Apple cider vinegar cancer

Contents

Can Apple Cider Vinegar Help You Fight Cancer?

From a cooking ingredient to a wart remedy, apple cider vinegar is known for its many uses. Some people even claim that apple cider vinegar can even prevent or treat cancer.

While a few lab and animal studies have shown promise, research on whether apple cider vinegar has a therapeutic effect on cancer in humans is lacking.

Related: The Truth About Apple Cider Vinegar and Hepatitis C

What Is Apple Cider Vinegar?

Apple cider vinegar is a type of vinegar that’s made of apples fermented with yeast and bacteria. It has a strong, sour taste and smell.

Apple cider vinegar contains an acid called acetic acid. The acetic acid is what some people think may have an effect on cancer. Apple cider vinegar also contains polyphenols, which are antioxidants that may lessen cell damage that can lead to diseases like cancer.

Related: 8 Touted Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar (and What the Research Says)

What Are the Claims About Apple Cider Vinegar and Cancer?

Many of the claims about apple cider vinegar and cancer trace back to the work of scientist Otto Warburg, who won the Nobel Prize in 1931.

Warburg believed that cancer grows more aggressively in an acidic environment, though this idea was somewhat controversial at the time in the medical community.

Related: Can Apple Cider Vinegar Help Eczema and Atopic Dermatitis?

What Does the Research Say About Apple Cider Vinegar and Cancer?

Most studies on apple cider vinegar and cancer have been done on animals or tissue samples in a lab.

“There is no known benefit to people with cancer using apple cider vinegar,” says David Kiefer, MD, medical director for the Integrative Health Clinic and a clinical assistant professor for the department of family medicine and community health at the University of Wisconsin in Madison.

In a large observational study out of China, researchers found lower rates of esophageal cancer in people who frequently consumed vinegar, beans, and vegetables. The vinegar the participants in this study consumed was likely rice vinegar, however.

Another study suggested that vinegar might actually raise a person’s chances of developing cancer. In that study, researchers found that consuming liver, canned meat, pork, and vinegar increased the risk of bladder cancer.

The link between an acidic environment and cancer is not entirely clearly. Findings from an older study, published in 1996, suggested that human melanoma cells may grow and spread more quickly in an acidic environment. This study was done in a lab.

Other research has shown an alkaline diet to lower acidity in the body does not prevent or treat cancer.

Most researchers have concluded that there’s not enough evidence to show that changing the acidity level in your body by drinking a substance such as apple cider vinegar affects your cancer risk.

According to the American Institute for Cancer Research, foods have little effect on a person’s pH levels, which the body controls naturally. “Altering the cell environment of the human body to create a less-acidic, less-cancer-friendly environment is virtually impossible,” the organization states.

“I do not recommend apple cider vinegar for any specific purpose for people with cancer,” says Lise Alschuler, ND, a professor of clinical medicine and assistant director for the Fellowship in Integrative Medicine at the Andrew Weil Center for Integrative Medicine in Tucson, Arizona.

Related: Can Adding Apple Cider Vinegar to Your Diet Help You Lose Weight

Other Uses for Apple Cider Vinegar

While apple cider vinegar isn’t a proven cancer treatment, it may help other medical conditions.

“There may be some benefits with people with diabetes if apple cider vinegar of approximately 5 percent acetic acid is consumed in small amounts (about 1 teaspoon) with meals, but these studies should be repeated before a routine recommendation can be made,” says Dr. Kiefer.

While more research is needed, other possible uses for apple cider vinegar may include:

  • Lowering cholesterol
  • Losing weight
  • Reducing bacteria growth

Related: 8 Delicious Apple Cider Vinegar Recipes to Satisfy the Whole Family

How Do You Take Apple Cider Vinegar?

Recommendations vary, but most people can safely consume up to 1 to 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar a day.

It’s a good idea to start with a smaller amount to see how your body tolerates it.

Apple cider vinegar may be added to a cup of water or tea to dilute it. It also comes in the form of capsules and tablets, which may be easier to take.

“Some tablets could contain high levels of acetic acid that could be dangerous,” says Kiefer. “Some experts recommend against the use of apple cider vinegar tablets, primarily due to the lack of study supporting their use and because of safety concerns.”

With respect to products on the market, there is a wide variety in the concentration of acetic acid in different brands. “Check a third-party certification entity for products that have been tested and found to contain adequate and/or safe levels of acetic acid,” says Kiefer.

Related: Can Vinegar Help Alleviate Ulcerative Colitis (UC) Symptoms?

Warnings About Apple Cider Vinegar

Some possible side effects of apple cider vinegar include:

  • Tooth Decay Too much apple cider vinegar can erode tooth enamel.
  • Nausea or Digestion Issues In people with gastroparesis, apple cider vinegar could make digestion worse.
  • Burning Throat or Skin You may want to dilute the apple cider vinegar with water to avoid this symptom.
  • Low Blood Sugar People with diabetes could develop dangerously low blood sugar when taking apple cider vinegar.
  • Low Potassium Levels When taken with some high blood pressure medicines, apple cider vinegar could cause potassium levels to drop too low.
  • Allergic Reaction Some people are allergic to apple cider vinegar.

Related: Can Apple Cider Vinegar Help Psoriasis?

The Bottom Line

While some animal or lab studies have shown that apple cider vinegar may have an effect on cancer, the research in humans is inconclusive.

Be sure to talk to your doctor before trying any type of alternative treatment, including apple cider vinegar. Never use apple cider vinegar as a replacement for standard cancer therapy.

The Amazing Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar

Since my last post was on alkalizing, and thanks to a facebook thread with Deanna and Kathy,
I figured I’d continue with that theme and write about one of my favorite products on planet earth,
which was also a staple in my anti-cancer diet: Apple Cider Vinegar.

Apple Cider Vinegar is exactly what it sounds like: Vinegar from fermented apple juice.

If you’ve never had it, it tastes like vinegar but with an appley twist, and is celebrated in the natural health world as a “cure-all” internal cleanser.

It’s rich in enzymes and potassium, which your body uses to regenerate soft tissue, and it’s an alkalizer.

Clinical studies have shown:

-It’s good for diabetes as it lowers blood glucose levels

-It lowers cholesterol

-It lowers blood pressure and promotes heart health

Studies have also shown it may be able to kill cancer cells or slow their growth. Nice!

Apple Cider Vinegar is also reported to assist in curing allergies, sinus infections, acne, flu, chronic fatigue,
candida, acid reflux, sore throats, contact dermatitis, arthritis, and gout.

According to Bragg Health Products it also:

Helps Remove Body Toxins * Helps Promote a Youthful Body *Helps support a healthy immune system
* Helps Maintain Healthy Skin * Helps Control Weight * Improves Digestion and Assimilation
* Soothes Tight and Aching Joints and Sore Muscles from exercise * Soothes irritated skin.

Whether all those claims are true, I don’t know. All I know for sure is, I love it.

And I never liked vinegar until I tried Apple Cider Vinegar about 12 years ago. Now I’m a fiend for it.
(Full disclosure: my wife can’t stand the stuff)

The most popular way to take it is to mix a teaspoon of ACV with a teaspoon of raw honey in a glass of filtered water.
Even if you don’t like vinegar, that makes it super easy to drink; kinda like diluted apple juice. It’s a great way to start the morning and they even bottle it and sell it diluted with honey as a beverage.

I took the picture on the right when I saw some recently in Fresh Market.

I also mix ACV with olive oil and spices in a salad dressing I make from scratch, and I often just swig it straight out of the bottle for a little kick. Of course it’s a great healthy substitute for any recipe that calls for vinegar, just prepare for a slightly different flavored dish.

If you can’t tell, my absolute favorite brand is Bragg Organic Apple Cider Vinegar. It’s raw and unfiltered, leaving all the vital nutrients and enzymes intact; unlike most vinegars which are pasteurized, filtered, processed, and nutritionally “dead”.

Paul Bragg was a lifelong health crusader and mentor to Jack Lalane. He wrote a book on Apple Cider Vinegar and numerous other books on diet, exercise, fasting, etc; and is just basically awesome. I have most of his books in my library.
You can find 16oz bottles of Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar at most grocery stores, or you can get a big ol’ 1 gallon jug HERE.

Bragg also makes some other delicious products we love: Liquid Aminos and Organic Sprinkle Seasoning.

Cheers!

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Chris Beat Cancer:
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10 Truths (and Lies) You Should Know About Apple Cider Vinegar

While you may be familiar with the uses of white vinegar around your house for cleaning, or you may find yourself using a little bit of balsamic vinegar on your salad, there is one vinegar that you should start paying particular attention to. If you’re constantly looking for the best way to give your body a health boost and detox, adding a tablespoon or two of apple cider vinegar to your water each day may be beneficial — but you should also be wary of false health claims. While apple cider vinegar can be great for some ailments, it is not necessarily the miracle worker that it’s often advertised as.

Not all apple cider vinegars are created equal, either. Apple cider vinegar is made from fermented apples as the name suggests, and you’ll want to ensure that your particular brand of vinegar contains “the mother.” As Dr. Mercola states, mother is an amino-acid based accumulation that is only found in vinegars that have been fermenting for longer periods of time. It shows that the vinegar has been unprocessed and unfiltered, giving you the most health benefits that you can possibly gain — pasteurized apple cider vinegar will not have the same benefits.

Here are 10 facts about apple cider vinegar that can help you determine if you should be adding more of this ingredient to your diet.

1. True: Helps clear troubled skin

Apple cider vinegar may help your skin. | iStock.com

If you have acne woes or dandruff, look no further than your local grocery store for the perfect remedy. While prescription medication can be tough on the skin and cause you flaking, dryness, and bigger skin issues than you had before, a little bit of apple cider vinegar mixed with water on a cotton swab makes for an excellent natural toner. Dr. Karen Hammerman, a cosmetic dermatologist at Vanguard Dermatology in New York City, told InStyle, “Skin is naturally acidic but when vinegar is used as a toner, it helps skin find the ideal balance between dry and oily.” To try using apple cider vinegar to treat your skin, InStyle recommends diluting one tablespoon of it with a few drops of water before applying.

2. True: Strengthens the immune system

You could give your immune system a boost. | iStock.com

An apple a day may keep the doctor away, and a tablespoon of apple cider a day might have the same effect. Livestrong.com states that combining a small amount of apple cider vinegar in with your water every day may be the key to curing your gastrointestinal issues and ultimately boosting your immune system.

If you’re consuming apple cider vinegar that’s unfiltered and unprocessed, this is even better for your immune system, as the mother can benefit your lymphatic system. If you’re prone to sinus congestion and allergies in the spring, apple cider vinegar may help alleviate those symptoms. There are also probiotics found in unfiltered apple cider vinegar that support a healthy digestive system.

3. True: Helps your digestive system

Apple cider vinegar can improve your digestion. | iStock.com

Proper digestion is key to an overall healthier you — it’s the way we obtain nutrients from our food, and if your digestive system is not adequately processing the foods you eat, you certainly are not taking in as many nutrients as you should be. Branch Basics describes how hydrochloric acid is incredibly important to our stomach cells, as it is responsible for protein digestion and the absorption of carbohydrates, fats, and certain vitamins and minerals. Without an adequate amount of this stomach acid, you aren’t fully digesting your food and taking these nutrients in.

So, how does apple cider vinegar help? Drinking a glass of water with a few tablespoons of apple cider vinegar mixed in before a meal can help you digest your proteins, which can help your HCl stay at a healthy level. Also, marinating your meats in apple cider vinegar can help you digest them better. Be sure to drink this mixture around 20 minutes before you plan on eating. This can assist your digestive system immensely, and you’ll be absorbing even more nutrients than you were before.

4. True: Helps control blood sugar levels

ACV might help control blood sugar. | iStock.com

If you’re a diabetic and looking for a natural way to control your blood sugar levels, apple cider vinegar may be your ticket. Carol Johnston, Ph.D., director of Arizona State University’s nutrition program, states in a WebMD story that apple cider vinegar is comparable to certain medications when it comes to its effects on blood sugar. This vinegar has an anti-glycemic effect that can block some starch from being digested. Starch can raise your blood sugar significantly once digested, so even blocking a bit of the starch is helpful in controlling blood sugar levels.

For this reason, apple cider vinegar may be of particular use for diabetics, but don’t ditch your medication for this holistic approach just yet. While apple cider vinegar is helpful in keeping blood sugar levels balanced, its effect on the increased production of stomach acid can still put a strain on your kidneys and bones. Focus on your overall diet to help with your diabetes at first. Then, consult your doctor to see if consuming this vinegar is a good idea for you.

5. True: Keeps the heart healthy

Apple cider vinegar can keep your heart healthy. | iStock.com

Good news for those looking for a natural way to lower cholesterol — taking just one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar diluted with water a day may lower your cholesterol. A study published in the British Journal of Clinical Nutrition and presented on Dr. Axe’s page shows apple cider vinegar can increase bile production and offer liver support, which has an overall effect on your cholesterol levels.

Consuming apple cider vinegar may also reduce your blood pressure — while studies are currently showing that vinegar reduces the blood pressure in rats, some scientists think this may also translate to humans, though more studies are necessary for a concrete conclusion. When rats were given apple cider vinegar, the acetic acid in the vinegar significantly lowered their blood pressure compared to the rats that were not given the substance.

If you suffer from acid reflux and you’re concerned about the acidity when drinking apple cider vinegar, you can combine your apple cider vinegar and water mixture with a teaspoon of baking soda. This vinegar is also available in capsule form if you would rather ingest it this way.

6. False: Great for whitening your teeth

It could help give you a whiter smile, just be careful. | iStock.com

While scrubbing your teeth with vinegar may seem like the perfect way to remove those coffee stains, you may want to reconsider. The Huffington Post explains that while brushing with apple cider vinegar may seem like a healthy and natural alternative to toothpaste, you’re ultimately doing serious damage to the enamel.

Apple cider vinegar is about as acidic as lemon juice, and even drinking this vinegar is likely to do damage to the teeth. If you are choosing to drink apple cider vinegar as part of a healthy diet, be sure to wait at least a half hour before brushing your teeth, even if you’re using toothpaste. The acidity from the vinegar being in your mouth combined with the brushing is likely to wear away at your enamel. Brush twice daily and use mouthwash recommended by your dentist, but do not rinse with apple cider vinegar.

7. False: Contains many vitamins and minerals

Whole apples are a better choice for this. | iStock.com

Many fans of apple cider vinegar also claim that it boasts a heavy dosage of vitamins, minerals, fiber, complex carbs, and amino acids, and this is why the vinegar has such an incredible ability to heal the body. While this is a nice idea, it’s not based on any truth — Sandy Szwarc, a registered nurse, debunks the idea that apple cider vinegar is full of vitamins and minerals. In fact, apple cider vinegar has only trace amounts of any nutrients.

When looking at an analysis of what’s really in a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, there is no protein or fiber and only a minuscule amount of carbs, and there are only trace amounts of calcium, iron, zinc, and manganese. With the average adult needing 1,000 milligrams of calcium a day, the mere 1 gram that apple cider vinegar offers will not be helpful in reaching that goal. The multiple helpful acidic properties of the vinegar are what offer the health boost, but if you’re looking for a way to add more nutrients to your diet, you’ll want to look elsewhere.

8. False: Will worsen your heartburn

Your stomach is already acidic, so vinegar isn’t going to make things worse. | iStock.com

When your chest aches with the familiar feeling of heartburn, you probably think that fighting acid with vinegar will never work, right? Actually, apple cider vinegar can be a safe natural remedy for heartburn, even though it is highly acidic. Though more research needs to be done, Healthline reports a dose of apple cider vinegar may be useful for those dealing with heartburn, but it also depends on what’s causing the problem.

Apple cider vinegar works to fight heartburn by restoring acidity to your stomach. Drinking a tablespoon diluted in water will work better than any antacid because it does exactly the opposite of an antacid — it provides your stomach with what it naturally needs to work properly.

9. False: Works best when undiluted

Don’t drink it straight. | iStock.com

Though you may be tempted to reap all of apple cider vinegar’s benefits by drinking it straight up, you could be doing serious damage to your esophagus. Livestrong.com suggests a small amount of this vinegar (from a teaspoon to a tablespoon depending on personal preference) should be diluted in a full 8-ounce glass of water before drinking. The water will help protect your esophagus from the acidic burn.

Don’t go above the recommended dosage, either — though apple cider vinegar has its benefits, drinking too much can cause potassium levels to drop and it can interfere with certain medications like blood-thinners, diuretics, or insulin.

10. False: Fights cancer

There are emerging cancer treatments, but apple cider vinegar isn’t one of them. | American Cancer Society/Getty Images

There are various studies that have tested to see if apple cider vinegar could possibly be a natural cancer fighter, but these studies are inconclusive, and they yield slightly conflicting results. Worldhealth.net notes that while consuming apple cider vinegar could lead to a reduced risk of developing esophageal cancer, another study found that this vinegar can lead to an increased risk of bladder cancer. The acidic properties of apple cider vinegar could mean that your digestive tract is cleaner and the chances of colon cancer and prostate cancer are slimmer, but this has yet to be proven as well.

Overall, it is suggested that regularly adding apple cider vinegar into your diet could help prevent cancerous cells from forming, but if you have a history of bladder cancer in your family, then it may be best to avoid it altogether.

4 Natural Home Remedies For BPH

BPH March 20, 2019 | Author: Dr. David Samadi

An enlarged prostate, also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), is a disorder that generally tends to affect men as they age. With age, the cells of the gland begin to multiply, leading to an enlarged prostate. An enlarged prostate is problematic because it presses on the urethra, creating difficulties with urination and weakening the bladder. BPH will produce symptoms such as weak or interrupted urine stream, inability to urinate, difficulty starting or holding urination, and the need to frequently urinate, especially at night.

Ignoring prostate problems, as some men tend to do, isn’t a smart idea. If left untreated, an enlarged prostate can block the flow of urine out of the bladder, leading to other complications such as urinary retention and kidney damage. Below are some natural remedies you can try at home to ease symptoms of BPH.

Sitz Bath

A sitz bath is an old fashioned method that really works when it comes to soothing an enlarged prostate. The hot bath relaxes the pelvic muscles, and promotes healing. The cold bath eases pain and reduces swelling. For this method you just need to fill the bathtub with the warm water and then add ½ cup of Epsom salt to it. And, in another bathtub (or large container), you fill with cold water and add several drops of lavender essential oil to the bathtub. Now, you sit in the bathtub containing hot water for about 3 minutes. Then, move to the one with cold water for 1 minute.

Stinging Nettle

Stinging nettle leaves may cause sharp, intense pain, but its extract has benefits for the prostate. The root contains essential bioactive phytochemicals that help shrink prostate tissue. Being a natural diuretic, it also encourages the elimination of inflammatory wastes through urination. You can have stinging nettle as a drink by simply adding 1 teaspoon of dried leaves in hot water. Let it sit for 10 minutes, then strain. You can drink this tea mix 2 to 3 times daily. Always consult your physician before taking any supplement to determine the correct dosage for your size and condition.

Kegel Exercises

Pelvic-strengthening or kegel exercises could help in easing some of the discomforts of an enlarged prostate because they are useful in tightening and clenching specific pelvic muscles to help control the urination. You just need to empty your bladder and lie on the ground with the knees bent and apart. Then, gently tighten the pelvic floor muscles for about 5 seconds before relaxing them for 5 seconds. However, men who are suffering from chronic prostatitis or chronic pelvic pain syndrome should avoid doing this type of exercise.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is very good for your prostate. The unfiltered, raw apple cider vinegar features astringent properties, helping shrink the swollen prostate glands. Also, it aids weight loss and helps prevent complications of enlarged prostate such as UTIs. You simply need to mix 1-2 tablespoon of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar with 1 tablespoon of honey in one glass of warm water. Drink this at least twice per day. Another option with apple cider vinegar is adding about 1 cup to a bathtub of cool water and soaking in it for about 10 minutes.

The enlargement of the prostate can’t be cured naturally, but there are changes in lifestyle and diet that can be made in order to prevent this painful condition. Practicing an active lifestyle with physical activities, drinking plenty of liquids, having a healthy diet and limiting alcohol consumption are natural ways of preventing prostate enlargement, among other illnesses. What men should include more in their regular diet is astragalus and soy. Astragalus is an old chinese medicinal plant that boosts the immune system in cancer patients, but is also helpful in reducing the effects of BPH. Soy, on the other hand, maintains prostate health and protects agains benign prostatic hyperplasia. A diet of the two combined can be of tremendous help for men against prostate diseases.

About the author

Dr. David Samadi

Dr. David Samadi currently supervises the Men’s Health Division at St. Francis Hospital in Roslyn, New York. He is a Urologic Oncology Expert and Robotic Surgeon specialized in the detection, diagnosis and treatment of urologic diseases, prostate cancer, kidney cancer and bladder cancer.

Reprinted with the kind permission of Dr. Mercola.

By Dr. Mercola

No doubt, you’ve seen them — lists touting the amazing curative power of apple cider vinegar for an amazing number of ills. “ACV” (as it’s sometimes referred to in studies) has been praised for its ability to balance you pH, increase good gut bacteria and help control your weight, as well as many other beneficial things.

Here’s the kicker: All those are true, and more besides. One of the most sensational is its ability to balance your blood sugar. A study1 at Arizona State University tested 11 volunteers with type 2 diabetes (diagnosed by a doctor) who weren’t taking insulin but continued taking their prescription medications.

Each participant took 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with a snack — an ounce of cheese — before bedtime. The researchers demonstrated that in the morning, the study subjects had lower blood sugar readings than when they had the same snack with 2 tablespoons of water.

This is important and potentially life-changing news for half of the American population, as NBC News reports that half the country suffers from either high blood sugar or full-blown diabetes.

That’s a huge jump from the projection of 1 in 3 by 2050 made by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2010.2Worse, half that number are unaware of how compromised their health really is.3

That wasn’t an isolated fluke; the benefits of apple cider vinegar have been tested in a myriad of studies, according to CNN Health,4 for many different types of health issues.

More Studies Reveal: ACV Positively Impacts Blood Sugar Levels

A recent study5 showed that three groups — adults with pre-diabetes, type 2 diabetes and healthy people — after taking an ounce of ACV, all had lower blood glucose levels when they ate a high-carb meal consisting of a white bagel with butter and a glass of orange juice; again, compared with a placebo rather than the cider vinegar.

But there’s more: Those with pre-diabetes improved their blood glucose levels by almost half, and the subjects with type 2 diabetes cut their blood glucose levels by 25 percent.

Just as dramatic are the studies involving ACV’s potential for controlling weight. The Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry reported a study6on mice that were fed a high-fat diet along with the active ingredient in apple cider vinegar: acetic acid.

The animal subjects ended up with 10 percent lower body weight than the control subjects.

What this reveals, researchers assert, is that acetic acid can “turn on” trigger genes that initiate the enzymes’ ability to break down fat, which prevents weight gain. It also helps you feel full.

A study7 in Japan conducted a similar double-blind trial on obese adults, each with a similar body weight, waist measurement and body mass index (BMI), and split the subjects into three groups.

For 12 weeks, members of one group drank half an ounce of ACV, one group had a beverage with one ounce of ACV and the third group had a drink with no ACV. When the study was over, those who drank the cider vinegar had lower body weight and belly fat, smaller waist measurements and lower triglycerides compared to the others.

The scientists wrote: “In conclusion, daily intake of vinegar might be useful in the prevention of metabolic syndrome by reducing obesity.”

Apple Cider Vinegar’s Effects on Cancer Cells, Immune Support

Another thing apple cider vinegar provides is detoxification of your lymphatic system, which then helps optimize homeostatic function in your body. This may be as a result of the antioxidants in ACV reducing oxidative damage by free radicals, while improving both your blood and organs. The Truth About Cancer says:

“Cider vinegar was recently determined to be a strong antimicrobial agent and alternative to toxic and expensive chemical disinfectants. One of the most fatal bacterium, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, is resistant to disinfectants but is found to be killed by acetic acid.5

Especially in patients who are immunosuppressed, apple cider vinegar is an excellent natural antimicrobial tonic to rid of harmful bacteria and provide immune support.”8

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Several test-tube studies show that vinegar can kill cancer cells. Authority Nutrition9cites several studies; one in particular in Japan used several types of fermented vinegars to induce apoptosis (programmed cell death) in leukemia cells.10

In another study, malignant breast and colon tumors, as well as lung, bladder and prostate cancers, were all inhibited using rice vinegar, but especially the cancerous colon tumors, which were inhibited by 62 percent.11

Vinegar Punch (or Drizzle) Recipes for Digestive Health and Sore Throat

If you’ve had problems such as colitis, ulcers or acid reflux (sometimes due to insufficient acid in your stomach), a double whammy of apple cider vinegar with the added bonus of fermented veggies has the potential to ease several kinds of stomach problems.

The mild acid in fermentation is lactic acid rather than acetic acid, to help improve your gut microbiome. Animal studies have proven helpful when researchers want to test apple cider vinegar on digestion. In one study, Health.com reports:12

“Apple cider vinegar may also be a boon to digestive health, based on the results of a study done on mice with ulcerative colitis.

The researchers found that when acetic acid was added to their drinking water, they had higher levels of good bacteria in their guts, such as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria, and reduced symptoms of the gastrointestinal disease.”13

For everyday gut health, a mixture of 2 teaspoons of ACV with a teaspoon of raw honey in a cup of warm water will help. ACV with honey and ginger for a sore throat is a popular and effective remedy. Another mixture for sore throat, recommended by Bonnie K. McMillen, a nurse from the University of Pittsburgh,14 includes:

  • 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. water
  • 1 Tbsp. raw honey
  • ¼ tsp. ground ginger
  • Optional: ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper

With this recipe, tiny sips every few hours or so and swallowing slowly for your throat to get the maximum contact of the mixture is recommended. It works!
Rather than drinking ACV straight, for other applications, dilute it in a few teaspoons (or a cup) of water to help mask the flavor, which admittedly is a bit stringent.

A simple and yummy recipe to serve over broccoli, asparagus or salad greens includes: 1 tablespoon each of apple cider vinegar and lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon of minced garlic, a dash of ground black pepper and a few fresh basil leaves, chopped.

ACV for Beauty, Health and a Few Other Things

Some people swear that drinking a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar straight up will get rid of hiccups. The conjecture is that it will “overstimulate” your nerve endings to sort of “shock” the hiccups out of your system. It’s certainly worth a try!

Soaking a cloth in ACV and placing it on a bruise is said to reduce inflammation and speed the healing process.

It’s no secret that vinegar is highly acidic, but it’s this very element that gets several jobs done you may not have been aware of. Due to its potential to change your pH,15such as in the case of dandruff and evening out dry, tired skin, it’s been used for:

Bug bites Toning your skin Sunburn Poison ivy
Acne Wounds Dandruff Toenail fungus
Burns Removing warts Athlete’s foot Detox baths

Then there are the hints that maintain how useful this common household commodity is for cleaning and cooking. One little-known “hack” for any savory soup, from chili to veggie soup, is to add a tablespoon or two of vinegar to increase the brightness and overall flavor.

The acidity in apple cider vinegar is useful as a mouthwash and even to clean your toothbrush (and dentures16) because of its antibacterial properties (soaked in a solution of one-half cup of water, 2 tablespoons of ACV and 2 teaspoons of baking soda).

Just remember though — that same acidity can damage your teeth, which one study17 refers to as “dental erosion,” so in all these applications, diluting it with water is best. As opposed to using some kind of toxic weed killer, apple cider vinegar is another remedy for weeds, especially in cracks in your driveway or sidewalk. Roundup and other toxic products can leach into water systems that provide your drinking water.

Sources and References

This article was brought to you by Dr. Mercola.
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Can Apple Cider Vinegar Treat ED?

Apple cider vinegar has been touted for a wide range of health conditions, ranging from lowering blood pressure to helping with weight loss and diabetes management. But can apple cider vinegar treat ED? The answer is, yes and no. Although your doctor isn’t going to prescribe this natural remedy as a treatment regimen for erectile dysfunction, there is some evidence it can be helpful in managing some of the medical conditions associated with ED.

What is apple cider vinegar?

Apple cider vinegar is made from apple cider, which is fermented apple juice. Because apple cider frequently contains some alcohol, apple cider vinegar may as well. You also should know that:

  • Apple cider vinegar is available pasteurized, unpasteurized, or organic, and the latter two contain what is known as mother of vinegar, a form of acetic acid bacteria and cellulose that is produced in fermenting alcoholic liquids.
  • Unpasteurized or organic apple cider vinegar has a slightly cloudy or congealed appearance
  • Regardless of the type of apple cider vinegar you purchase, it must contain at least 4 grams per 100 milliliters of acetic acid to be classified as vinegar.

Apple cider vinegar and lipids

A link between heart health, blood circulation, and erectile dysfunction has been established. Although the presence of erectile dysfunction does not always indicate a man has a heart problem, research does suggest that men with ED not associated with another cause and who have no symptoms of heart problems should be screened for heart disease.

The presence of ED before evidence of heart problems appears to be due to dysfunction of the endothelium (inner lining of the blood vessels) and smooth muscle. This condition, known as endothelial dysfunction, is a factor in the development of atherosclerosis and impaired blood flow to the penis and heart.

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Because the arteries in the penis are narrower than those that service the heart, trouble with erections can signal impending difficulties with the heart.

A small study conducted at Babol University of Medical Sciences looked at the effect of apple cider vinegar on lipids; that is, total cholesterol, bad cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein, LDL), and triglycerides in adults with high cholesterol. After eight weeks of taking the vinegar daily, there was a significant decline in all three of these factors. This is one of several studies that have indicated apple cider vinegar can be helpful in managing heart disease risk factors, which in turn benefits erectile function.

Apple cider vinegar and blood pressure

The acetic acid in apple cider vinegar appears to help reduce blood pressure and the activity of an enzyme called renin, which helps regulate blood pressure. Because the research has been limited to animals thus far, more work is needed to see how the vinegar affects humans.

Apple cider vinegar and obesity

Overweight and obesity have been associated with heart disease, diabetes, and erectile dysfunction, so it seems logical that using a natural way to boost weight loss is a win-win situation. Although the human studies have not yet caught up with this idea, experiments conducted with animals have shown that consuming apple cider vinegar can reduce the risk of obesity as well as lower the chances of undergoing metabolic changes associated with carrying excess weight.

Apple cider vinegar and diabetes

Diabetes can cause damage to the nerves and blood vessels associated with an erection, a fact that helps explain why so many men with ED also have diabetes. At Arizona State University, several studies have indicated that consuming apple cider vinegar can help in management of the disease.

For example:

  • 4 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar consumed before eating a high-starch meal can lower fluctuations of blood sugar and insulin after eating.
  • If you want good fasting glucose levels when you get up in the morning, you may want to down a few teaspoons of apple cider vinegar and water before retiring, according to another study.

How to use apple cider vinegar

Do not use apple cider vinegar if you are allergic to apples or cider. This includes both the liquid and supplement forms. If you have a history of acid-related stomach issues, such as acid reflux, it’s best to avoid using apple cider vinegar in any form.

Because products can vary significantly regarding potencies and acidity, be sure to use apple cider vinegar with care. Dilute the liquid product with water or another liquid (e.g., a smoothie, salad dressing) before using. You may enjoy adding a teaspoon or more of apple cider vinegar to a glass of sparkling water, tomato juice, or a tomato-based soup (e.g., gazpacho).

The addition of apple cider vinegar to your menu can spice up your food, but exactly how much it will spice up your erection is not known nor researched specifically. However, it may improve factors that can contribute to ED and be used along with other traditional treatments.

Beheshti Z et al. Influence of apple cider vinegar on blood lipids. Life Science Journal 2012; 9(4):2431-40

Hmad MB et al. Apple cider vinegar attenuates oxidative stress and reduces the risk of obesity in high-fat-fed male wistar rats. Journal of Medicinal Food 2017 Nov ahead of print

Johnson CS et al. Vinegar improves insulin sensitivity to a high-carbohydrate meal in subjects with insulin resistance or type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care 2004 Jan; 27(1): 281-82

Kondo S et al. Antihypertensive effects of acetic acid and vinegar on spontaneously hypertensive rats. Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry 2001; 65(12): 2690-94

White AM, Johnson CS. Vinegar ingestion at bedtime moderates waking glucose concentrations in adults with well-controlled type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care 2007 Nov; 30(11): 2814-15

Can Apple Cider Vinegar Prevent or Treat Cancer?

Most of the research surrounding ACV as a cancer treatment involves animal studies or tissue samples rather than living humans. However, a few of these studies have found that cancer cells grow more aggressively in an acidic environment.

One study involved a test tube containing stomach cancer cells from rats and humans. The study found that acetic acid (the main active ingredient in ACV) effectively killed the cancer cells. The authors suggest that there may be potential here for treating certain gastric cancers.

They add that, in combination with chemotherapy treatment, special methods could be used to deliver acetic acid directly to a tumor. However, the researchers were applying acetic acid to cancer cells in a laboratory not in a living human. Further research is needed to investigate this possibility.

Also important: This study did not investigate whether consuming ACV is related to cancer risk or prevention.

There is some evidence that consuming vinegar (not ACV) might offer protective benefits against cancer. For example, observational studies in humans found a link between vinegar consumption and a lower risk of esophageal cancer in people from China. However, consuming vinegar also seemed to increase the risk of bladder cancer in people from Serbia.

Above all, the concept that increasing the pH of blood kills cancer cells isn’t as simple as it sounds.

While it’s true that cancer cells produce lactic acid as they grow, this doesn’t increase acidity throughout the body. Blood requires a pH between 7.35 and 7.45, which is just slightly alkaline. Having a blood pH even slightly outside of this range can severely affect many of your organs.

As a result, your body has its own system for maintaining a specific blood pH. This makes it very hard to affect the pH level in your blood through your diet. Still, some experts have looked at the effects of an alkaline diet on the body:

  • One systematic review found that there was no actual research to support the use of an alkaline diet to treat cancer.
  • One human studylooked at the link between urine pH and bladder cancer. The results suggest there’s no link between the acidity of someone’s urine and their bladder cancer risk.

Although, as mentioned, a few studies found that cancer cells grow more aggressively in an acidic environment, there’s no evidence that cancer cells don’t grow in an alkaline environment. So, even if you could change the pH of your blood, it wouldn’t necessarily prevent cancer cells from growing.

Apple cider vinegar is one of nature’s wonder foods. But what is it, exactly? As the name suggests, apple cider vinegar is made from apples that have been fermented and then decanted. You can actually make it at home, but many people prefer to save time by buying it at a local grocer or health food store or online.

Apple cider vinegar offers the most potent health benefits when it is in its organic, unpasteurized form. Health expert Dr. Axe states that apple cider vinegar is a powerful healer, citing its twin anti-bacterial plus pro-biotic qualities for its ability to serve as a natural antibiotic for your body.

Apple cider vinegar is packed with magnesium, digestive enzymes, acetic acid (naturally occurring vinegar), potassium and polyphenols (natural antioxidants). While we won’t cover this here, it probably won’t surprise you to learn that, in addition to the many health benefits it has to offer, apple cider vinegar also makes for an economical and efficient household disinfectant!

SAFETY NOTE: Please do not drink apple cider vinegar in an undiluted state. According to Natural Living Ideas, doing this may cause burns to your esophagus. Always add 8 ounces of water to dilute the apple cider vinegar before you drink it.

15 Reasons to Drink Apple Cider Vinegar Daily

We ope you enjoy this list of 15 wonderful benefits of drinking apple cider vinegar!

#1 Drinking apple cider vinegar helps you lose weight

Who amongst us isn’t trying to do a better job of eating a healthy diet, getting better rest, staying in shape and maintaining an optimal body weight? NBC News reports that “get healthy” is the number one New Year’s resolution this year – yet again!

Drinking apple cider vinegar can help you achieve this goal. Health expert Dr. Mehmet Oz states that drinking apple cider vinegar on a daily basis can help your body to balance out blood sugar levels, decrease insulin, boost metabolism, lower fat storage in the liver and belly and burn fat.

All together, these benefits make for a potent assistant in helping you to achieve your weight loss and weight management goals. In fact, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) reports that initial research studies (with overweight rats) have shown that apple cider vinegar in the form of acetic acid can suppress body fat accumulation.

#2 Drinking apple cider vinegar eases heartburn and acid reflux

Healthline reports that a jaw-dropping 60 percent of people suffer from some level of heartburn and acid reflux (also called gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)).

If you have experienced recurring issues with either or both, you already know it is very uncomfortable! Doctors at WebMD are now linking the rising number of cases of acid reflux with rising levels of obesity nationwide.

As mentioned in #1 here, apple cider can help you with meeting your weight loss goals. As a second powerful benefit, drinking apple cider daily can also help alleviate ongoing issues with heartburn and GERD.

According to RefluxMD, while doctors still are not completely clear on how apple cider vinegar helps ease GERD and heartburn, the reigning medical theory is that it helps to balance the pH levels and buffer the sensitive stomach linings against the stomach’s own caustic acids.

NOTE: If you have been diagnosed with a stomach ulcer, please do not drink apple cider vinegar until your doctor agrees that your ulcer has resolved.

#3 Drinking apple cider vinegar can kill off an overgrowth of Candida yeast

U.S. News & World Report: Health states that up to 75 percent of women will suffer from a yeast infection at some point during their lifetime (as well as many men).

The official diagnostic term for this condition is “candidiasis,” and the name refers to an overgrowth of a very common yeast bacteria that is present in everyone – Candida Albicans.

At normal levels, Candida Albicans is harmless – even beneficial. But the modern diet of fast food, high sugar sodas and highly processed carbohydrates can feed the Candida bacteria so that it grows at faster than normal levels. When this occurs, uncomfortable health symptoms such as yeast infections, thrush (in children), mood disorders, leaky gut syndrome, chronic fatigue, IBS (irritable bowel level)-type symptoms, sinus infections and genitoury infections can follow.

Drinking apple cider vinegar daily offers your body a natural defense against overgrowth of the Candida Albicans bacteria. It does this by promoting the growth of probiotics, which are a natural enemy of Candida Albicans. Health expert Dr. Axe recommends taking one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar up to three times per day on a short-term basis to do a Candida Albicans cleanse.

#4 Drinking apple cider vinegar eases muscle cramps.

If you have ever spent the night battling leg cramps or restless leg syndrome, you already know how frustrating this condition can be. The Alternative Daily says that in addition to easing muscle cramps, it can also support fewer menstrual cramps by relaxing the muscles in the uterus.

The reason drinking apple cider vinegar works to help reduce muscle cramping throughout the body is because it is high in potassium. As the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMM) explains, potassium is a naturally occurring electrolyte that helps muscles, tissues and cells function.

Because modern diets tend to be high in sodium, many people actually have too little potassium in their bodies but just don’t know it. Muscle cramping is one way your body can let you know that you need more potassium, and drinking apple cider vinegar each day is an easy way to boost your potassium levels.

#5 Drinking apple cider vinegar instantly soothes a sore throat.

No one likes having a sore throat! But during traditional “sick seasons” each year such as the spring and fall allergy seasons and winter’s cold and flu season, many people end up suffering from a sore throat.

Reader’s Digest (RD) cites drinking apple cider vinegar as one of the top remedies to soothe a sore throat, citing research that shows the germs causing your throat tissues to become aggravated and sore will not survive when confronted with apple cider vinegar’s powerful anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties.

The recipe recommended is to combine one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with one teaspoon of salt in at least 8 ounces of warm water that you drink several times per day. If you want, you can remove the salt and add a bit of honey instead.

#6 Drinking apple cider vinegar improves insulin sensitivity in diabetic patients.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), as many as 29 million people in the United States may be suffering with diabetes. Even more concerningly, the American Diabetes Association Diabetes Journals (ADA) reports that the incidence of diabetes is expected to continue rising nationwide.

But there is also good news, which is that apple cider vinegar has shown positive results when taken orally by insulin sensitive or insulin resistant research participants. This research not only proves that apple cider vinegar can be a useful addition to a comprehensive diabetes management program for people with type 2 diabetes, but also shows promise to delay or prevent type 2 diabetes in some people.

Web MD states that, unlike diabetes type 1, which happens when the body does not have any insulin, diabetes type 2 develops when the body becomes less able to make and effectively use its own insulin.

If you have been diagnosed with diabetes type 2 or you have a family history of this disease, adding apple cider vinegar to your daily healthcare regimen may stave off or even prevent the disease from manifesting!

#7 Drinking apple cider vinegar each day helps lower your blood pressure levels.

According to Healthy and Natural World, as many as one-third of people worldwide may be struggling with high blood pressure. High blood pressure, or hypertension, can be serious or even fatal and can cause anything from stroke to heart attack to kidney disease to dementia, as reported by Hypertension Canada.

Earth Clinic reports that drinking apple cider vinegar each day tops its list of home remedies for lowering high blood pressure naturally.

The dosage you need can vary depending on how much help you need to lower your blood pressure. Earth Clinic advises starting out at the lowest dose and observing the results, then increasing your daily intake as needed until it produces the results you are looking for.

The recommended starting dose is from one teaspoon to one tablespoon in a glass of water one to three times per day. As the Chicago Tribune points out, one reason apple cider vinegar can help naturally lower blood pressure is because it also helps with weight loss, and the two are positive correlated.

But it is apple cider vinegar’s naturally high potassium levels that are the true miracle cure for high blood pressure. This is because potassium naturally detoxes the body from excess toxins, sodium and other blood pressure-raising pollutants.

#8 Drinking apple cider vinegar daily fights back against seasonal allergies.

Underground Health Reporter states that drinking apple cider vinegar to combat seasonal allergies is a time-honored home remedy that dates back a century or more!

It can do this due to its natural anti-biotic and antihistamine properties. As you may already be aware, your body’s immune system will produce histamines in its effort to combat seasonal allergens like mold, mildew and pollen. The histamines are what cause your allergy symptoms to manifest – this is your body’s way of signaling that it is at war with the allergens.

But apple cider vinegar has natural antihistamine as well as anti-viral, anti-biotic, anti-bacterial, anti-allergen and anti-fungal properties. So it can pull double duty to prevent the symptoms caused by the histamines while also effectively quelling the allergens that are causing those symptoms.

#9 Drinking apple cider vinegar daily can restore and heal your skin.

Sunburns, poison ivy, eczema, acne, bug bites, fungus, age spots, warts….apple cider vinegar can help to heal your skin of each of these ailments and more. As Women’s Health Magazine states, apple cider vinegar is also a naturally restorative treatment for both skin and hair, restoring the shine, youthful glow, moisture balance, pH balance, residue on hair and more.

If you get razor bumps, bruises or dandruff, topical application of apple cider vinegar (just soak some ACV into a cotton ball and apply it to the affected area) in addition to taking it in orally by drinking it can really boost its healing abilities.

Another great benefit of taking in apple cider vinegar daily is that it is a powerful deodorizer for bad breath, body odor, foot odor and more. Apple cider vinegar works to dispel these odors because of its natural antiseptic properties. It simply neutralizes the bacteria responsible for the odors – problem solved!

#10 Drinking apple cider vinegar daily is a great whole-body detoxification treatment.

Eat This, Not That cites apple cider vinegar as one of the best natural detox agents available today and offers a wonderful assortment of detox recipes that include apple cider vinegar, including detox ACV lemonade – yum!

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), drinking apple cider vinegar can reduce serum triglycerides, body weight and fat mass towards the goal of preventing metabolic syndrome (a risk factor for heart disease, diabetes and stroke).

By helping your body to naturally detoxify itself, you can prevent all kinds of serious health issues that might otherwise be life-limiting and require expensive medications with unpleasant side effects. In contrast, apple cider vinegar has no side effects (so long as you take it with at least 8 ounces of water) and produces results quickly.

#11 Drinking apple cider vinegar each day will naturally whiten your teeth.

“I am totally fine with my yellow, stained teeth,” said no one, ever. Everyone wants to have a beautiful smile that they can show off proudly. But even with new over-the-counter or prescription teeth whitening remedies being released every day, still there are many people who still don’t feel they are able to achieve their whiteness goals.

Not only will drinking apple cider vinegar each day naturally whiten, lighten and brighten your teeth, but it will also contribute to better overall oral and dental health by detoxifying and sanitizing your mouth tissues, gums and teeth.

According to Colgate, you can make your own at-home natural teeth whitening remedy by combining two parts apple cider vinegar with one part (or less) baking soda. Colgate dentists suggest gargling with this solution daily.

Once you have achieved your whitening goals (or even while you are using the gargle solution) you can also drink apple cider vinegar each day to naturally detoxify and lighten teeth color.

NOTE: Here again, as the Dental Geek cautions, it is VERY important to dilute the apple cider vinegar in at least 8 ounces of water, or you run the risk that the high acid content in the ACV will weaken your tooth enamel.

#12 Drinking apple cider vinegar soothes an upset stomach.

Gas, pain, bloating, upset stomach….these are symptoms every person experiences at some point in life. When they occur, all your attention shifts to your stomach until the discomfort subsides.

But the waiting period can be awful. By drinking apple cider vinegar, you can give yourself near-instant relief from an upset stomach and the accompanying side effects, according to Reader’s Digest.

Apple cider vinegar in beverage form heads right to the source of the issue – your stomach. It then proceeds to coat your stomach, protecting the tissues from the potent stomach acids themselves. And then it sets to work neutralizing any bacteria, fungi or other germs or toxins that may be contributing to your discomfort.

While it is at it, apple cider vinegar restores optimal pH balance in your digestive tract, according to The Health Wyze Report.

#13 Drinking apple cider vinegar helps to resolve constipation and diarrhea.

Constipation and diarrhea can happen to the best of us. Many times, you will never know exactly what caused either issue to manifest. It could have been a germ, bad food, stress, IBS or any number of other things.

But what you really want to know is what will resolve your symptoms as quickly as possible. For this, apple cider vinegar stands ready to help. Home Remedies for Life states that apple cider vinegar acts as a type of gentle natural laxative to get sluggish bowels moving. At the same time, the pectin in apple cider vinegar helps to absorb and use the fiber already in your digestive tract to move things along.

Food Matters explains how the same pectin can also coat the lining of the colon to protect against further absorption of toxins or bacteria that may be contributing to a case of diarrhea. This both eases symptoms and speeds up your body’s ability to heal itself from a case of diarrhea.

#14 Drinking apple cider vinegar each day can lower high cholesterol.

Authority Nutrition states that drinking apple cider vinegar happens to have a natural antioxidant called chlorogenic acid. This particular antioxidant can bind to LDL (“bad”) cholesterol in the body to protect against oxidation, which creates plaque buildup in the arteries and can set the stage for the onset of heart disease.

CureJoy reports that the natural flavonoids in apple cider vinegar can also effectively scavenge for free radicals that could otherwise prompt atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries of the heart).

Because drinking apple cider vinegar daily can both reduce plaque formation and buildup and also lower triglycerides (fat particles circulating in your bloodstream) naturally, this treatment is viewed as one effective means of helping your heart and circulatory system naturally cleanse, detoxify and strengthen itself of the bad cholesterol that leads to heart disease.

#15 Drinking apple cider vinegar each day can boost your immune system function and kill cancer cells.

After reading through this list of all the ways that drinking apple cider vinegar daily can fight disease, detoxify the body, treat various ailments and strengthen health, it likely will not surprise you to learn that apple cider vinegar can also provide your body with a big boost to immune system function.

According to health expert Dr. Mercola, one of the best times of day to drink apple cider vinegar for all of these health benefits and more is at night.

But regardless of the time of day it is most convenient for you to drink your daily serving of apple cider vinegar, when it comes to boosting immune system function, you will have its anti-microbial properties to thank for the results. Research studies have not only highlighted positive immune system response in already healthy patients, but there is a particular benefit to be reaped if your immune system is suppressed by allergies or disease.

Dr. Mercola also cites studies showing that taking apple cider vinegar daily can kill cancer cells by as much as 62 percent in a variety of cancers, including breast cancer, colon cancer, prostate cancer, lung cancer, bladder cancer and colon cancer.

Conclusion

If you haven’t already headed out to the store to pick up some organic, raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar (or, alternately, starting brewing your own batch at home), you are probably chomping at the bit to get going.

But before you do, just remember the safety notes in this post about the best way to drink apple cider vinegar. By taking the time to pick out (or brew) the most potent apple cider vinegar and then diluting your apple cider in at least 8 ounces of water, you deliver it to your body in the form that is most usable and effective for your personal goals.

Do you have a personal experience of drinking apple cider vinegar and experiencing positive, powerful health results? If so, we would love to hear and share it!

Home Remedies

Standard treatments for skin cancer have risks and side effects. These treatments can be expensive or uncomfortable, and they require a visit to the doctor.

You may be curious about alternative ways to treat skin cancer. The internet is filled with dozens of recipes for home remedies. Some of the most common are:

  • Eggplant and apple cider vinegar
  • Baking soda and coconut oil paste
  • Black salve or bloodroot
  • Oils: black raspberry seed, frankincense, and myrrh
  • Iodine
  • Vitamin C

The authors of these pages promise that the remedy will cure the cancer with only a few mild side effects. The claims are tempting. But here are a few things to consider first.

What could be the harm in trying a home remedy for skin cancer first?

First, you may not know exactly what kind of lesion you are self-treating. It can be hard to identify skin cancer correctly on your own. There are three main types of skin cancer, and several subtypes of each. Although there are typical features of each type, cancerous lesions may have atypical (abnormal) features. Even dermatologists use special magnifying glasses and handheld imaging devices. These tools help them to identify suspicious lesions. A skin biopsy is needed to confirm that a lesion is cancerous.

Second, delaying effective treatment for skin cancer can lead to worse outcomes. One risk of using a home remedy is that it will not work, giving the cancer time to grow. Of the three major skin cancers, melanoma is the most likely to invade and spread if it is not treated early.1 About 5% to 10% of squamous cell carcinoma is aggressive.2 Squamous cell carcinoma is difficult to treat once it spreads. Although basal cell carcinoma rarely spreads to distant parts of the body, it can grow into bone or the tissue below the skin if left untreated.3

Third, “natural” treatments can be harmful. One example is black salve.4 Black salve is an ointment that contains bloodroot and zinc chloride. The salve is applied to a lesion. Advocates for this product claim that the product only works on cancerous tissue, leaving healthy tissue alone. The active ingredients have been tested on cells in the lab and results show the compounds do kill some cell types better than others.4 However, it has more to do with the cell type than whether the cells were cancerous or healthy.4 The treated areas turn into burn-like lesions. The treatment can be painful.5 It may cause scarring in the treated area.4,5 Although published data are limited, only 8% of cases report good or fair appearance of the affected area after treatment.4 If the cancer persists or returns, it may be hard for a doctor to evaluate area because of the skin damage. In some cases, surgery is needed later to correct extensive scarring or deformity.

How do I know what health information to trust?

Health information fills the internet. Much of it is good. Some of it is wrong or misleading. Here are some tips for evaluating the quality of the information you read:6

  • Figure out who runs and pays for the website. This information helps you to understand what the purpose of the website is. If the purpose is to sell you something, this may influence the content. The letters at the end of the web address provide some information who runs the site:
    • Sites run by colleges and universities end in .edu
    • Sites run by national or local governments end in .gov
    • Sites run by non-profit organizations end in .org
    • Sites run by companies or private organizations may end in .com or .biz or .net
  • Understand where the site’s content originated. Was it written by the person in charge of the site? What are the credentials of the author or reviewer? Are outside sources clearly identified? Are published articles from reputable medical journals cited in support of medical or scientific information? Are recommendations based on only on testimonials?
    • Understand how your personal information will be used. Some sites ask you to sign up or subscribe. They may sell the information you provide. The site should have a policy explaining how your information will be used. Do not sign up unless you understand the policy.

    What can I do at home when it comes to skin cancer?

    Here are a few ideas for taking charge of your skin health:

    • Prevention is better than a cure. Ultraviolet (UV) light exposure is the most important risk factor for skin cancer. There are many things that you can do for yourself and your family to reduce UV exposure, including:
      • Use a broad spectrum sunscreen with sun protection factor (SPF) 15 or higher.
      • Seek shade between 10 am and 2 pm.
      • Wear long sleeves, long pants, a wide-brimmed hat, and sunglasses.
      • Avoid indoor tanning beds.
    • Talk to your doctor. If you see a suspicious lesion, get an accurate diagnosis from your doctor. It may turn out not to be skin cancer at all. If it is skin cancer, discuss the treatment options with your doctor. Explain your concerns about scars or side effects. There may be several ways to treat the cancer. You may be able to find a treatment that meets your financial needs and cosmetic preferences with acceptable side effects.

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