Fermented juice of crushed apples makes apple cider vinegar. It is acidic in nature and contains large quantities of acetic acid and citric acid along with other constituents like different vitamins such as vitamin B complex, vitamin C and minerals in small amounts.
Commercially available apple cider vinegar is used as a flavoring agent and in some cases as medicine also. However, these commercially available products vary extensively in their composition where the amount of acetic acid and citric acid lies in the range of 1 – 11% and 1-19% respectively. Certainly, these disparities in the composition of available apple cider vinegar products in the market will pose several adverse effects. Here we discuss some of the reported side effects of apple cider vinegar which one should be aware of prior to its use.
According to the medical experts, regular consumption of more than 8 ounce of apple cider vinegar may cause serious health issues due to its acidic constituents. Further pasteurization of vinegar depletes its micronutrients thereby transforming it into an acid without any nutrition.
Uncontrolled Blood Sugar
Apple cider vinegar has hypoglycemic property i.e it possesses the ability to decrease blood glucose levels. While it may be helpful for most of the diabetics, caution is needed in case of its administration in individuals with uncontrolled sugar levels, as a drop of blood glucose levels below the normal range can lead to serious outcomes. Severe fall in blood sugar level may affect proper brain functioning due to the deprivation of glucose which may result in severe headaches and seizures.
Due to high levels of citric acid present in apple cider vinegar, its prolonged use may irritate the throat and esophagus. However, this can be easily overcome by the use diluted vinegar and by reducing its intake.
Acidic constituents of apple cider vinegar can irritate sensitive tissues like stomach cell lining which may cause stomach upset as well as nausea. Further, direct application of undiluted apple cider vinegar on the skin can result in skin rashes and redness thereby making it vulnerable for acne and dull skin. Hence, it is advised to re-formulate the apple cider vinegar with the proper amount of honey, water or any non-citrus fruit before using it for skin. Also, it is always recommended to go for a skin sensitivity test prior to its cosmetic application, as a sensitive skin is more damage prone.
Tooth Enamel damage
If you consume a high amount of apple cider vinegar without dilution, it may result in tooth enamel erosion. Oral intake of apple cider vinegar not only gives a pale texture to your teeth but also makes your teeth more sensitive. It is strictly advised by dentists to avoid any direct contact of apple cider vinegar with teeth. You should always brush and floss your teeth well after oral consumption of apple cider vinegar to remove any traces of acid from teeth.
Reduce potassium level
Excessive consumption of apple cider vinegar reduces the potassium levels in the blood thereby affecting the bone mineral density. So it’s a high alert specifically for women to double check the utility of apple cider vinegar as they are more vulnerable for osteoporosis progression.
Hinder drug reactions
Pertaining to its acidic composition, apple cider vinegar has a greater affinity to interact with several drugs including laxatives, diuretics, and insulin. Apple cider vinegar is reported to impose a direct effect on synthetic insulin administered to the diabetic patients and disturb its functioning. Further, due to its hypoglycemic potential as also mentioned previously chances are prevalent that it may cause additional glucose lowering in conjunction with insulin which may disturb the glucose levels.
Apple cider vinegar may also affect the blood pressure of diabetic patients by altering potassium content which may again be hazardous. Moreover, patients on medications for decreasing potassium levels in the body like chlorothiazide, chlorthalidone etc. should specifically avoid apple cider vinegar, as it further lowers the potassium content which will be highly fatal. In-extension, in lieu of the good detoxification capability of apple cider vinegar it may result in excessive urination in diabetic patients which already suffers from polyuria (The tendency of frequent urination).
Although apple cider vinegar has been stated for its anti-dandruff action, its excessive use can cause hair damage by making your hair thin and brittle.
- Person suffering from diabetes and are on anti-diabetic medications should strictly use apple cider vinegar after consultation with physician.
- Pregnant women and nursing mother should cautiously use apple cider vinegar. It is casually recommended to avoid highly acidic or alkaline food during this time period.
- Patients with osteoporosis and low potassium levels as well as those on medications for these disabilities should take extra precautions in the consumption of apple cider vinegar as it may further deteriorate their clinical condition.
- To avoid local irritations, it is always recommended to consume diluted apple cider vinegar in an appropriate formulation for shorter time period.
- It is recommended to go ahead for organic and unpasteurized apple cider vinegar to avail its health benefits.