Regular drinking of apple cider vinegar has become a popular health trend, with a number of positive health effects. A normal dose is about 1 – 2 tablespoons (15 – 30ml) diluted with water taken before or after meals.
What is apple cider vinegar?
Apple cider vinegar comprises mostly of apple juice. Adding some yeast ferments sugar in the apple juice into alcohol, after which bacteria found in the alcohol turns it into acetic acid which is the main active ingredient in vinegar, hence the strong flavour and sour taste. So basically, apple cider vinegar is a drink extracted from fermented apple juice.
Vinegar is used in baking, cooking, salad dressings and as a preservative. As vinegar has a high acidity level, drinking vinegar in its natural undiluted form is strongly discouraged.
Some benefits of drinking apple cider vinegar
Research shows this mixture can help with:
- weight loss
- improve blood sugar levels
- provide relief from indigestion
- reduce belly fat
- reduce cholesterol
- improve symptoms of PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome) in women
Some side effects of apple cider vinegar
There are also downsides to drinking apple cider vinegar that affect certain people, of which few are aware of, some of which are covered in today’s health article.
As mentioned earlier on in this article, apple cider vinegar is acidic. This acidity can cause dental problems such as tooth decay, as it eats away at the enamel of your teeth. Tooth decay caused by regular drinking of undiluted apple cider vinegar happens over a period of time.
People may not realize the damage as their tooth enamel slowly becomes eroded, until the tooth or teeth show the following symptoms:
- dull ache
- sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures
- sensitivity to sweet or salty food
Eroded teeth easily develop cavities that will require fillings.
Drinking apple cider vinegar is recommended as an aid to natural weight loss. Medical research shows it slows down digestion, hence it acts like a suppressant by making a person feel full for a longer period of time.
Medical research has found a downside to keeping food in the stomach longer than necessary is it can cause side effects such as nausea and indigestion. Drinking undiluted apple cider vinegar has been found to worsen pre-existing symptoms in people having digestive issues like acid reflux or stomach ulcers.
Blood sugar regulation (diabetes):
Ongoing research has found consuming a drink with vinegar content can affect the body’s regulation of its blood sugar levels, which can be a matter of concern for people suffering from diabetes. A person with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes must consult his or her medical practitioner before attempting to include apple cider vinegar into their diet.
Hypokalemia (low potassium):
Doctors have come across reports of apple cider vinegar either causing or worsening low potassium levels. Potassium is an important mineral the body needs, as it is critical for the proper functioning of nerves and muscle cells, especially the heart muscle cells.
Mild hypokalemia may not have any noticeable symptoms. Moderate or severe hypokalemia can cause muscle weakness. This is very serious if the heart muscles or lung muscles are affected, where immediate medical attention should be sought.
Drinking apple cider vinegar over a long period of time has been linked to bone loss, since potassium on the bones can be stripped off by the acid.
Some beauty treatments incorporate applications of undiluted apple cider vinegar directly on the skin, especially for removal of moles. This can cause chemical burns and irritations, which may leave permanent scarring on the skin.
These are some of the general side effects of drinking apple cider vinegar, and should in no way be taken as medical advice. Readers are advised to consult a medical practitioner for proper advice on drinking apple cider vinegar, especially if they have any underlying medical issues or where certain medications may react with apple cider vinegar.
10th July 19:50 2020