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What are some medical uses for vinegar?

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Quick Answer

Diluted vinegar can be used to treat ear infections, but the low pH level may irritate the skin and has the potential to damage cochlear outer hair cells. The people in coastal locations immediately apply vinegar to jellyfish stings because it deactivates the nematocysts, reports Medscape General Medicine.

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What are some medical uses for vinegar?
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Full Answer

Vinegar has anti-microbial properties and can be used in food preparation. Ancient healers such as Hippocrates used vinegar to fight infections. However, modern scientists do not recommend using vinegar to treat wounds, explains Medscape General Medicine. Some studies have shown that dietary consumption of vinegar reduces systolic blood pressure in rats. No studies have been done on humans to test this information, as of 2015.

Vinegar has anti-tumor properties, though they have not been specifically identified. Some investigators have concluded that the acetate acid in vinegar deprotonates in the stomach to form acetate ions, which have been connected with tumor regression, reports Medscape General Medicine.

A dietary source of polyphenols, vinegar enhances anti-oxidant protection, and in some studies, it reduced the risk of certain cancers. Kurosu, a Japanese rice vinegar, is especially potent in phenolic compounds, says Medscape General Medicine. Vinegar has also been shown to have anti-glycemic effects. These anti-glycemic properties extend to study patients with Type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance.

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