7 precautions to take with apple cider vinegar

Presse Santé

Apple cider vinegar has earned a reputation as a cure-all, with proponents claiming it can help with everything from weight loss to reducing cancer risk, according to research.
It’s affordable and accessible, making it easy for most people to try.

Apple cider vinegar is made from fermented apples. The fermentation process converts the sugars in apples into alcohol, which is then converted by bacteria into acetic acid. It is the acetic acid and its nutritional profile that gives this vinegar its reputation as a healthy product. There are some limits to this belief.

Apple cider vinegar also comes with some health precautions. Apple cider vinegar is not safe for everyone, especially when consumed at full strength.
It’s best to stick to a 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon serving if eaten. And be sure to dilute it first. If you have sensitive skin, you should be careful when applying apple cider vinegar topically, which some people do to take advantage of its potential skin benefits. People with diabetes should also approach apple cider vinegar with caution and refrain from using it as a primary treatment.

If you are in good health and have not had a negative reaction in the past, you may decide to give apple cider vinegar a try. Watch for these negative side effects:

1. Increases the risk of hypoglycemia when used with insulin

You’ve probably heard that apple cider vinegar is a health boon for people with type 2 diabetes, as it can help lower blood sugar. In fact, a 2018 review noted that several small studies suggest that vinegar, including that from fermented apples, may have a place in treating diabetes, pending further study. At least for now, the effects of vinegar on blood sugar are statistically very small.

People with type 1 diabetes (and people with type 2 diabetes who take insulin), on the other hand, would do well to approach apple cider vinegar with caution. A small study found that taking vinegar daily decreased the rate of gastric emptying in patients with insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus and diabetic gastroparesis. Delayed gastric emptying can make it harder to control your blood sugar, which can lead to more episodes of hypoglycemia. Whatever type of diabetes you have, talk to your team
taking care if you want to add apple cider vinegar to your diet.

2. Stomach problems, especially for people with gastroparesis

The purported appetite-regulating effect of apple cider vinegar stems from the fact that apple cider vinegar slows down the emptying process of the stomach. That’s fine if you’re trying to prolong feeling full and eat fewer calories throughout the day, but not if you have gastroparesis, a condition that occurs when your stomach can’t empty normally. This problem often occurs in people who have lived with diabetes for several years. It is especially important for people with diabetes and gastroparesis to regularly monitor their blood sugar level when consuming vinegar. This is one more reason to consult your doctor if you are considering using apple cider vinegar in your diabetes management plan.

3. Heartburn

Because apple cider vinegar is very acidic, it can cause throat irritation. In an extreme example, it could even cause a burn to the esophagus. One study described what happened when an apple cider vinegar tablet was stuck in a woman’s throat for about half an hour, causing pain, difficulty swallowing, and possibly even injury to the esophagus. The study authors concluded that apple cider vinegar may be responsible for acid burns. Although the frequency of these episodes is unclear, many experts still recommend diluting apple cider vinegar in water before drinking. It is an acid and can damage the lining of the esophagus if taken directly as an injection.

4. Interactions with other drugs

Taking apple cider vinegar can interfere with certain medications. Specifically, it could affect those who take diuretics, laxatives, and insulin. It’s a good idea to talk to your doctor or pharmacist before taking apple cider vinegar to make sure you’re not experiencing any problems.

5. Reduced Potassium Levels

Consuming large amounts of apple cider vinegar can cause potassium levels to drop, which can cause weakness and fatigue, constipation, muscle cramps, or irregular heartbeat. This is especially concerning for people who also take medications that also lower potassium levels, such as diuretics that treat high blood pressure.

6. Tooth erosion

Vinegar is very acidic. It can seriously damage tooth enamel. For this reason, many experts are wary of apple cider vinegar, and even those who believe in it suggest diluting it first and never drinking it straight. A study published in 2014 noted that acidic diets can lead to dental erosion. Eroded tooth enamel can make your teeth more sensitive over time. Again, a diluted form of apple cider vinegar should help. To protect your teeth, rinse your mouth with clean water immediately afterwards.

7. Chemical burn on the skin

Apple cider vinegar is sometimes applied topically to the skin and used as a toner. Some people use it as a home remedy and credit it for making skin problems like acne and signs of aging disappear. Before you consider apple cider vinegar as the secret to skin lightening, keep in mind that it carries a risk of irritation.

* Presse Santé strives to transmit health knowledge in a language accessible to all. In NO CASE, the information provided can not replace the advice of a health professional.

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