Apple Cider Vinegar: Benefits, Effects, Consumption
Vinegar; It is a liquid food that can be produced from fermentable carbohydrate source products such as apples, pears, grapes, grains, molasses, sorghum, strawberries, melons, potatoes, beets and maple syrup.
Vinegar; It is a liquid food that can be produced from products that are fermentable carbohydrate sources such as apples, pears, grapes, grains, molasses, sorghum, strawberries, melons, potatoes, beets and maple syrup. Vinegar has been used as a food preservative and spice for many years. Yeasts, which are effective organisms in the formation of vinegar, convert the carbohydrates (sugar) in the food into alcohol. Acetic acid bacteria convert the alcohol produced into acetic acid, the main component of vinegar. Some types of vinegar are particularly good sources of antioxidants. Typically, the antioxidant content of vinegar may be directly proportional to the dark color of the vinegar.
Apple cider vinegar is one of the most common types of vinegar obtained by fermenting apples. Winter apples, which have a high sugar content, are suitable for vinegar. Raw and sour apples are not preferred for vinegar. Apple cider vinegar is used as a sweetener and preservative in different cultures. In addition, it contains bioactive compounds that are beneficial to human health. Gallic acid, catechin, caffeic acid and ferulic acid can be counted among polyphenols known as bioactive compounds. Apple cider vinegar contains certain amounts of calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium minerals; It contains vitamins C, thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), pyridoxine (B6), biotin (B7), folic acid (B9). Apart from vitamins and minerals, apple cider vinegar contains amino acids and non-volatile organic acids (tartaric, citric, malic, lactic acid). In addition to being used as an antibacterial and antioxidant in traditional medicine, vinegar is thought to have properties such as lowering blood pressure, regulating nutrient metabolism and reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
What are the Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar?
Apple cider vinegar is a preferred food for the treatment of many problems because it contains compounds beneficial to health. It has been used globally for centuries to treat various diseases under the name of traditional medicine. Although there are no comprehensive studies on apple cider vinegar, some studies point to its various benefits. The most common known benefits of apple cider vinegar can be listed as follows:
- Blood sugar control: Some studies show that acetic acid and vinegar suppress blood sugar and insulin levels. Apple cider vinegar may be preferred in regulating hyperglycemia (increase in blood sugar) that occurs after meals. It can be said that the acetic acid found in apple cider vinegar has antiglycemic properties. Additionally, acetic acid can slow the rate of stomach emptying and reduce blood sugar and insulin after starchy foods.
- Cholesterol regulation: Studies report that apple cider vinegar causes a decrease in total cholesterol levels in the blood. It may contribute to increasing HDL cholesterol, known as good cholesterol, and decreasing blood triglyceride (lipid) levels.
- Weight control: Short-term studies show greater weight loss in individuals consuming apple cider vinegar compared to those on a low-calorie diet. However, more studies are needed regarding apple cider vinegar and weight loss.
Phenolic compounds present in vinegar may act as immune support against cancer formation due to their antioxidant, antitumor and anticarcinogenic properties. Polyphenols produced in plants may be effective against oxidative stress that causes damage to the body and are found in certain amounts in vinegar. Additionally, ferulic acid, caffeic acid and vanillic acids found in vinegar are shown to have antibacterial, antivirus and antipyretic effects. However, all kinds of vinegar can be used in traditional medicine as an antipyretic, anti-dandruff, and therapeutic for digestive disorders and acne problems. It can be mixed with various foods and used in the treatment of cold and cough (2, 4).
How to Consume Apple Cider Vinegar?
Apple cider vinegar is widely used in cooking sauces, casseroles and salad dressings. It can be consumed cold or warm/hot depending on preference. If you drink apple cider vinegar, diluting it with water can prevent possible discomfort. It can be used diluted with water to aid digestion and support weight loss. It can be preferred as a sauce for pickles and vegetables. It can be added to raw or cooked vegetables, as well as to salad dressings. Using apple cider vinegar to make bone broth can help vitamins and minerals pass from bones to water.
Since the acetic acid found in apple cider vinegar has an antibacterial effect, it can be used in the treatment of bad breath and tooth decay. You can gargle warm or room temperature apple cider vinegar by mixing it with water. Additionally, it may be effective in controlling oral fungi by having an antifungal effect. It can help clean and whiten teeth and relieve the pain of tooth decay. Additionally, apple cider vinegar can help revitalize the scalp and provide shine. It can contribute to removing excess oil from the face and balancing skin pH. It can help prevent acne formation with its antibacterial properties. Apple cider vinegar and water can be applied to relieve foot and nail fungi. It is important that the dose of apple cider vinegar used is limited and diluted with water. In case of hair and skin diseases, it is recommended to consult a doctor before using apple cider vinegar. The important thing to consider when using apple cider vinegar is the dilution process. It may cause irritation to teeth, digestive system, skin and hair applications. Additionally, small amounts of vinegar can be applied to the skin to test whether there is an allergy to apple cider vinegar.
In addition to food and topical application areas, apple cider vinegar can be preferred as a household cleaning product. It can be used as a cleaner by mixing with water, essential oils and baking soda (2, 5).
How Much Apple Cider Vinegar Should Be Consumed?
There are no official dosage recommendations for apple cider vinegar. However, there are general recommended amounts according to studies. 1-2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar daily may be recommended for weight control, blood sugar and cholesterol regulation, and treatment of other disorders. It is recommended to dilute apple cider vinegar with warm water. Apple cider vinegar, which has a high acid content, can be consumed daily when it does not cause side effects. In the presence of reflux, 1-2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar may be sufficient. Diluting apple cider vinegar with water can prevent reflux from being triggered. In addition, if you have regular medications, you should consult a doctor before consuming apple cider vinegar (2).
What are the Side Effects of Apple Cider Vinegar?
Apple cider vinegar may have beneficial health effects when used within safe ranges. However, excessive doses of apple cider vinegar may cause some side effects and interactions. Therefore, it is important to consume vinegar in recommended amounts daily and dilute it with water. Undiluted vinegar can damage tooth enamel when consumed repeatedly. However, due to its high acidity, apple cider vinegar consumed undiluted and in large quantities may irritate the esophagus. It may cause nausea and indigestion in some people. It is not recommended to drink apple cider vinegar, especially on an empty stomach. Since apple cider vinegar has effects on blood sugar and insulin, excessive use is not recommended in people with blood sugar imbalances or diabetes. High doses of vinegar can cause blood sugar fluctuations.
Apple cider vinegar, in particular, can interact with some types of medications, decreasing or increasing the effectiveness of the medication. These medications may include diuretics, laxatives, and insulin medications. Apple cider vinegar may increase the effectiveness of medications and cause life-threatening risks. High doses of apple cider vinegar are not recommended as it may cause low blood sugar in people using diabetes medications and insulin. Diuretics used to treat hypertension may lower potassium levels. For these individuals, limited consumption of apple cider vinegar is critical. Apple cider vinegar is not recommended for individuals with low potassium levels (hypokalemia). This is because an overdose of apple cider vinegar can lower blood potassium levels. It is also recommended that people with kidney diseases consume apple cider vinegar in limited amounts (2, 3, 6).
Consuming apple cider vinegar unconsciously in individuals with comorbidities may cause harm rather than benefit. Therefore, you can immediately make an appointment for an examination with our specialist physicians for correct guidance.