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The acidity of an ingredient is measured by its pH. Pure water is considered neutral and has a pH of 7. Anything with a pH higher than 7 is called alkaline. Anything with a pH lower than 7 is acidic, and the lower the pH number, the stronger the acid.

The pH scale is logarithmic, which means that each number in the scale describes acidity that is 10 times stronger than the number preceding it. Log in SubscribeGet the print magazine, 25 years of back issues online, over 7,000 recipes, and more. Start your FREE trialAlready a subscriber. Log in You are using an outdated browser. Why does vinegar taste sour.

How does vinegar affect the color of fruits and vegetables. How does vinegar alter the texture of food. Here are some of the practical ways vinegar can affect texture: It coagulates protein. How Acidic is vinegar. Cancel Delete You must be a registered user to access this feature.

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If you wish to continue receiving our newsletters, you will need to resubscribe. Sign up here to get The Results Are In with Dr. Sanjay Gupta every Tuesday from the CNN Health team. But what does the science say. Hide Caption Photos: Apple cider vinegar: What the science saysCan apple cider vinegar help you lose weight. Maybe, if you're happy losing a third of a pound a week. That's the maximum benefit found in one study of 175 overweight but otherwise healthy Japanese subjects.

Other studies suggest that it can help you feel full, but so does the glass of water you dilute it in. Hide Caption Photos: Apple cider vinegar: What the science saysLooking to control your high blood sugar. Try vinegar before a starchy meal. The acetic acid helps block the absorption of starch, easing that after-meal spike. Pre-diabetics get the most benefit, says registered dietitian Carol Johnston, who has studied vinegars for years.

Hide Caption Photos: Apple cider vinegar: What the science saysThis antiglycemic response can be induced by any sort of vinegar, not just apple cider vinegar, Johnston says, such as red and white wine vinegars, pomegranate vinegar or even white distilled vinegar.

Hide Caption Photos: Apple cider vinegar: What the science saysThe best way to consume apple cider vinegar is on your salad, experts say, as part of the dressing.

Nutritionist Lisa Drayer suggests using balsamic vinegar in a 4:1 ratio with oil. Hide Caption Photos: Apple cider vinegar: What the science saysSome people suggest dabbing a bit of apple cider vinegar on acne or using it to fight skin aging. Marie Jhin, a spokeswoman for the American Academy of Dermatology.

But I wouldn't recommend it. We have much more effective and safe methods today than this. Hide Caption Photos: Apple cider vinegar: What the science saysSome people claim that apple cider vinegar can soothe a sore throat. Although there's no scientific evidence either way, American Academy of Pediatrics spokeswoman Dr. Jennifer Shu urges caution. But it doesn't cut grease and isn't as effective as commercial cleaners on E. Hide Caption Photos: Apple cider vinegar: What the science saysIf you're a rat worried about heart disease, put apple cider and other vinegars on your shopping list.

Studies show that it can reduce blood pressure, triglycerides and total cholesterol in rats fed a high-fat, cholesterol-rich diet. But there have been no similar studies in humans. Hide Caption (CNN)Apple cider vinegar is one of the most popular natural health products around, with claims that it can do almost anything, including sanitizing toothbrushes, curing diabetes and whittling waistlines. What are the real benefits of apple cider vinegar, according to science.

CNN asked seven experts and looked at dozens of studies to bring you the facts. Here are five ways apple cider (or any vinegar) can help your health -- plus a few popular misconceptions that didn't pass muster.

It can lower blood sugarWhat's the most popular use for apple cider vinegar. If a simple internet search is any measure, it involves diabetes. Read MoreRegistered dietitian Carol Johnston has been studying the effects of acetic acid, the main component of vinegar, on diabetic blood glucose levels, since 2004.

No vinegar, including apple cider, has been shown in studies to significantly alter or prevent diabetes, said Johnston, a professor of nutrition and an associate dean in the College of Health Solutions at Arizona State University.

RELATED: 5 ways to cut sugar from your lifeBut studies do show acetic acid can be used as one tool in helping people lower blood sugar. A 2019 randomized clinical trial found "a 10 point decrease in fasting glucose concentrations," Johnston said. It may be this is the group that could benefit the most. But, it only worked in the presence of a starch, she stressed. But if they drink sugar water and add vinegar, nothing happens. So if you're having bacon and eggs, don't bother.

It only helps if you are consuming a starch. It can help -- a bit -- with weight loss Weight loss, or dieting, is another popular use for apple cider vinegar, and there is some evidence that it can help. The most cited study was done with 175 heavy but otherwise healthy Japanese subjects.

The 12-week treatment produced lower body weight, body mass index, visceral fat, waist measurements and triglyceride levels. That's only a third of a pound a week. In fact, I would say most people who are on a diet for 12 weeks and only lose a couple of pounds aren't going to be very happy.