Heart disease remains one of the leading killers in the UK, but there are suggestions a popular drink could lower your risk.
Experts believe that apple cider vinegar could have a protective effect on your heart.
Glugging a couple of teaspoons before breakfast has become a health trend thanks to claims it aids weight loss.
However, the fashionable vinegar could also help boost heart health.
Research has suggested that it assists with lowering cholesterol and triglyceride levels, which have been linked to increased risk of heart attacks.
What’s more, studies found it protects against LDL cholesterol oxidation – which could lead to heart disease – and can reduce blood pressure.
“Several ‘risk factors’ for heart disease and strokes have been shown to be improved by apple cider vinegar consumption,” said Fleur Brown, a nutritionist and author of Beat Chronic Disease – The Nutrition Solution.
“It contains the antioxidant chlorogenic acid, which has been shown to protect LDL cholesterol particles from becoming oxidised, a crucial step in the prevention of heart disease process.
“Additionally, there are also some studies showing that the vinegar can help reduce blood pressure.
“It appears to have the ability break down fat deposits in the body, improve circulation and thus lower pressure in the arteries.
“High insulin and blood glucose levels are also thought to contribute to heart disease, and apple cider vinegar can reduce both.
“This is particularly important since diabetics are at an increased risk of heart disease as they have raised insulin and blood glucose levels.
“Additionally the knock-on effect of lowered levels of insulin is weight loss.
“Being overweight can increase your risk of cardiovascular disease, therefore losing weight with the aid of apple cider vinegar can lower the risk of heart attacks and strokes.”
But research done so far to support apple cider vinegar’s direct positive effects on the heart, such as a 2015 study published in the Journal of Diabetes Research, have been conducted on animals.
As yet, there have been no human studies, meaning we cannot know for certain it would have the same results in us.
“There is a limited amount of research to show that apple cider vinegar may help to lower blood cholesterol levels and so be good for the heart but most of this research comes from studies in rats, so we need to be careful about extrapolating to humans,” explained Dr Sarah Schenker, a registered dietician and nutritionist.
What has been shown in humans is that apple cider vinegar can help with weight loss – which can also help heart health.
“Several human studies suggest that apple cider vinegar can increase satiety, making you feel fuller more quickly,” said Brown.
“Human studies have shown that drinking apple cider vinegar along with high-carb meals can increase feelings of fullness and make people eat 200 to 275 fewer calories for the rest of the day.
“Reducing calories on a daily basis can result in reduced weight over time and reduced risk of developing cardiovascular disease.”