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Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar

What is it?
apple cider vinegarLong a staple of alternative medicine, apple cider vinegar has been touted by proponents as a treatment for various things from head lice and dandruff to acne and weight loss. While the scientific evidence is not abundantly clear on apple cider vinegar, there are many benefits from adding it, in small quantities, to your diet. Apple cider vinegar, like all vinegars, is produced by the fermentation process. Apple cider, obviously, comes from the fermentation of apple cider past its alcoholic stage and finally into its vinegar stage. Apple cider vinegar contains acetic acid as its main component, as well as trace amounts of lactic, citric, and malic acid1.

Health Benefits
The list of apple cider vinegar treatments is long but here are some of them. Apple cider vinegar has been used as a treatment for acne. Mixing 1 part apple cider vinegar with 3 parts water and rubbed on the skin is said to help clear skin. With this remedy be sure to dilute the apple cider vinegar enough. Vinegar is very acidic and undiluted vinegar applied to the skin can be very damaging to the skin. It should be noted that though apple cider vinegar, and all vinegars in fact, can be used as an anti-biotic it is not any stronger than the powerful antibiotic creams or pills often prescribed by dermatologists. This remedy should only be used for mild or weaker cases of acne or if you have a sensitivity to the prescribed antibiotics, as some do.

Another popular home remedy associated with apple cider vinegar is its ability to lessen dandruff. Much like the acne treatment, mix apple cider vinegar with water and apply to your scalp. Let the vinegar settle into your hair follicles for a little bit and then wash your hair as your normally would.

Adding apple cider vinegar into your diet can have a beneficial effect and of this there is some preliminary scientific evidence. Consuming more acetic acid can help lower blood pressure and lower cholesterol improving long-term heart health. The science is very preliminary and not at all concrete on this front, however, so be wary. Furthermore, apple cider vinegar can have productive uses for diabetes patients. According to WebMD, several studies link vinegar with lower blood glucose levels. Maintenance of blood glucose is key to anybody living with diabetes and apple cider vinegar can help keep glucose levels where they need to be.

What are the risks of apple cider vinegar?
The first thing to remember about apple cider vinegar or any vinegar is that it is very acidic. Applying it to the skin without diluting it with water can cause burning and skin damage. Make absolutely sure that the vinegar is diluted with enough water before you apply it to your skin. Consuming too much vinegar can also have a similar effect. If not diluted or in too large a quantity, apple cider vinegar can burn or cause damage to your esophagus. Apple cider vinegar in small quantities is very safe and versatile and can be a key addition to the maintenance of your long term health.

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