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Apple Cider Vinegar Benefits and Side Effects

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What is Apple Cider Vinegar?

Apple cider vinegar is popular for its natural health boosting properties. Some of the benefits of consuming this vinegar include reduced cholesterol, low blood sugar levels, weight loss and more. Apple cider vinegar detox is an extremely popular one as individuals believe that it can flush out the toxins from their body. Consuming apple cider vinegar before bed could help with many benefits (x).

Apple cider vinegar is generally made from fermented apple juice. It is popularly used in marinades, vinaigrettes, salad dressings and food preservatives. The apples are crushed, the juice filtered and then yeast and bacteria are added to it. This starts the fermentation process where the sugars convert to alcohol. After a while, the alcohol is turned to vinegar by specific bacteria. The acetic acid is what lends the vinegar its sour taste (x).

Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar

Kills Bacteria

Apple cider vinegar is known to kill many different types of bacteria and pathogens. It is one of the reasons why it is popularly used for treatment against lice, warts and nail fungus. Besides this, it also does a good job of cleaning and disinfecting. The reason for this is the amount of acid that the vinegar possesses. This kills them and/or prevents them from multiplying and causing more harm (x, x).

Helps with Blood Sugar Levels

Apple cider vinegar is known to work wonders with type 2 diabetes patients. However, some fail to realize that certain people can also be affected by high blood sugar levels without having diabetes. Vinegar can not only help control diabetes but also lower blood sugar levels. It is known to improve insulin sensitivity (x, x).

Improves Heart Health

Apple cider vinegar works to lower the cholesterol level in the body. It also improves heart health. Heart disease is among the leading causes of premature death, so perhaps apple cider vinegar should become a more important part of our diet (x, x).

Protects Against Cancer

Cancer is a dreadful disease. It has now been discovered that apple cider vinegar has anti-cancer effects, such that it kills the cancer cells and reduces the size of tumors. Research tells us that vinegar consumption could lead to a lowered risk of oesophageal cancer (x).

Aids Sore Throat

Having a sore throat is uncomfortable. However, apple cider vinegar is an extremely popular home remedy for this ailment. It is believed that the antibacterial properties of vinegar help kill the bacteria. Mix the vinegar with water and gargle. This should provide some relief (x).

Anti-Microbial Properties

Due to its antifungal and antibacterial properties, it could help solve issues from bad breath in the morning to serious intestinal infections. Gargling hot water and vinegar will ensure your breath is fresh. Apple cider vinegar also helps deal with fungi and bacteria that cause intestinal infections and skin problems (x, x).

Dandruff Relief

Vinegar’s acid content can reduce flakes and itching. It is advised that you apply apple cider vinegar mixed with water to your scalp before you shampoo. It can also be effective on skin (x).

Better Digestion

Apple cider vinegar helps the digestive system work properly. It can also detox the liver and ensure an overall better and healthy system. Some consume the vinegar before having a protein-rich meal (x).

Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar Side Effects

Digestive Trouble

Consuming apple cider vinegar could lead to uncomfortable digestive symptoms. One may suffer from indigestion. Those who have consumed 25 grams of apple cider vinegar may also experience nausea (x, x).

Tooth Enamel Erosion

It has long been known that acidic food and drinks can damage the tooth enamel. Apple cider vinegar, with its high quantity of acetic acid, is sure to decrease the tooth enamel. While the saliva helps decrease the acidity, dental erosion to a degree isn’t uncommon (x, x).

Bone Health

Apple cider vinegar could affect blood potassium levels. It also has an impact on bone health, especially if the vinegar is consumed over a long period of time. Osteoporosis is a possibility if an individual consumes high amounts of the vinegar for a long time as the minerals from the bones are taken away due to the acidic nature of the vinegar (x).

Throat Burns

The vinegar can potentially cause throat burns. Many children have been exposed to this and have suffered burns as a result. This is why it is recommended to keep the apple cider vinegar in a tightly closed container and out of reach of children. Not only the liquid form, but apple cider vinegar tablets could also cause throat burns. This could then lead to difficulty swallowing (x).

Skin Burns

Individuals applying apple cider vinegar to their skin could suffer from skin burns due to its acidic nature. Treating moles or infections with apple cider vinegar could lead to burns, especially if it is not diluted (x, x).

How to Use Apple Cider Vinegar

Many believe that apple cider vinegar should be paired with another supplement before consumption. Potassium, calcium and vitamin D are top choices. It is also advised that you have a word with your doctor before trying new supplements.

It is advised that apple cider vinegar is consumed in combination with other elements as having it in its pure form could lead to side effects. The high level of acid content could hurt your skin, throat or stomach. The best way to consume apple cider vinegar is to use it in your cooking. This could include salad dressings. If you prefer to consume it in the form of a beverage, you could always dilute it in water (x).

The most common dosage is to mix 10 to 30 ml of the vinegar with a glass of water and consume it in the morning. If this is the first time you are consuming apple cider vinegar, it is better to start cautiously. Begin by consuming smaller doses, such as 2-3 ml and gradually make your way to 10 or 15 ml (x).

The Bottom Line

Apple cider vinegar is a form of vinegar created by crushing apple and retrieving its juice, adding yeast and bacteria to promote the fertilization process. Its benefits make up a long list including aiding sore throat, dandruff, improving heart health, protecting against cancer, lowering blood sugar levels and killing bacteria.

However, there are some side effects of apple cider vinegar as well. This includes digestive issues, tooth enamel erosion and throat and skin burns. At times, it is also believed to cause side-effects when consumed with certain medications. Overall, if consumed in its proper dosage and in combination with other supplements, the benefits far outweigh the side effects. However, do be careful and do not use its pure form and keep it out of reach of children.

About the author

Sukriti Taneja


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