Need a mood boost? Consider drinking apple cider vinegar
Vinegar’s effect on mood
A team of researchers from Arizona State University had already studied the positive effects of drinking red wine vinegar on blood sugar balance, and so decided to continue investigating whether vinegar also plays a role in mental health.
To do this, they administered an experiment during the peak of the pandemic last winter that involved 25 healthy college students. The researchers set up a placebo-controlled trial over a four-week period where around half the students drank a beverage consisting of two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar diluted in one cup of water twice a day with their meals. Meanwhile, the rest of the students consumed a low-dose vinegar pill once a day that didn’t contain enough acetic acid (the main active ingredient in vinegar) to have any effect on their health. Still, the pill reeked of vinegar so the group thought they were getting much more apple cider vinegar, qualifying the experiment as a placebo-controlled, blinded study.
Both groups of students maintained their regular diet and exercise routines, and all completed urine samples and a validated questionnaire about their mood before and after the study was administered.
Once the four weeks were up, the researchers saw a 20 to 34 percent reduction in poor mood in the group that had sipped on the apple cider vinegar beverage, while the control group experienced a slight increase in a poor mood.
The urine samples that the students provided both before and after the study gives us a clue as to why this is. The liquid vinegar group demonstrated healthier hexosamine pathways which are related to cognitive functioning and brain health, and improved glycine and threonine metabolism. These are amino acids that promote neurotransmitter balance in the brain as well as stimulate the production of happy hormones such as serotonin.
The study sample is small and not very diverse as it only focused on college students, but its promising results show that more research in this realm could lead to more concrete findings. Either way, there are already so many proven benefits to consuming apple cider vinegar, so there’s no reason to hesitate before whipping up your own ACV concoction to wash down your next meal.