ACV is alkalizing to the body. Guess what… it does more than just alkalize. The mother of vinegar, as it is called, is naturally formed during the fermentation process. It’s cobweb-like strands of enzymes and good bacteria. Rather than taking the mother out, organic, raw and unfiltered products such as the popular brand Braggs leave it in the bottle.
The mother of vinegar does not necessarily look very appetizing. What you get in the bottle of an unfiltered ACV product is mixed and broken apart, laying at the very bottom of the bottle – the last 2% of the liquid.
Is the mother a form of probiotics? Are they alive?
Many brands claim that the mother is living. A 2016 study confirmed the probiotics found in the mother are living. The following 5 kinds of good bacteria (probiotics) were found in the tests:
Since organic ACV is unpasteurized, it may have digestive health benefits from probiotics. However, unless you are buying refrigerated probiotics, the spores you get will have sat in bottles at room temperature (for who knows how long) and may or may not be alive. Without actual test results to verify how much – if any – is alive, we can't tell exactly how much is surviving by the time you get the bottle. It could be a lot or very little.
One important issue we need to address here: We think that consuming prebiotics make a lot more sense than probiotic supplements. Probiotics are meant to colonize after exposure to your stomach acid further down the tract, not before! When you take probiotics as a supplement (in capsules), the capsule dissolves in your stomach and who knows how much survives past the stomach’s hydrochloric acid, which can have a pH as low as 1.5.
Digestive uses and benefits
The prebiotic characteristic of apple cider vinegar is more exiting.
ACV acts as a fertilizer (nutrition) for the good bacteria (probiotics) which are already in your gut.
The probiotics (good bacteria) which are already colonizing your colon and large intestine, feed on the pectin. It is ACV's prebiotics – pectin – that helps with digestive problems and issues.
Other digestive benefits are as follows:
During that fermentation process of ACV, short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) such as acetate, propionate, and butyrate are produced. Research suggests that those SCFAs “exert multiple beneficial effects on our energy metabolism” .
SCFAs (such as from pectin) are proven to slow your absorption of glucose by trapping carbohydrates. Hence, carbs take longer to digest due to significant prolongation of gastric emptying caused by SCFAs. The result is reduced appetite symptoms.
It has also been demonstrated that pectin will bind to cholesterol, which leads to reduced absorption of cholesterol from dietary sources.
Good reasons to use ACV
The list of debunked claims of ACV benefits is a mile long. It’s not easy for a consumer to decipher between the myths and reality. Not all, but many of the benefits are exaggerated, misleading, and even dangerous to tell people. For example, those claiming apple cider vinegar can cure cancer are spreading a lie. At least as of today, there is no scientific validation for that claim whatsoever.
But don’t mistake our realism with lack of enthusiasm.
There are two very good reasons for supplementing with apple cider vinegar… the fact that it is alkalizing and its pectin content. It’s an excellent zero calorie way to get them.
If you use ACV as a core ingredient in your salad everyday, you will notice a difference in our own digestion on days you use it versus those you don’t; reduced gas and bloating. Or you can even drink a shot of it by diluting 1 or 2 tablespoons in an 8+ ounce glass of water.
If you decide to become a daily user, you can buy it by the gallon on Amazon.