutritionist, the exerts and information in this article were compounded from research performed by medical professionals and scientists.
This article is not intended to provide specialty medical advice, and the points in this article may not apply to everyone. Talk with your doctor or specialist before trying ACV or other natural remedies to treat a health condition.
Always seek professional medical advice when in doubt.
Despina Karpathiou is an accredited makeup artist, beautician and lifestyle writer based in Sydney, Australia. She is currently studying Skin Health and Nutrition and is passionate about makeovers and healing skin (and health) conditions from the inside out. Follow her here for all things skin, health and beauty.