Apple cider vinegar: Dietitian warns of side effects of the popular health drink
In recent years apple cider vinegar has become the must-have cupboard staple for any weight loss diet, with influencers and fitness gurus insisting it’s a golden elixir for its health benefits. However, while many claim it is helpful for weight loss and digestion, it may not be all it’s cracked up to be. A dietitian has warned that it could even cause problems with your gut.
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Consultant Dietitian and Health Writer Maeve Hanan has over 23,000 followers thanks to her no-nonsense manner and easily digestible health advice.
The expert regularly writes about health and wellbeing, and yesterday wrote a new post exploring the topic of apple cider vinegar (ACV).
The dietitian, who describes herself as a ‘sceptic and foodie’ in her social media profile, wrote the piece for the health website The Food Medic, which is run by NHS doctor and author Dr Hazel Wallace.
Sharing the post on her Instagram page, Maeve wrote: “When weighing up whether you want to try a nutrition trend (e.g. apple cider vinegar) it is important to consider the possible benefits & side effects.”
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In the blog post, Maeve called it a “review of the evidence” and explored the claims for apple cider vinegar’s health benefits.
The dietitian admitted there are some studies to support the use of ACV for weight loss thanks to its effects on appetite, insulin function and metabolism.
It’s also been found to help with getting rid of visceral fat, the type that surrounds vital organs and is, therefore, the most dangerous.
However, while Maeve explained the studies in support of apple cider vinegar, she also warned of potential issues of including it in your diet.
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The expert warned that it could be bad for your teeth because the drink is so acidic – and many people drink it neat.
“The main risk related to regularly consuming ACV is an increased likelihood of tooth erosion,” Maeve explained.
“This risk can be reduced by consuming no more than two tablespoons of ACV per day, rinsing your mouth after consuming this or consuming it as part of a meal rather than a drink by itself.”
Maeve also warned that some people report nausea, which could be due to the way it delays food from leaving the stomach.
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While this is thought to be why it promotes weight loss, it could cause problems for those with gut issues.
Maeve explained that anyone who already suffers from slow gastric emptying – for example in cases of gastroparesis – should be careful when adding ACV to their diet.
The acidic drink has also been linked to burning in the throat, as well as low potassium levels.
Apple cider vinegar is made from mixing apples and yeast to make alcohol and then fermenting this into acetic acid.
The kitchen cupboard staple contains antioxidants as well as a small amount of potassium.
Many dieters either add it to food and salad dressings, simply drink it for its claimed health benefits.
It can even be used as a haircare and skincare ingredient and is said to help remove product buildup in the hair.
An article by Harvard Medical School states: “It can be consumed in small quantities or taken as a supplement.
“Its high levels of acetic acid, or perhaps other compounds, may be responsible for its supposed health benefits.”
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