By Markham Heid for Prevention
The claim: Vinegar may work as an effective (and cheap!) household cleaner, says a study published in the online journal mBio. Acetic acid—the active ingredient in vinegar—is powerful enough to kill the type of drug-resistant bacteria that causes tuberculosis.
The research: When the study team exposed several drug-resistant types of dangerous bacteria to a 6% solution of acetic acid for 30 minutes, the numbers of the bacteria dropped to undetectable levels. The active ingredient in vinegar may have the ability to “pass the bacteria membrane,” explains study coauthor Howard Takiff, MD, of the Venezuelan Institute for Scientific Research. Once inside the membrane, the vinegar component could raises the pH levels to a point where the bacteria can’t survive, Dr. Takiff hypothesizes.
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