Apple Cider Vinegar: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

One of the many diets sweeping the internet is none other than the Apple Cider Vinegar diet. This trend has recently gained national attention from popular daytime television shows such as The Today Show and Dr. Oz. The diet is as easy as diluting the vinegar with 8 ounces of water, and drinking it before every meal. No sweating to the oldies or a plant based diet to watch the weight fall off. Apple cider vinegar has several benefits such as weight loss, hair conditioner, and prevention of atherosclerosis, but can also cause enamel loss and potassium deficiency.

The Good

Along with being the main feature of, possibly, the easiest diet plan to date, Apple Cider Vinegar has several known benefits:

  1. Apple cider vinegar helps you lose weight by making you feel full. Research shows that supplementing a meal based on white wheat bread with vinegar reduces the post meal responses of blood sugar and insulin, which promotes the feeling of being full (Ostman E., et al., 2005).

  2. Apple cider vinegar is an excellent natural hair conditioner. Apple cider vinegar is known to help balance the pH of hair while treating dandruff and being a natural hair detangler (Hills, 2016). Now, let's not just pour apple cider vinegar onto our heads and pray for the best, but look up a rinse that can be easily made with apple cider vinegar and watch the wonders it will do.

  3. Apple cider vinegar has been found to help prevent and treat atherosclerosis, which is known to lead to heart attack and strokes. The consumption of apple cider vinegar can reduce cholesterol levels in patients with hyperlipidemia, a risk factor for atherosclerosis (Beheshti, et al., 2012).  

The Bad

“You either die a hero, or live long enough to see yourself become a villain.” - Harvey Dent a.k.a Two-Face from The Dark Knight Rises. Vinegar has been a hero for hundreds of years, but with recent studies we have learned it has an evil side just like Two-Face.

  1. Apple cider vinegar is composed of an acid known as acetic acid. This is a weaker acid but will do considerable damage to the enamel of your teeth, causing your teeth to decay at a rapid rate (Gould, 2016). Of course, this can be avoided by diluting the vinegar with the enough water.

  2. Apple cider vinegar can lead to a potassium deficiency. Potassium is very important to the body as it allows for the nerves, muscles, and the heart to function normally. Apple cider vinegar normally should have no issue with causing loss of potassium, but when mixed with certain prescriptions can cause just that. This leads to abnormal heart beats, muscle spasms, and constipation (Gould, 2016).

The Ugly

Like with most things, apple cider vinegar needs to be used in moderation to receive the benefits to your body.  When used properly it can be helpful to maintaining a healthy lifestyle, but when overused can cause damage to the body. Therefore, whether you choose to follow the instructions on the bottle or not is up to you, but beware of the consequences of misusing this product.

Sources:

"3 Side Effects Of Too Much Apple Cider Vinegar." BlackDoctor. 18 Oct. 2016. Web. 22 Aug. 2017.

Beheshti, Z., Chan, Y. H., Nia, H. S., Hajihosseini, F., Nazari, R., Shaabani, M., & Omran, M. T. (2012). Influence of apple cider vinegar on blood lipids. Life Science Journal, 10.

Ostman, E., Y. Granfeldt, L. Persson, and I. Björck. "Vinegar Supplementation Lowers Glucose and Insulin Responses and Increases Satiety after a Bread Meal in Healthy Subjects." European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. U.S. National Library of Medicine, Sept. 2005. Web. 22 Aug. 2017.

"You Should Try Washing Your Hair With ACV! Here's Why..." Healthy and Natural World. 15 Nov. 2016. Web. 22 Aug. 2017.