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Apple cider vinegar, properties, benefits and warnings of this highly appreciated condiment

April 23, 2023
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Apple cider vinegar, properties, benefits and warnings of this highly appreciated condiment

Apple cider vinegar has an antimicrobial, antioxidant, antidiabetic and cardioprotective action, capable of counteracting high levels of cholesterol, triglycerides and blood sugar, it helps dissolve dental plaque and fights gingivitis

Apple cider vinegar is one of the best known and most used types of vinegar in the world. Apple cider vinegar is obtained by fermenting cider or apple must and the result is a very popular dressing for salads and side dishes. Apple cider vinegar enriches the dishes to which it is added not only with sweet and delicate notes but also with interesting healthy properties. Today we are talking about the benefits of apple cider vinegar for health, based on the most interesting scientific studies.

Apple cider vinegar, nutrients

Apple cider vinegar contains antioxidants, such as gallic, caffeic and ferulic acids and catechins (Hadi et al, BMC Complement Med Ther, 2021). Not only that, apple cider vinegar provides vitamins, such as vitamin C and vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6 and B8, important for energy production, digestion and blood circulation, folic acid and mineral salts, such as potassium, phosphorus, calcium, iron and magnesium (Asaad et al, Cureus, 2022). These substances, together with acetic acid, contained in a percentage that is around 5%, give apple cider vinegar important antimicrobial, antioxidant, anticancer and antidiabetic properties, even capable of counteracting hypertension (Sirotkin et al, HSPC , 2021).

Apple cider vinegar, cholesterol, triglycerides and blood sugar

The intake of apple cider vinegar helps to reduce the values of total cholesterol and triglycerides. Scientists attribute this effect to the ability of apple cider vinegar to stimulate the process of breaking down fats and the production and excretion of bile, with which excess cholesterol is also eliminated. The greatest effects were observed in people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and after taking apple cider vinegar for at least 2 months. In people with normal blood sugar and without a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes, however, the observed results were an increase in good HDL cholesterol following the intake of apple cider vinegar (Hadi et al, BMC Complement Med Ther, 2021). As far as blood sugar is concerned, apple cider vinegar has been shown to improve the values of circulating sugars through a multiple action. On the one hand, in fact, apple cider vinegar increases the use of glucose by the cells, on the other it improves the secretion of insulin and reduces the production of glucose by the liver. Also in this case the greatest benefits were observed after at least 2 months of intake and in people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes (Hadi et al, BMC Complement Med Ther, 2021).

Apple cider vinegar and dental health

Apple cider vinegar is antimicrobial and helps counteract the accumulation of dental plaque. Rinsing the mouth with a solution containing 5% apple cider vinegar has been shown to counteract and dissolve existing dental plaque and improve gum health (Asaad et al, Cureus, 2022). But be careful not to abuse the properties of vinegar. Apple cider vinegar contains acetic acid which is considered responsible for the erosion of tooth enamel. However, this effect has only been observed in the case of a massive intake of apple cider vinegar, more than one pure glass per day (Asaad et al, Cureus, 2022).

Apple cider vinegar, intake and warnings

The greatest health effects are observed when apple cider vinegar is taken in a dose of 15 ml per day, about 3 teaspoons added, for example, in salad dressing (Hadi et al, BMC Complement Med Ther, 2021). In general, apple cider vinegar is considered safe and well tolerated even if, in rare cases and only when the doses are excessive, some undesirable effects have been observed, such as heartburn and irritation of the throat and gastric tract (Hadi et al, BMC Complement Med Ther, 2021). Since apple cider vinegar is considered capable of counteracting obesity, people often follow methods of dubious origin to lose weight and resort to exaggerated, and we add harmful, quantities of apple cider vinegar, arriving to take even more than one glass a day of this condiment. Such large quantities can damage the teeth, cause a reduction in potassium values, with consequences such as nausea, increased risk of diabetes, constipation, osteoporosis, heart rhythm abnormalities and tiredness. Not only that, acetic acid, when taken in excessive quantities, can interact with some drugs, such as insulin and diuretics (Sirotkin et al, HSPC, 2021). It goes without saying that apple cider vinegar is therefore beneficial if used in moderation, as a condiment, in a varied and balanced diet and that any excessive use to seek a hypothetical ideal body weight is to be discouraged and avoided. It should be added that the use of apple cider vinegar to lose weight has in any case led to modest results and that the volunteers in the studies followed a restricted calorie diet and an active life (Khezri et al, Journal of Functional Foods, 2018).

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