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This may seem a simple subject to cover but we need to get the basics right.

From time to time I receive questions about Apple Cider Vinegar from “Is is safe?” to responses about the recommended dilution.

I have used Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) for years but from time to time rather than regularly. A few times a month I gargle with a dilution of ACV and water, as I do with lemon juice and water. When I drink it, the dilution is with warm water and some honey. Warm rather than hot as honey and hot water do not go well together.

You’ll no doubt have read articles about the merits (and concerns) of ACV) over recent months claiming that it’s a magical elixir that can do just about anything, from fighting diabetes, improving digestion, lowering blood sugar, preventing heart attacks, clearing acne……as well as cleaning your house.

ACV is a vinegar made from apple cider that has been fermented. It contains acetic acid and lactic acid, as well as beneficial bacteria. It has been around for thousands of years and used in a variety health applications.

What people lose sight of is that ACV is highly acidic, the pH levels being between 2-3, the same as lemon juice. To put it in perspective the pH of battery acid is 1. If a substance has a pH less than 7, we should consider it acidic; above 7 is alkaline.

Lemon juice in its natural state is acidic but once metabolized it actually becomes alkaline with a pH well above 7. So outside the body, lemon juice is acidic. Once fully digested, its effect becomes alkalizing with a range of health benefits.

Let’s not forget, even the most seemingly wonderful things can have their drawbacks if not properly used.

The Merits (and Concerns) of Apple Cider Vinegar

So, let’s take a look at the potential dangers of ACV:

  • Acidic adventures: ACV may be acidic enough to strip the paint off your walls, but it can also wreak havoc on your pearly whites. Remember, excessive consumption could turn your dentist into your new best friend. If and when you gargle with it, dilute it first.
  • Tummy turmoil: The unlucky ones amongst us may experience a not-so-pleasant tango with their stomach after indulging in undiluted ACV. It’s like a roller coaster ride, but without the thrill or fun. So, unless you enjoy playing a game of gastrointestinal roulette, take it easy and start with small amounts.
  • Sweet sugar struggles: While ACV enthusiasts claim it can help manage blood sugar levels, let’s not forget that it can also be a mischievous troublemaker for those with diabetes. It may team up with any medication taken and send your blood sugar on a wild roller coaster ride. So, unless you’re aiming to set a record for the lowest blood sugar level, be cautious.
  • Potassium predicament: Being the potion it is, if you ingest too much ACV it can drain your body’s potassium levels. If you’re looking to avoid a slow dance with the hypokalemia monster (deficiency of potassium in the blood), take it easy, especially if you have kidney issues.
  • The medication maze: ACV can be a tricky little devil, especially when it comes to interacting with medications. So, before you dive headfirst into the world of ACV and over-embrace it’s use, make sure to check if it’s going to clash with your diuretics, laxatives or insulin. Nobody wants a medication mix-up, right?
  • Skincare shenanigans: Applying undiluted ACV directly to your skin may have unintended consequences, turning your face into a fiery inferno. So, unless you’re aiming for that tomato-red complexion, dilute that ACV or use it sparingly.
  • Slow-motion digestion: ACV might just be the master of slow motion. It can take its sweet time emptying your stomach, making you feel as if you’ve swallowed a bowling ball. While it might be an amusing party trick for weight management, it’s not so entertaining for those with digestive issues. So, watch out for delayed digestion and its companionship with a full belly.

Remember, it’s always wise to consult with a healthcare professional before diving into the ACV craze.

Graeme Dinnen

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