What is Apple Cider Vinegar
Many people know of vinegar for cooking or even household cleaning (bringing things up nice and clean!) It is also becoming increasingly popular for health benefits and ever more so in the past few years. The most popular vinegar as a natural health remedy is Apple Cider Vinegar which is extracted from fermented apple. Apple Cider Vinegar is made by mixing yeast with Apple and fermenting it.
This article briefly takes a look at some of the health claims of apple cider vinegar before making you aware of the side effects that come with consuming too much of it. The article finishes with information on where to buy it and how best to consume it.
As it is packed full of vitamins and minerals, some of the claimed health benefits include fighting bacteria, lowering blood sugar levels and cholesterol, weight loss and improving diabetes symptoms. It is often praised as a ‘cure-all’ remedy for men and women of all ages. It is also said to help skin and hair and is sometimes added to face and hair masks (especially for shiny locks). Many people use apple cider vinegar as a part of a body detox plan, to rid the body of toxins and cleanse it.
Most people include it into their diets in salad dressings or added to homemade sauces such as mayonnaise. It can also be diluted and added to drinks, as well as taken in pill form.
How much Apple Cider Vinegar should I drink Per Day
The recommended daily usage is usually around 1-2 teaspoons or 5-10ml up to a maximum of 1-2 tablespoons or 15-30ml. The exact dose depends on the needs of the individual, including age, sex, body mass index (BMI) and health issues. If unsure about what you should be taking, consult a medical professional. That short consultation can make a huge difference. Doses can be diluted (usually with water and honey) and it is advised to drink via a straw to avoid dental issues (enamel corrosion as we will discuss later on in the article).
Excessive consumption of apple cider vinegar can have negative consequences. Like most things, exceeding the recommended daily allowance is a no no! Too much of anything is a bad thing, as they say.
Side effects of apple cider vinegar?
Apple Cider Vinegar has multiple side Effects when taken in large doses.
- Reaction to other drugs: Apple Cider Vinegar is highly acidic on the ph. scale. As such, it can react negatively with certain drugs as it doesn’t mix well. Some of these drugs include insulin (used by diabetics) and laxatives (used to cure constipation). If you have diabetes or take prescribed blood pressure medication, it is important to consult your GP before consuming apple cider vinegar to ensure the mix is safe and to find out what dosage is best for you as an individual. A healthcare professional can advise you and answer any questions or concerns that you might have. If you do react in a negative way to apple cider vinegar or believe it is reacting negatively to other drugs that you take, seek medical attention straight away and cease using it.
- Tissue damage:
Apple Cider Vinegar can come in tablet form, but they come with warnings (or at least question marks over their effectiveness). Whichever way you decide to consume it – tablet or liquid form, too much can actually be corrosive to your body and insides, due to the high acid. This can cause damage to your body tissue. Human body tissue is basically what makes up our vital organs and other parts of the body and includes muscle. When consumed, apple cider vinegar it can be overly harsh on body tissue, including affecting the esophagus and stomach lining. These cause breathing and digestion problems if you take too much and can be worrying. Apple cider vinegar should be diluted when using directly on the skin because pure apple cider vinegar can be too harsh and cause a reaction to skin tissue (irritability). If any problems exist, reduce the dosage you take daily, take less often or dilute the vinegar with water, a juice or some honey.
- Digestive Issues:
Another side effect of too much apple cider vinegar is gastrointestinal problems such as heartburn, indigestion and diarrhea. Many people use apple cider vinegar as a cleansing aide or to detox their body, but consuming too much can cause all kinds of digestive issues and have the opposite effect. Acidity can trigger conditions such as heartburn which can be very uncomfortable and painful. If you experience any side effects, cease use or reduce the dose rather than simply using indigestion or heartburn medication to mask it. It is important to get to the cause of gastro issues.
- Decreased bone mineral density:
Excessive consumption of apple cider vinegar can make our bones brittle as it reduces the bone mineral density and weakens them. Weak or brittle bones are especially dangerous for people suffering from osteoporosis. If you have this, it is important to have low (or no) daily dose of apple cider vinegar or to seek medical advice. Another way to use apple cider vinegar is topically (rather than consuming it, which is safer and doesn’t affect the bones in the same way. Apple cider vinegar is often used to rid our bodies of toxins, but in the process, it can sometimes flush out important minerals such as those needed for strong bones. Diluting or reducing your dose or the frequency you consume it can usually do the trick.
- Damages teeth:
In much the same way that any high acidic food or drink can, apple cider vinegar can damage the tooth’s enamel when you take it by mouth. This can not only give teeth a stained yellow tinge, but it can actually erode the enamel and cause irreversible damage to the tooth. It is advised to take apple cider vinegar via a straw to prevent this from happening and to brush your teeth or use a mouthwash after you take it.
- Low Potassium & Bone Loss:
The high acid in apple cider vinegar can cause low blood potassium levels. Potassium is important for the body organs. Low potassium levels are associated with heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, arthritis, digestive problems, infertility and even cancer. Too little potassium can also cause hypokalemia, a condition that can result in cramping and nausea, weakness and dizziness or more seriously disturbed heart rhythms and even paralysis. Again, used topically it is safer than consuming it orally.
- Low body mineral levels:
Detoxing our body is often something that health guides praise and recommend. Flushing toxins from the body are beneficial in many ways, for our organ function and many other reasons. However, as well as toxins, too much apple cider vinegar can flush out the things we need to be holding on to such as essential nutrients (minerals). Low mineral levels in the body can have damaging effects on our health. It can be reduced by eating certain fruits (such as banana) or taking vitamin and mineral supplements (a multi supplement is the best option).
- Skin Burns & Acne:
Most people use apple cider vinegar as part of a detox programme. It is a great way to rid the body of nasty toxins that can be bad for your skin, hair, nails, organ function and overall health and wellbeing. On the contrary, it can also be harmful to the skin by causing a reaction and irritation that leads to acne. Make sure you use diluted apple cider vinegar if you have sensitive skin or are prone to acne outbreaks. It can be diluted in water or with honey (but not lemon or carbonated drinks that are acidic).
- Throat soreness:
It is that acidity again! High acid levels in apple cider vinegar can irritate the lining of the throat causing sore throats. Diluted with water means it is easier to swallow (quite literally) but if you are prone to throat infections, it is best to steer clear of this particular health remedy.
- Pregnancy and Breastfeeding:
Apple cider vinegar is best avoided for pregnant women and lactating mothers. This is because the effects of apple cider vinegar can be quite strong due, again, to the high acidity.
- Low Blood Sugar:
Too much apple cider vinegar can lower the bodies blood sugar levels in the body because of the anti-glycemic effect it has on the blood. Very high doses can even cut off the supply of glucose to the brain (hypoglycemia) which can be very serious. While it is useful for diabetics, it is important to ask your doctor for advice, especially as too much can even be fatal in this instance.
Excessive consumption of apple cider vinegar can lead to painful headaches because of the body doing a detox process (ridding the body of toxins). Many people who take on a detox expect headaches, but should the pain be serious or it lead to dizziness or unconsciousness, get medical assistance straight away. The way to reduce the toxins reaching the brain and causing headaches is to dilute your dose and to consume in the morning before anything else. Also, drink lots of water and hydrate.
Headaches plus the general way in which apple cider vinegar can detox and cleanse the body can cause feelings of nausea (sickness). These are usually mild and will pass but if they persist, it is important to get checked over by a medical professional.
So, there we have it, while apple cider vinegar is often branded a miracle health cure for all kinds of ailments, too much can be damaging in lots of different ways. As with anything consumed, natural or not, it is important to do your research first and if you have any medical questions – ask the professionals. Everybody is different and as such, everybody reacts to things in different ways.
Where to Buy Apple Cider Vinegar & identify which is the best
One of the key things to consider when choosing an apple cider vinegar is the quality. Organic is best (as always). You can find apple cider vinegar in most health stores, cooking departments and food stores. It is also readily available online. It is important to read the description or label carefully before purchasing and not necessarily to choose the cheapest on the market. If there are no organic products available, look for the next best thing – one that is unfiltered or unheated (so that it has living organisms in it that do the healing process!) Before consuming organic or unfiltered apple cider vinegar, give the bottle a good shake to mix up the bits.
Apple Cider Vinegar Detox Drink Recipe
A simple apple cider vinegar detox recipe includes 12 ounces of water, 4 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar (maximum daily limit), 2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon, 4 tablespoons of lemon juice, a pinch of cayenne pepper and is mixed together and served with ice. This is one way to get your apple cider vinegar into your diet and help cleanse the body. If you notice any side effects, reduce the amount of apple cider vinegar or stop taking it entirely.
How to Take Apple Cider Vinegar
As we’ve mentioned, apple cider vinegar can be applied topically as an ointment wiped on to an area of skin (best to use this diluted). It can also be consumed as a drink, orally. It is best consumed with juice or water. If it is added to caffeine based products such as tea and coffee, it can mess with the absorption and stop t from working. The same goes for carbonated (fizzy) drinks, where the high acid levels do not mix well with the high acidity levels of apple cider vinegar. Most people consume apple cider vinegar as a dressing (just like balsamic vinegar) to salads or pasta dishes. There are supplement pills available, though some people believe more research is needed on the effectiveness of these. It can be consumed as part of a health or detox cocktail such as the one set out in the previous paragraph. It is best consumed first thing in the morning on an empty stomach – however if you suffer from gastro / digestive problems, take it with food.
Apple cider vinegar has many reported health benefits and when you are aware of the potential side effects that over consumption can cause, it is a beneficial and natural remedy to include in your lifestyle.
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