Healthy Living (Wellness & Prevention)

Apple Cider Vinegar - Benefits and Adverse Reactions

Written by
Dr. Divya Banu M
and medically reviewed by Dr. Aishwarya Ilavarasan

Published on Oct 15, 2019   -  3 min read

Abstract

Abstract

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

Apple Cider Vinegar - Benefits and Adverse Reactions

Vinegar that is prepared from fermented apple juice is called apple cider vinegar. The basic uses of it are dressing of salads, food preservatives, marinades, chutneys, etc. It is prepared by crushing the apples followed by squeezing out the juice and 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 bodyweight or maintain blood glucose and lipid levels.

Composition

It contains 94 % water and 1 % carbohydrates. It does not have fat or protein. As mentioned earlier, it is caloric and micronutrient contents are very less as explained by USDA nutrition table.

Preparation 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 water and sugar (honey) mixture so that the sugar supply for fermentation can be available. After the pieces are submerged, a breathable covering over it is placed for two weeks, followed by straining and finally storing for four weeks more till the vinegar is formed.

Benefits

Biological effects. It consists of a very less 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 procedure of preparation.

Bacteria killing properties. It has been used for disinfection, cleaning, treatment of nail fungus, lice, etc., as it has the property of killing harmful bacteria or pathogens. 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, you tend to eat fewer calories and ultimately, lose some weight. Studies have documented that apple cider vinegar can lower blood triglycerides, cholesterol and pressure. Thus, this will help in reducing the risk of having heart disease. Some in-vitro and animal studies have shown that it can slow the growth of cancer cells and shrink the tumors. Though still more human evidence is required.

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 like mouth, throat, stomach, and kidneys.

When the eye comes into contact with it, redness and irritation can be noticed, also, 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 precautious of not mixing it with chlorine bleach as the mixture can lead to the release of chlorine gas which can irritate eyes, nose, airway, and throat. If it is stinging then allow them to be as it is for another two weeks.

Adverse Reactions

People who are allergic to apple can face allergic reactions. Its topical use to treat disorders of skin can cause burns. It can cause drug interactions with various prescription drugs like

insulin or diuretics. Hence, before consuming it, consult your physician.

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 you have any medical history, consult your physician before consuming the same. Otherwise, also, 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 our home. So, it is always better to be informed about the eatables you are consuming.

Last reviewed at:
15 Oct 2019  -  3 min read

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