Five types of vinegar and their health benefits

Different types of vinegar that are claimed to have health benefits include apple cider vinegar, white vinegar, and wine vinegar.

Photo: Shulevskyy Volodymyr / Shutterstock

Vinegar has been used since ancient times for various medicinal purposes. as a digestive aid, antibacterial wound healing balm, and cough treatment. It is also currently promoted as a popular remedy with multiple health benefits.

According to the Harvard Nutrition Source “Existing scientific research does not support the use of vinegar as an effective treatment for any ailment or chronic disease.”

Vinegar is a combination of acetic acid and water that is produced in a two-step fermentation process. Acetic acid is the main active ingredient in vinegar that may be responsible for its health benefits.

There are different types of vinegar, we will see what are the most relevant potential health benefits of five popular vinegars.

1. Apple Cider Vinegar

Some studies have found that consuming apple cider vinegar can help lower blood sugar levels after meals. “One theory is that vinegar interferes with the digestion of carbohydrates by blocking the enzymes that break them down,” explains Harvard.

The evidence is inconsistent and the American Diabetes Association does not promote the use of vinegar for glycemic control.

The consumption of apple cider vinegar is also mentioned as an aid in weight loss, but there is little scientific support for these claims. The Mayo Clinic notes that studies have not consistently shown significant and sustainable weight loss.

2. White vinegar

White vinegar is made by fermentation of a distilled alcohol. White vinegar can work as a home remedy to help prevent swimmer’s ear, an infection caused by water remaining in the ear after swimming.

According to the Mayo Clinic, mixing 1 part white vinegar with 1 part rubbing alcohol can help promote drying and prevent the growth of bacteria and fungus. He advises pouring 1 teaspoon (5 milliliters) of the solution into each ear and allowing it to drain.

3. Balsamic vinegar

Balsamic vinegar is made from fermented grape must. It is ideal in salad dressings, marinades and sauce reduction. Among the most relevant possible health benefits of this vinegar is the reduction of cholesterol.

Medical News Today explains that The antioxidants in balsamic vinegar help block toxic cells in the body that can raise cholesterol levels.

4. Rice vinegar

Rice vinegar with its milder and sweeter flavor is often used in Asian dishes such as sushi or sweet and sour dishes. Vinegar is a source of antioxidants, the content may vary depending on the source, black rice vinegar is usually particularly high in antioxidants that can help reduce damage to cells.

5. Wine vinegar

Wine vinegar made from red or white wine. Red wine vinegar is a basic ingredient in Mediterranean cuisine and may offer some heart health benefits due to acetic acid and polyphenols such as resveratroll, compounds that according to Healthline can help reduce total cholesterol, blood pressure and triglycerides.


Vinegar must be diluted. Because of its acidity, it can damage tooth enamel when drunk alone. It can also irritate the throat and stomach.

Harvard Health notes that vinegar can alter insulin levels. So people with diabetes should be careful with a diet high in vinegar. It is also indicated that vinegar can cause or worsen potassium levels, what should be considered by those taking medications to treat high blood pressure that reduce potassium.

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