Apple Cider Vinegar Pills vs Liquid: Which Is Better?


Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is not new to the health scene at all, in fact, it’s medicinal use date back to over a thousand years ago. Historically, apple cider vinegar was used as a remedy for many ailments including toothache, mushroom poisoning, and dandruff. Soldiers used apple cider vinegar to disinfect and treat wounds on the battlefield while ancient Japanese warriors drank the fermented solution for strength. It is also believed that Cleopatra used apple cider vinegar to cleanse her skin.

Today, apple cider vinegar is still a popular tonic in the health and wellness industry for its wide variety of benefits including weight loss, regulated blood sugar levels, and decreased cholesterol.

ACV is available in many forms ranging from gummies and liquid to pills and capsules, which leads us to one very important question – apple cider vinegar pills vs liquid, which delivery method is better? Here is everything you need to know about apple cider vinegar benefits and more!

What Is Apple Cider Vinegar?

Apple cider vinegar is made in a two-step process, which is quite similar to how alcohol is made. The word vinegar is actually the French word for ‘sour wine’. In the first step, yeast is added to crushed apples or apple juice to break down the sugars such as fructose into alcohol.

Next, bacteria are added to the mixture, which converts the broken down alcohol into acetic acid. Acetic acid is the secret behind some of the amazing benefits in ACV. While apple cider vinegar doesn’t offer much more in terms of minerals and vitamins like whole apples do, it does contain some potassium. High-quality vinegar also contains antioxidants and amino acids. 

You may notice some products on the shelf have ‘with the mother’ printed on the label. The mother is the healthy bacteria that is added in the second step of the fermentation process. Some products remove the mother from the final product because it gives the vinegar a cloudy appearance, which may make some think that the product has gone bad – but the mother is actually the healthiest component of the final ACV product. 

Why Is The Mother So Healthy?

Apple cider vinegar with the mother.

The mother consists of thousands of strands of amino acids and healthy bacteria, which are also known as probiotics. The beneficial organisms in probiotics are vital for maintaining a healthy gut flora (the trillions of microbes living in the gut) and keeping the immune system strong.

The gut flora is a crucial part of our internal ecosystem because of the many roles it plays in digestion, absorbing nutrients, and protecting us against harmful germs, which is why it is important to keep levels of healthy bacteria up to help flush harmful microbes out.   

The mother also consists of various enzymes that help to breakdown foods, making nutrients much easier for the body to digest. While most of the foods we eat also contain these specific enzymes, most of them are destroyed when we cook them, so we don’t have much chance of reaping their benefits. The mother in an apple cider vinegar pill or liquid is a great way to supplement these enzymes and probiotics.

Does Pasteurized Apple Cider Vinegar Still Work?

Pasteurized apple cider vinegar (ACV without the mother) does still work for a few different uses.

Pasteurized apple cider vinegar still contains acetic acid, which is known for its antimicrobial properties and works great as a disinfectant household cleaner. When used correctly, pasteurized ACV also works great for toning the skin and as a hair rinse to balance the PH of the scalp and combat dandruff.

With that being said, if you want to reap the internal benefits, opting for an apple cider vinegar liquid or pill that contains the mother is the better choice for overall health.

It is also important to note that pasteurized apple cider vinegar goes through more processing in order to get the mother completely filtered from the batch. And as with anything in the food and health space, the more organic and unpasteurized a product is, the better it is for your health. 

Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar With The Mother

Combats Pathogens

One of the many benefits of apple cider vinegar is its ability to kill off harmful pathogens like E-Coli, Staphylococcus aureus, and Candida albicans. Because of these powerful antibacterial and antifungal properties, ACV has been used for many years to treat common problems caused by these pathogens such as nail fungus, warts, colds, and flu. A 2018 study published in the Journal of Science Reports found that apple cider vinegar was effective for inhibiting the growth of Candida albicans, Escherichia coli, and Staphylococcus aureus, which are the invasive microbes responsible for infections such as pneumonia, staph, and yeast infections.

At the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, scientists have found that the acetic acid content in apple cider vinegar is effective for killing Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the invasive pathogen that causes tuberculosis (TB) and leprosy in just 30 minutes after exposure. 

Reduces Inflammation

Unpasteurized apple cider vinegar has also been proven to reduce chronic inflammation in the body. The numerous antioxidants and potassium content found within the vinegar helps to reduce swelling and pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis and also helps to speed up the healing process.  

Promotes Weight Loss

One of the main reasons people are chugging back a shot of ACV in the mornings is because of its weight loss properties. Numerous studies have shown that acetic acid helps to combat fat in a few ways by:

  • Revving up the metabolism by increasing the enzyme AMPK, which helps to lower sugar and fat production in the liver and helps to boost the body’s overall fat-burning capabilities.
  • Increasing fat burning by increasing specific genes within the body that are responsible for breaking down fats.
  • Suppressing various expressions in the brain that are directly involved with stimulating appetite, which leads to few cravings and less food intake. 

More studies also conclude that apple cider vinegar increases satiety, which prevents higher caloric intake.

One study in particular evaluated the effects of ACV in 11 individuals. The study found that those who had consumed the vinegar alongside a high carb meal experienced a lower blood sugar count of 55% just one hour after eating the meal. The study also showed that participants consumed fewer calories throughout the rest of the day. 

Apple cider vinegar has also shown some impressive results when it comes to fat burning.

In a 12 week study, 144 obese participants were given a placebo or apple cider vinegar every day. While participants were told to restrict alcohol, their diets remained the same throughout the trial. The ACV group showed a significant drop in body weight of between 2.6 to 37 pounds and a drop in body fat of around 0.7% and 0.9%. Triglyceride levels were also reduced by 26%. The placebo group saw an increase in body weight and waist circumference. 

Improves Blood Sugar Control

Another impressive benefit of apple cider vinegar is that it can help control blood sugar levels, especially in those who suffer from insulin-related disorders like diabetes.

While cutting carbs and avoiding sugar is the best way to keep blood sugar levels under control, research has found that apple cider vinegar can also help.

One study found that patients who had taken apple cider vinegar after a high carb meal had lower blood sugar levels and insulin sensitivity was reduced by up to 34%.

Another study showed that participants showed a reduction in blood glucose levels by 31.4% after eating white bread. 

Promotes Heart Health

Cardiovascular disorders are one of the leading causes of death around the world. Some may be susceptible to this due to genetics, while other factors may include poor diet and smoking. Currently, there is a lot of research dedicated to the effects of ACV and heart health, and the results are promising.

In one study, researchers found that apple cider vinegar may reduce both cholesterol and triglyceride levels as well as other factors that can lead to cardiovascular problems. 

Other studies have found that ACV helps to lower blood pressure, which is a common factor for kidney and cardiovascular disease.

Improves Fertility

Possibly one of the most fascinating benefits of ACV is that it may help enhance fertility in women.

Apple cider vinegar is shown to help with polycystic ovarian syndrome.

In one study, women who did not have a regular menstrual cycle and also suffered from polycystic ovary syndrome were given 15mg of ACV for a period of 110 days. The study showed that out of the 7 women, 4 of them had returned to a regular menstrual cycle, which improves fertility. The study suggests that this is due to the fact that vinegar helps to improve insulin resistance, which is a common risk factor for polycystic ovary syndrome.

Apple Cider Vinegar Pills vs Liquid

Now that we know all the benefits apple cider vinegar has to offer, let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of taking apple cider vinegar in liquid and pill form.

Apple Cider Vinegar Liquid Pros

The most common form of ACV is liquid. Even if you haven’t rushed out to buy some in a while, chances are there is a bottle in your pantry collecting dust. It is just one of those household staples everyone seems to own.

In liquid form, apple cider vinegar can be used for more than just boosting your health. It is a fantastic household cleaner and adds a zingy zest to salads and homemade mayonnaise.

Many people also incorporate the liquid into their beauty regime. Because it is acidic, it is believed that ACV liquid helps to regulate the skin’s natural PH balance, which is why some, just like Cleopatra was said to do, use the liquid as a face wash and toner. Due to its antimicrobial properties, some people also use the liquid to treat eczema and other skin conditions. 

Aside from applying it topically, the most common way many people administer the liquid is by diluting 15 to 30mls of the vinegar in water or taking it as a clean shot. 

Apple Cider Vinegar Liquid Cons

While adding unpasteurized vinegar to your diet is a great way to reap the benefits, drinking it clean or applying it directly to the skin may cause a few unpleasant and irreversible side effects.

In one study, participants who had applied the ACV directly to eczema suffered from more skin irritation. Other studies showed that the topical application of ACV caused burns to the skin and worsened the symptoms. 

Due to the acidity, drinking apple cider vinegar liquid clean every day can damage the mucosa lining in the esophagus and stomach. One study published in the Journal of Clinical Endoscopy outlines what happened to a 15-year-old who visited the ER with severe epigastric pain after drinking undiluted vinegar daily. The patient suffered from deep ulcers and hemorrhaging in the esophagus. 

Drinking apple cider vinegar every day is also known to cause tooth enamel erosion. The acidity of the vinegar can cause severe damage to the tooth enamel, which leads to pain, sensitivity and in more severe cases, infection in the nerves and gums.

Apple Cider Vinegar Pills Pros

Thanks to modern-day medicine, apple cider vinegar is available in tablet or capsule form. Like the liquid, most ACV supplements include the mother for added potency and benefits.

Taking ACV in pill form is much more convenient and a better option for those who do not like the taste of apple cider vinegar.

In addition to that, ACV supplements will not damage the tooth enamel or burn the mucosa lining of the esophagus or gastrointestinal tract. The supplements also contain a higher concentration of acetic acid, which is beneficial for reaping all the rewards of this natural remedy.

Apple Cider Vinegar Pills Cons

While ACV supplements don’t come with most of the side effects associated with the liquid, depending on the manufacturer you choose, there could be some potential downsides.

As with most supplements, manufacturers sneak in additional ingredients into the formula like preservatives, soy, dairy, and other harmful fillers. Some may also offer a dosage acetic acid that is far too high, which could bring on the side effects associated with the liquid.

Another downside is the fact that some manufacturers may use heat in order to produce the final encapsulated product. When healthy bacteria and other nutrients are exposed to heat, it can kill some of the strains or hinder their potency, which means that you won’t see much of the benefits after taking them. 

To avoid this and to reap the full benefit of ACV supplements, it’s best to look for a reputable manufacturer. Products like Approved Science® Apple Cider Vinegar contain the mother and offer a safe and effective daily dosage of 1600mg of pure apple cider vinegar and 5-6% acetic acid. The formula also contains BioPerine®, which has been proven to enhance the bioavailability of nutrients by over 30%.

Other Common Forms Of Apple Cider Vinegar

While pills and liquid are the most common form of apple cider vinegar, but there are others that are worth noting:

Apple Cider Vinegar Powder

ACV powder can be added to water or incorporated in dishes. It doesn’t leave a bad aftertaste like the liquid either. However, it is important to note that in order to turn liquid into a powder, it must be processed, which means that most of the beneficial enzymes, proteins, and bacteria in the mother are likely destroyed during the process. Artificial flavors, preservatives, and sweeteners are also added to the formula to make it more palatable, which means more calories and potentially harmful ingredients.

Apple Cider Vinegar Gummies

Apple cider vinegar gummies are all the rage in the health scene at the moment. Products like Goli gummies have been featured on prime time television shows and praised for their benefits.

Taking a sweet little gummy may seem like the ultimate solution, but unfortunately, these formulas are not without flaws.

Most gummy products like Goli gummies will advertise that the product is gluten-free, kosher friendly, and suitable for vegans and the ingredients they claim to use are natural vegetable and fruit sources like beetroot and apples. But by inspecting the label a little closer, the added ingredients do not really make for a healthy supplement.

For example, cane sugar is not suitable for diabetics who are taking apple cider vinegar to regulate blood sugar. Another ingredient that may pose a problem for those with sensitive stomachs is tapioca syrup. While it may be a healthier alternative to honey and corn syrup, it is often used to soften bowel movements so it may be best not to take them if you have a big day planned. It is also extremely high in calories and is traditionally used to support weight gain.

If you are taking ACV for its weight loss properties, gummies may prove to be counterintuitive. 

Who Should Not Use Apple Cider Vinegar?

For some, apple cider vinegar may be harmful depending on your health and the medications you are taking. ACV may not be for you if:

  • You are on insulin or diabetes treatment – these drugs already help to regulate blood sugar levels and if combined with ACV, it may cause them to drop too low.
  • You are taking hypertension drugs – these medications often contain a diuretic in order to help flush sodium from the system. When sodium levels drop in the body, so do potassium levels. By using a combination of diuretics and ACV, it may cause potassium levels to drop even further, which leads to serious health problems.

It’s always best to talk to your doctor first before taking apple cider vinegar pills or liquid.

Apple Cider Vinegar Pills vs Liquid: Which Is Better?

There are a lot of benefits apple cider vinegar has to offer. From promoting weight loss and heart health to regulating blood sugar, it is a natural remedy worth investing in. While apple cider vinegar is available in many forms, opting for the liquid, powder, or gummies may not be the best choice for you if you want to avoid the side effects. Both the liquid and gummies are filled with preservatives and sugar and have also been processed in order to package it in a solid-state. Drinking the vinegar clean is also not a good idea either due to the acidity. Regular use can lead to burns on the skin, enamel erosion, and damage to both the gastrointestinal tract and esophagus. 

Taking an ACV supplement is a safer and more effective way to reap the benefits this fermented tonic has to offer. However, it is important to note that not all supplements are created equal either. For best results, opt for a supplement that does not contain any fillers, preservatives, sugars, or binders. The optimal dosage to look for is 1600mg of pure acetic acid (5-6%) with BioPerine® for added absorption. Approved Science® Apple Cider Vinegar meets these criteria and is fully cGMP certified to ensure safety and quality in every bottle. 

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