Thursday, January 16, 2014

Apple Cider Vinegar: It's Not For Everybody

Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)  goes in and out of fashion and is making a comeback.  

Dr. D.C. Jarvis was the first to praise ACV for its benefits and claim it cured almost everything. Jarvis believed in the health benefits of honey and vinegar.  His book is still available and his work represents that piece of ancient folklore surrounding ACV.  

Twenty years ago, I jumped on the ACV train for all the wonderful benefits promised.  Paul Bragg was really the founder of the modern ACV movement.  His daughter, Patricia Bragg, followed in his footsteps.  

Paul Bragg believed that a clean life could offer a man up to 120 years.  He hoped to live that long but his age at death is not known.  No one knew Paul's age.  To be fair, Paul Bragg was a young man before he started his journey and stated many times that his life may not work as a model.  He lived his youth eating all sorts of things that were bad for him.  It was impossible to know what damage was done and how that would shorten his life.  Bragg only claimed the untainted life from birth could enjoy up to 120 years with a daily dose of apple cider vinegar along with clean vegan eating and vigorous exercise.

This is how the movement began.  Later, the Bragg’s came out with Liquid Amino Acids:  a substitute for the protein missing in most vegan diets.  A close look at the label though tells the consumer there is little protein  in Bragg’s Liquid Amino Acid.  The amino acids touted by the Bragg family were from fermented soy beans; a process that came under close scrutiny and caused outrage in the health community not long ago.  Why?  Natural bloggers everywhere had a 'beef' with the vegan protein substitute that stated "No MSG" on the label.  The process by which the amino acids were made produce an 'MSG broth' and was not suitable as a soy sauce alternative or good source of vegan protein.

Patricia Bragg was never available for comment.  Sales tanked.  Now, I imagine enough time passed for folks to develop amnesia and Bragg products are moving off shelves again.  Paul and Patricia Bragg marketed their specific apple cider vinegar claiming that only pure ACV could guarantee benefit.  The vinegar must contain the ‘mother’.  Filtered vinegars provide flavor but no benefit, they say.  There are other brands of raw or unfiltered vinegar that contain the ‘mother’ but Bragg’s is king.
All that said, is there conclusive evidence that ACV is the cure-all for humankind?  There are a few studies that hint ACV may help reduce your likelihood of diabetes or obesity.  Most ancient folklore about ACV has either been disproved or not researched.  There is no body of evidence proving its benefits ranging from curing head lice to de-crystallizing arthritic joints.  Yet, folks continue to use it.  But, not every remedy fits every person. 

If you are using ACV and benefit from it, by all means, keep using it.  Some may actually get sicker taking apple cider vinegar.  A community of folks who struggle with another common ailment:  Candida Albicans.

Candida Albicans in its simplest form is a yeast infection.  If left untreated, the yeast will spread and cause thrush in your mouth, body blisters, etc.  This is ‘systemic yeast’ and at that stage is diagnosed ‘Chronic Candida’.  The increase of antibiotic usage in the United States contributes to the numbers.  Folks who take antibiotics every time that they are ill run the greatest risk of contracting candida albicans.  It is difficult to eliminate once in your system.  Harsh dietary regimens have to be followed, medications are given, and there are three items above all that the candida sufferer must eliminate:  sugar, alcohol, and vinegar.  These three substances cause yeast to proliferate.  Vinegar is gasoline on an already burning yeast fire.

The trouble with candida albicans is the yeast takes up residence alongside fat in your cells.  The yeast creates a barrier between fat and the outside world denying fat an exit strategy.  Unless the yeast is reduced or eliminated from the cells, the fat molecules will not release.  Current researchers believe more suffer with candida albicans than reported because one can go for years without being diagnosed. 

For example, your only symptom may be weight gain while others may experience a myriad of symptoms.  Candida manifests in each person differently.  When aggravated, the condition only worsens because the acidic stomach loaded with yeast is already sour and ‘making wine’ per se.  Candida sufferers will have a decreased alcohol tolerance.  One or two drinks can intoxicate the candida patient who used to be able to drink more before becoming very drunk.  Another study now links chronic edema with obesity.  When yeast surrounds a cell, it traps fat and water.  More research is needed to find a direct link but work to date is compelling.

ACV is not a cure-all but it can help some people.  If you suffer from candida, I urge you to avoid adding ACV to your diet.  Are you wondering if you have candida albicans?  Take this questionnaire before seeing your doctor: 

The Yeast Connection online is a great resource for those who suffer from chronic illness.  Rule out yeast before grabbing a bottle of ACV.  People are unique and a cure-all may not be YOUR answer.

Be blessed!

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