8 Things That Happen To Your Body When You Take Apple Cider Vinegar Every Day
Apple cider vinegar has been used for centuries. It is made from treating apples with yeast and then with bacteria. Apple cider vinegar is a versatile ingredient in recipes as well as a common home remedy and cleaning agent.
Since it is considered a weak acid, apple cider vinegar can be both useful and harmful, depending on how it’s used. And there’s no harm in ingesting it in small amounts or using it as a topical treatment, but there are definite upsides and downsides to using apple cider vinegar on a regular basis. Here are eight things that happen when you take apple cider vinegar every day.
Pro: You may lose weight
One of the most popular uses for apple cider vinegar has to do with weight management. There’s just enough sweetness in it to curb sugar cravings, and it also leads to a feeling of fullness.
Both of these qualities can be very useful in tandem with a weight loss regimen. Some traditional medical sources claim that apple cider vinegar itself can melt pounds away, but scientific studies dispute that.
Con: You may develop stomach issues
On the other hand, apple cider vinegar is still an acid. If you have stomach issues like acid reflux, you may harm your throat and digestive tract by introducing more acid.
Also, apple cider vinegar can slow down your stomach’s response system, so food does not quickly move into the intestines. This reduces the rate at which nutrients from food are absorbed into the body.
Such a delay can be a serious problem for people with gastro-intestinal issues. So if you are already having stomach issues, apple cider vinegar may exacerbate them.
Pro: You may help manage diabetes
Diabetes is a condition where the body does not regulate blood sugar correctly. We’ve already seen how apple cider vinegar affects cravings and hunger. And food is a vital ally in the battle against diabetes.
Fortunately, apple cider vinegar has been shown to increase insulin sensitivity in some studies. This means that blood sugar levels seem to be lower after taking a small dose of apple cider vinegar. But more research is needed on the effect of apple cider vinegar on blood sugar.
If you have diabetes or are taking blood-sugar-lowering medications, consult your doctor before adding apple cider vinegar to your diet.
Con: You may worsen gastroparesis
One study found that taking two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar (diluted in water) significantly increased the amount of time that food stayed in the stomach. So, people with gastroparesis should probably avoid apple cider vinegar.
Gastroparesis is a stomach illness common in type 1 diabetics that causes the stomach nerves to malfunction. The stomach is prevented from transferring food to the intestines, resulting in slower nutrient absorption.
The problem is that managing type 1 diabetes has a lot to do with food and insulin. To keep a steady blood sugar level, food has to be timed with insulin intake. If the stomach does not send food into the bowels promptly, the timing is off, causing an insulin spike or crater. Therefore, it’s wise to consult the doctor treating your diabetes before adding apple cider vinegar to your diet.
Pro: You may get healthier skin
Apple cider vinegar is also used as a topical treatment for dry skin. Since skin is naturally acidic, even if only slightly, often it is damaged by alkaline cleaning products like soap. But using a little apple cider vinegar has been shown to replenish the skin’s moisture and reverse the damage.
Because of this, sufferers of the skin disease eczema have used apple cider vinegar to treat their symptoms for decades. Some people even claim it can be used to clear up acne.
But since it is an acid, it’s not recommended to take apple cider vinegar soaks or use it as a face wash. A little goes a long way, so you should dilute apple cider vinegar before using it topically.
Con: You may develop problems with your teeth
Another use for apple cider vinegar is as a mouthwash for bad breath, and it works to clean out the mouth. However, this can come at the expense of the teeth. Apple cider vinegar can damage tooth enamel, which leads to decay and tooth loss.
Normally, saliva can neutralize acids in the mouth and protect the teeth, so it’s a small but calculated risk. If you do decide to use apple cider vinegar as a mouthwash or gargle, diluting it to one part vinegar to 10 parts water will reduce the risk.
Pro: You may lower your cholesterol levels
Heart disease is a major cause of death throughout the world. High cholesterol levels contribute to this by clogging arteries and slowing blood flow. There have been a few animal studies that show apple cider vinegar lowers levels triglycerides and cholesterol in the bloodstream.
This is because apples (and cider) contain pectin, a dietary fiber. This helps clean out the blood stream of fatty acids, which can build up into blockages if not dealt with. Consequently, more human studies need to be done to confirm that apple cider vinegar can treat bad cholesterol.
Con: You may develop osteoporosis
Too much of a good thing is a bad thing, and one woman learned this the hard way.
A 1998 study on a 28-year-old woman who consumed eight ounces of apple cider vinegar daily for six years developed serious consequences to her health, including osteoporosis at an unusually young age.
Doctors believe such large amounts of apple cider vinegar raised the acidity levels of her blood, leading her body to leach minerals from her bones to correct the balance.
If you are going to take apple cider vinegar, it’s important to do so at safe levels. Limit your intake to a maximum of two tablespoons (30 mL) per day and consult your doctor before adding apple cider vinegar to your diet.