As a practicing physician and professor of medicine, people ask me about the benefits of drinking apple cider vinegar all the time. I enjoy those moments, because we can talk about the history of vinegar, and then distill the conversations to how it could, maybe, benefit them.
A cure for colds, the plague and obesity?
Historically, vinegar has been used for many ailments. A few examples are that of the famous Greek physician Hippocrates, who recommended vinegar for the treatment of cough and colds, and that of the Italian physician Tommaso Del Garbo, who, during an outbreak of plague in 1348, washed his hands, face and mouth with vinegar in the hopes of preventing infection.
从历史角度来看，醋已被用于治疗多种疾病。比如，著名的希腊医生希波克拉底就建议喝醋治疗咳嗽和感冒；意大利医生托马索·德尔·加博（Tommaso Del Garbo）在1348年瘟疫爆发的那段时间用醋洗手、洗脸、漱口，以期预防感染。
Vinegar and water has been a refreshing drink from the time of Roman soldiers to modern athletes who drink it to slake their thirst. Ancient and modern cultures the world over have found good uses for "sour wine."
While there is plenty of historical and anecdotal testimony to the virtues of vinegar, what does medical research have to say on the subject of vinegar and health?
The most reliable evidence for the health benefits of vinegar come from a few humans studies involving apple cider vinegar. One study demonstrated that apple cider vinegar can improve after-meal blood glucose levels in insulin-resistant subjects. In 11 people who were "pre-diabetic," drinking 20 milliliters, a little more than one tablespoon, of apple cider vinegar lowered their blood sugar levels 30-60 minutes after eating more than a placebo did. That's good - but it was only demonstrated in 11 pre-diabetic people. When my brother and I were kids back in the '80s, we loved going to Long John Silver's.
涉及苹果醋的人类研究是说明醋的健康益处的最可靠证据。一项研究表明：对于抗胰岛素受试者而言，餐后喝苹果醋可改善血糖水平。11位糖尿病前期受试者餐后30至60分钟内喝了20毫升苹果醋（比一汤匙多点儿），而他们的血糖水平有所降低，降低的水平比服用安慰剂的效果更好。这一点很棒--但受试者只有11位糖尿病前期患者。20世纪80年代，我和哥哥还是个孩子，我们喜欢去Long John Sliver's餐店。
But it wasn't just for the fish. It was for the vinegar - malt vinegar. We would uncap a bottle at the table and swig that tangy, delicious nectar of the gods straight.
Some social media and online searches would have us believe that drinking vinegar is a cure-all. However, the health benefits we suspect vinegar has need to be confirmed by larger human studies.