Apple cider vinegar: uses, benefits and risks
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is a popular and versatile product. It is a potent home remedy that has antimicrobial and antioxidant effects. ACV is an acidic substance that helps to promote weight loss and aids digestion.
It can also be used as a preservative, to add flavour and can even be used as a natural alternative to commercial cleaning products.
What are the benefits?
It is good for:
- Weight loss: ACV has few calories and can help to support weight loss by controlling food cravings and appetite. Taking ACV alone will not change your body weight, however, if paired with regular exercise and a healthy diet it can be effective.
- Varicose veins: It can help to support varicose veins, aka ‘spider veins’, by cleansing the body of toxins and improving blood flow and circulation. These unsightly veins can appear anywhere from the ankles upward. They are often itchy, painful and can be disfiguring. However, they are usually harmless and do not necessarily indicate any other health problems.
- Controlling harmful bacteria and fungi: This vinegar can kill or suppress many types of bacteria and viruses. It is useful in the treatment of ear infections, warts, nail fungus and has also been used to treat certain skin infections and sunburn.
- Controlling blood sugar levels: Many scientific studies in humans and animals have shown that vinegar improves insulin function and lowers blood sugar levels after eating.
Are there any risks?
Consuming too much ACV can:
- Damage the enamel on your teeth.
- Make you feel nauseas.
- Cause acid reflux.
- Alter your insulin levels.
- Lower potassium levels (which can lead to weakness, constipation, nausea, muscle cramps and irregular heart rhythms).
- Overwork your kidneys (of particular concern for people with kidney problems).
This vinegar should not be used as a replacement for medical treatment however, it can be helpful in certain situations if used appropriately. For example, if a person has high blood pressure or diabetes ACV might be useful as an alternative treatment.
However, you should still continue to follow the instructions from your doctor concerning the management of these types of health conditions.
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