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Apple Cider Vinegar - Benefits and Adverse Reactions

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Apple Cider Vinegar - Benefits and Adverse Reactions

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Apple cider vinegar is made from fermenting apple juice, and it is believed to have innumerable health benefits. Read the article to know more.

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Aishwarya Ilavarasan

Published At October 15, 2019
Reviewed AtMay 3, 2024

What Is Apple Cider Vinegar?

Vinegar that is prepared from fermented apple juice is called apple cider vinegar. The primary uses of it are dressing salads, food preservatives, marinades, chutneys, etc. It is prepared by crushing the apples, followed by squeezing out the juice. To this, bacteria and yeast are added, which begins the process of alcoholic fermentation that finally converts the sugar to alcohol.

The second process of fermentation involves the conversion of alcohol into vinegar by the bacteria forming acetic acid. The sour taste of vinegar comes from acetic acid and malic acid. There is no documented medicinal or nutritional value of apple cider vinegar, though it is believed to bring down body weight or maintain blood glucose and lipid levels.

What Is the Composition of Apple Cider Vinegar?

It contains 94 % water and one percent carbohydrates. It does not have fat or protein. As mentioned earlier, its caloric and micronutrient contents are very low, as explained by the USDA nutrition table.

How to Prepare Apple Cider Vinegar at Home?

All the components of apple can be used to prepare this. Initially, cut the apple into small cubes, which increases the surface area and, thus, helps in fermentation. The pieces are kept in a water and sugar (honey) mixture so that the sugar supply for fermentation can be available. After the pieces are submerged, a breathable covering over them is placed for two weeks, followed by straining and finally storing for four weeks more till the vinegar is formed.

What Are the Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar?

Apple cider vinegar is thought to benefit human health in many ways. Below is what the study has to say about a few possible advantages of apple cider vinegar.

  • Biological Effects: It consists of a very small amount of calories. Though it is not rich in much of vitamins and minerals, it does contain a small amount of potassium in it. Sometimes, it may also contain amino acids and antioxidants based on the preparation process.

  • Anti-bacterial Properties: Bacteria-killing properties have been used for disinfection, cleaning, and treatment of nail fungus, lice, etc., as it has the property of killing harmful bacteria or pathogens.

  • Antifungal Properties: The antifungal qualities of apple cider vinegar are one of its main promotional points, suggesting that it can be used as a therapy for a variety of illnesses.

  • Blood Sugar Level Lowering: It has been noted that apple cider vinegar improves insulin sensitivity and thus helps lower blood sugar levels post-meal. It has shown more benefits in type 2 diabetes. Indirectly, it can assist in losing weight as it causes the feeling of fullness, and thus, one tends to eat fewer calories and, ultimately, lose some weight.

  • Lowers Cholesterol: Studies have documented that apple cider vinegar can lower blood triglycerides, cholesterol, and pressure. Thus, this will help reduce the risk of heart disease.

  • Prevents Cancer: Some in-vitro and animal studies have shown that it can slow the growth of cancer cells and shrink tumors. However, more human evidence is required.

What Are the Important Considerations?

Small quantities of apple cider vinegar taken orally are known to be safe, but consuming it in tablet form may cause soft tissue injuries in the mouth, throat, stomach, and kidneys.

When the eye comes into contact with it, redness and irritation can be noticed, and corneal injury can happen. When used topically as an ear-washing solution or for eye cleaning, it can prove to be hazardous. If consumed without diluting, the acidic nature of it can lead to damaging the tooth enamel. It is important to be very cautious while providing it for pregnant or breastfeeding women and children. Also, when used as a homemade cleaning agent, be cautious about not mixing it with chlorine bleach as the mixture can lead to the release of chlorine gas, which can irritate the eyes, nose, airway, and throat. If it is stinging, then allow it to be as it is for another two weeks.

The safe consumption amount of apple cider vinegar requires further investigation. Therefore, there is not an exact amount of apple cider vinegar that is advised. Large doses of apple cider vinegar are more likely to result in negative effects, although lower quantities are typically well tolerated.

What Are the Precautions Taken while Consuming Apple cider vinegar?

  • Small doses of apple cider vinegar used for a brief length of time are thought to be safe. However, if used frequently or in high quantities, apple cider vinegar might not be safe.

  • Even if using apple cider vinegar on the skin has its advantages, it might not be safe to do so. Burns from chemicals can occur when apple cider vinegar is applied directly to the skin.

  • Whether using apple cider vinegar while pregnant or nursing is safe is uncertain, as a result, those who are nursing or pregnant ought to use caution and stay away from apple cider vinegar.

  • Although apple cider vinegar is thought to be safe for kids, parents should exercise caution and give their kids just the prescribed dosages.

  • Apple cider vinegar can also drop potassium levels; therefore, individuals with low levels of this mineral should avoid using it. Further study is required to validate these assertions.

What Are the Adverse Effects of Apple Cider Vinegar?

People who are allergic to apples can face allergic reactions. Its topical use to treat skin disorders can cause burns. It can cause drug interactions with various prescription drugs like Insulin or diuretics. Hence, before consuming it, consult a physician.

Conclusion:

Apple cider vinegar is a naturally prepared eatable that can have various health benefits, but it can also cause some health issues in some people. If one has any medical history, consult the physician before consuming the same. Otherwise, it is better to get an expert opinion regarding the dosage, effects, and other details about it before starting to consume it. The emerging online medical platforms have made it easier to get an expert opinion from the ease of being at home. So, it is always better to be informed about the eatables that one is consuming.

Frequently Asked Questions

1.

Can Apple Cider Vinegar Have Any Negative Effects on Health?

Apple cider vinegar is a popular natural tonic that has several health benefits. However, it can have the following adverse effects on health when consumed in excess:
- Delayed gastric emptying.
- Worsens the symptoms of gastroparesis.
- Reduces a person’s appetite.
- Suppresses the potassium levels resulting in bone loss.
- Damages the tooth enamel.
- Throat and skin burns.

2.

Which Drugs Must Be Avoided With Apple Cider Vinegar?

Apple cider vinegar has potential health benefits and is a combination of apples and yeasts. However, the patient must avoid the following drug with apple cider vinegar:
- Insulin or insulin-stimulating medications.
- Digoxin.
- Diuretics.
- Antihypertensives.

3.

When Should the Patient Avoid Apple Cider Vinegar?

Apple cider vinegar should not be consumed in large amounts because it can cause stomach upset. People must avoid brushing their teeth immediately after consuming it. In addition, it must not be inhaled or consumed immediately after food. Also, people must drink apple cider vinegar for half an hour before going to bed to prevent undue damage to the esophagus.

4.

Is It Alright for One to Consume Apple Cider Vinegar Daily?

Apple cider vinegar should be consumed in moderation which implies that one must drink it only once or twice daily. People who drink it excessively often experience a rapid decline in their potassium levels.

5.

Can Apple Cider Vinegar Affect a Person’s Blood Pressure?

Apple cider vinegar is known to positively impact blood pressure as it helps control a person’s blood pressure. Weight loss, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels can affect a person’s health in several ways; apple cider vinegar can help control high blood pressure.

6.

Can Apple Cider Vinegar Be Taken Along With Vitamin D?

Apple cider vinegar can interact with several drugs resulting in several side effects. In addition, studies report that it leaches out vitamin D from the bones and reduces bone density when taken for prolonged periods. So, people consuming apple cider vinegar must take vitamin D supplements to maintain bone health.

7.

What Are the Effects of Apple Cider Vinegar on the Liver?

Apple cider vinegar promotes detoxification to remove harmful bacteria and toxins from the liver that interfere with normal functions. Studies report that people who regularly take apple cider vinegar have low cholesterol levels and lose weight resulting in improved liver health.

8.

How Can a Person Safely Consume Apple Cider Vinegar?

Apple cider vinegar has amazing health benefits if consumed in the right amount and using the right method. The right way to consume the vinegar is to mix one to two tablespoons in a cup of water. Do not consume it undiluted because it increases the risk of throat and esophagus damage.

9.

Should Apple Cider Vinegar Be Taken in the Morning or at Night?

 
Apple cider vinegar should not be taken right after meals. Instead, the ideal time to drink the vinegar is before going to bed or before meals. In addition, it can also be taken in the morning. People who take it before bedtime have a positive impact on their blood glucose levels.

10.

How Is Apple Cider Vinegar Beneficial to the Kidneys and Liver?

Apple cider vinegar is equally beneficial to the kidneys and liver. It is a natural detox that helps flush out toxins, improves digestion, reduces cholesterol levels, and improves liver and kidney health. In addition, it alkalizes blood and urine, reducing the risk of kidney stones.

11.

Does Apple Cider Vinegar Have Anti-inflammatory Properties?

Apple cider vinegar is an effective antioxidant and has anti-inflammatory properties due to the presence of flavonoids. These flavonoids provide protection against heart diseases, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and cancer.
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Dr. Aishwarya Ilavarasan
Dr. Aishwarya Ilavarasan

Naturopathy

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