Ask the doctor
Is vinegar good for the arteries?
Q. I've heard that apple cider vinegar can clean out the arteries. Is there any truth to that?
A. If you believe the stories written about apple cider vinegar, it is a miracle cure for just about anything that ails you, from curbing the appetite to detoxifying the body, boosting the immune system, treating arthritis, and improving circulation. That's a tall order for a brew made from fermented apples. But there's no evidence to back up most of these claims. So far, the only decent studies in humans suggest that daily doses of apple cider vinegar may help people with type 2 diabetes control their blood sugar.
Acetic acid is the substance that gives vinegar its distinctive smell and sour taste. A synthetic cousin of acetic acid, called ethylenediamine-tetraacetic acid (EDTA), attracts some dissolved metals. It is used in cases of lead, mercury, or iron poisoning to pull these metals out of the bloodstream. A dubious practice called chelation therapy involves repeated administration of EDTA. Chelation therapy is hyped as a way to clean out the arteries by dissolving cholesterol-filled plaque. This is based on wishful thinking, not science.
Apple cider vinegar is a terrific ingredient in foods, sauces, and dressings. It isn't medicine. Taking too much can lower blood potassium levels and may not be good for your bones. If you choose to take a tablespoon or so a day, rinse out your mouth afterward — straight apple cider vinegar can erode the enamel on your teeth.
— Richard Lee, M.D.
Associate Editor, Harvard Heart Letter
be well, feel better
Certain types of foods can work together to help us reach our fat-burning potential.
Solve your personal energy crisis with these research-proven pick-me-ups.
Yes, it's politically incorrect, but wrinkles and spots discriminate based on skin color all the time. Whites, blacks, Latinas and Asians are all prone to developing lines, sagging and spots at different rates and in different ways, but the way you battle back makes a big difference.
These asanas can help you prevent injury and recover more quickly.
How to tell whether a pool, beach or lake is safe for swimming and (adequately) germ-free.
Celebrities are candidly sharing their stories of heartbreak and loss (sadly, up to 25 percent of pregnancies end in miscarriage) to hopefully help other women feel like they’re not alone. Here are the famous faces who’ve had the courage to say they’ve experienced miscarriage.
Teenagers aren't the only ones who break out. Discover the truth about treating adult acne and get clear skin for good.
From the impractical to the downright dangerous, these diets aren't your best choice for losing weight.