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Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar and Other Common Vinegars: A Review

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Vinegar has been used in households for more than 10,000 years, as seasoned vinegars for 5,000 years, and is sold in markets across the globe. 1 There are two types of vinegars made today: cider vinegar and normal vinegar. Vinegar can be made from many foods. Cider vinegar is made from fruit juices, 2 grapes, dates, figs, sugarcane, and apples, while normal vinegar can be made from grains, molasses, coconut, honey, beer, maple syrup, beets, and whey. 3 Vinegars also are used in food production, from ketchups and mustard to sauces and mayonnaise. Vinegars contain bioactive compounds, the extra-nutritional constituents found in fruits and vegetables. These bioactive compounds are of many types, such as carotenoids, phytosterols, phenolic compounds, and vitamins C and E. 4,5 More specifically, apple cider vinegar also contains organic acids (acetic acid, citric acid, formic acid, lactic acid, malic acid, and succinic acids) and phenolic compounds (gallic acid, catechin, epicatechin, chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid, and p-coumaric acid). All of these compounds instill vinegar with health benefits even when ingested in small amounts, such as acetic acid from vinegar as 0.3% of total food intake or 15-30 mL (1-2 tablespoons) of cider vinegar. 6 These health benefits include reducing cholesterol and lipid levels, antioxidant properties, enzyme inhibitors, inhibitors of gene expression, antidiabetic effects, 7 reduced blood pressure, prevention of heart disease, and antimicrobial properties. 6

Vinegar is made using two biotechnological processes. First, the sugar contained in the food undergoes alcoholic fermentation in the presence of yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae , which converts the foodstuff to alcohol. 6 Then, the alcohol is converted into acetic acid by acetous fermentation in the presence of acetic acid bacteria ( Acetobacter pasterianus and Acetobacter polyoxogenes ). The Orleans method (conventional method) and the rapid methods (submerged and generator) are used for producing vinegars....