Bragg Live Food Products, Inc., (Santa Barbara, CA) has announced findings from a national consumer survey conducted by market research firm Ipsos regarding the perception of health benefits of apple cider vinegar (ACV) in liquid and supplement forms.
Half of respondents (50 percent) say they currently use, or have previously used ACV for health and wellness reasons. Among current users of ACV, 58 percent believe that apple cider vinegar gummies provide the same health benefits as liquid apple cider vinegar. However, external scientific research shows that this is a misconception, and that ACV gummies do not contain enough acetic acid, the ingredient clinically proven to support the key health that unlocks health benefits of ACV–namely supporting healthy blood glucose levels, supporting healthy cholesterol levels and helping to manage weight.
In fact, the leading ACV gummy brand was advised by The National Advertising Division (NAD) of the Better Business Bureau's National Programs to remove health claims twice (Mar 2021 and Jan 2022), due to the lack of active ingredients. In addition, gummies almost always contain added sugar, which helps with taste, but certainly does not help with blood sugar levels, the company stated.
"First and foremost, we want consumers to be aware of unsubstantiated health claims of ACV supplements delivered in gummy supplement format, and we advocate for more transparency in product labeling," said Linda Boardman, Bragg's CEO. "In order for the survey findings we are issuing today to have been even more impactful, we would have had to provide them to the National Advertising Division at the time when we originally issued our complaint about the questionable health claims of the leading ACV gummy brand's products. Though we have evidence of consumer confusion caused by that particular product in the marketplace, as explained here, this evidence was not admissible for the NAD's review process. Still, we feel a responsibility to shine a light on the truth about ACV gummies and we are pleased that our efforts are making a difference."
Apple cider vinegar has been used for years by consumers as part of their health and wellness routines. 750 mg of acetic acid, the active ingredient in apple cider vinegar, has been clinically proven in 30 studies with over 1,000 participants, including two comprehensive meta-analyses in 2021 (one from the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics published by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the other from BioMed Central complementary medicine and therapies published by the International Society for Complementary Medicine Research), to provide many health benefits, including supporting healthy cholesterol, blood sugar and weight levels.
"Third-party lab testing shows that you would have to take 30 of the leading ACV gummy to equal one daily dose of liquid ACV (one tablespoon)," said Diane Kull, vice president of R&D and Quality at Bragg.
"It's clear that consumers expect to receive the health benefits of liquid ACV when they take ACV gummies, and they're putting trust in brands that are dancing around the edges about health claims," added Boardman. "When ACV gummies with no redeeming health benefits flood the market, they can taint the entire ACV category."
Trusted authorities in the field of micronutrients and their impact on overall health and wellness, Bragg's Scientific Advisory Board includes Jeffrey B. Blumberg, PhD; Edwin McDonald, MD; and McKel Kooienga, RD. This expert Board was assembled to help guide product development and provide insights into the many benefits of ACV, according to the company.
Blumberg, a professor emeritus of nutrition science and policy at Tufts University, advised "Consumers should know to look for ACV products with labels that list proper dose (750 mg) of acetic acid and have no added sugar. That can be difficult when many brands do not offer that detail on their nutritional label. Those products should be avoided. Also, if a label lists an amount of 'apple cider vinegar powder,' one cannot assume that means the appropriate dose of acetic acid is included. In fact, most formulas use ACV of 5 [percent] acid content, meaning 750 mg of ACV powder yields just 37.5 mg of acetic acid – or 5 [percent] of the clinically proven daily dosage. Considering the amount of money consumers spend on non-efficacious ACV gummies which have very little acetic acid, ACV gummies seem like very expensive candy more than anything else."
For more information, visit www.bragg.com.