Side Effects of Apple Cider Vinegar

Timothy Huzar wrote . . . . . . . . .

Research suggests that apple cider vinegar may have several health benefits. However, consuming too much vinegar can cause unwanted effects.

Apple cider vinegar is a common ingredient in food dressings, flavorings, and preservatives. It is also becoming popular as a home remedy for a number of health issues.

According to a 2016 review, several studies indicate that vinegar, including apple cider vinegar, have the potential to help treat a range of conditions, including obesity, heart disease, cancer, and bacterial infections.

However, there is little research on the most healthful way to consume vinegar and how much to take.

In particular, very few studies have explored the potential side effects or complications of regularly consuming vinegar.

In this article, we discuss possible adverse effects of using apple cider vinegar as a remedy and give some tips about how to do it safely.

Tooth decay

Like all vinegar, apple cider vinegar is acidic. Consuming too many acidic foods and beverages can weaken tooth enamel over time, potentially leading to tooth decay.

At first, people may not realize that their tooth enamel is damaged. As the damage worsens, the teeth may start to ache or become sensitive to sweet foods and hot or cold temperatures, according to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. Eventually, the teeth may develop cavities that require fillings.

The risk of tooth decay is highest when a person regularly consumes undiluted apple cider vinegar. Diluting the vinegar or consuming it as part of a meal reduces this risk.

Low potassium

According to Dr. Robert H. Shmerling, an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medicine School in Boston, MA, there have been reports of apple cider vinegar causing or worsening low potassium levels.

The medical name for low potassium is hypokalemia. A person with mild hypokalemia may not have any symptoms. However, moderate or severe hypokalemia can cause muscle weakness and paralysis, which can affect many parts of the body.

If a person experiences muscle problems, especially issues relating to the heart or breathing, they should seek medical attention immediately.

Blood sugar regulation

Some research suggests that consuming vinegar can affect how the body regulates blood sugar levels. However, scientists do not fully understand this effect and more research is needed.

Anyone with diabetes should speak to a medical professional before trying a high-vinegar diet.

Gastrointestinal issues

Many people recommend vinegar as a natural weight loss aid. Research suggests that it helps slows the rate at which food leaves the stomach, which can suppress the appetite by making a person feel fuller for longer.

However, keeping food in the stomach can cause unwanted side effects. In a study that investigated the potential for vinegar to control the appetite, many participants reported feelings of nausea and indigestion after drinking vinegar with breakfast.

Because of the acidity, drinking undiluted apple cider vinegar can also worsen symptoms in people with digestive problems, such as stomach ulcers or acid reflux.

Skin burns

The acidity of vinegar means that applying it directly to the skin can cause burns and irritation, especially if the vinegar is undiluted.

The National Capital Poison Center lists a number of medical reports in which people experienced serious burns that required medical treatment after using vinegar, including apple cider vinegar, on the skin.

A report in The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology describes a case in which a teenager sustained chemical burns on her nose after applying apple cider vinegar to remove two moles.

Tips for safe usage

A person is more likely to experience side effects if they regularly consume large quantities of undiluted vinegar or leave it on the skin for long periods.

To lower the risk of unwanted effects, try:

  • reducing the quantity of vinegar consumed
  • reducing the amount of time that vinegar touches the skin
  • diluting the vinegar with water or using it as an ingredient
  • limiting contact with the teeth, such as by drinking the vinegar through a straw

A 2016 review found that people may be able to achieve many of the potential health benefits by drinking around 15 milliliters of vinegar a day or any quantity that contains around 750 milligrams of acetic acid.

However, because of the lack of research into side effects and long-term safety, further moderation may be the best approach.

People with digestive issues, low potassium levels, or diabetes should consider speaking to a doctor before consuming apple cider vinegar.

Anyone who experiences severe side effects should consult a medical professional.

Source: Medical News Today

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Look to Your Aunts, Uncles and Parents for Clues to Your Longevity

Your chances of inheriting genes linked to longevity are highest if you come from a family with many long-lived members, researchers say.

And that includes aunts and uncles, not just parents.

Using databases at the University of Utah and in the Dutch province of Zeeland, investigators analyzed the genealogies of nearly 315,000 people from over 20,000 families dating back to 1740.

“We observed . . . the more long-lived relatives you have, the lower your hazard of dying at any point in life,” said study lead author Niels van den Berg. He is a doctoral student in molecular epidemiology at Leiden University in the Netherlands.

“For example, someone whose parents are both ‘top survivors’ has a 31 percent lower hazard of dying than someone of the same age without such parents,” van den Berg said in a University of Utah news release.

“Top survivors” refers to people in the top 10 percent age-wise of a group of people born within a given time period.

“Moreover, that person’s hazard of dying is reduced, even if the parents themselves did not live to be extremely old but aunts and uncles were among the top survivors,” van den Berg said.

“In long-lived families, parents can therefore pass on longevity genes to their children, even if external factors prohibited them from reaching the top survivors,” he explained.

The findings reinforce the idea that “there really are longevity genes to be discovered in humans,” van den Berg said.

The study was published online in the journal Nature Communications.

Researchers have long searched for genes associated with longevity, but those genes have been much more difficult to pinpoint than genes for disease, said study co-author Eline Slagboom, a professor of molecular epidemiology at Leiden University.

“This research has led us to be far stricter in selecting the people in whom you have to look for those genes,” Slagboom said.

“If you investigate a random group of people aged over 100, however exceptional they may be, it’s highly likely that many of them do not in fact belong to a family in which longevity is heritable,” Slagboom said. “Their age is probably a matter of chance, the result of a healthy lifestyle or healthy circumstances, for example during childhood, and isn’t therefore reflected in their DNA.”

Source: HealthDay

Your Heart Needs a Minimum 6-hour Sleep Per Night to Stay Healthy

Six hours: That’s the minimum amount of sleep per night you need to help your heart stay healthy, new research suggests.

The study found that chronic lack of sleep and poor sleep quality raise the odds of fatty plaque accumulation in arteries — a condition known as atherosclerosis, which increases the odds of heart attack and stroke.

There are many ways to fight heart disease, including “pharmaceuticals, physical activity and diet,” said lead researcher Jose Ordovas. “But this study emphasizes we have to include sleep as one of the weapons we use to fight heart disease — a factor we are compromising every day.”

Ordovas is an investigator at the National Center for Cardiovascular Research in Madrid, Spain.

In the new research, his team used coronary ultrasound and CT scans to track the artery health of nearly 4,000 Spanish adults. The study participants, average age 46, did not have heart disease at the beginning of the study.

The study couldn’t prove cause and effect, but people who slept less than six hours a night were 27 percent more likely to have body-wide atherosclerosis than those who slept seven to eight hours a night, Ordovas and his colleagues reported.

Too much sleep wasn’t great for the heart, either. The study also found that women who slept more than eight hours a night had an increased risk of atherosclerosis.

Participants with “poor-quality” sleep — frequent awakenings or difficulty getting to sleep — were also 34 percent more likely to have atherosclerosis, compared to those with good-quality sleep.

The study was published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

“This is the first study to show that objectively measured sleep is independently associated with atherosclerosis throughout the body, not just in the heart,” Ordovas said in a journal news release. He also directs nutrition and genomics at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging, at Tufts University in Boston.

People who had short and poor-quality sleep also tended to consume higher levels of caffeine and alcohol, Ordovas noted.

“Many people think alcohol is a good inducer of sleep, but there’s a rebound effect,” he said. “If you drink alcohol, you may wake up after a short period of sleep and have a hard time getting back to sleep. And if you do get back to sleep, it’s often a poor-quality sleep.”

Two U.S. experts agreed that sleep is a key component of cardiovascular health.

While a direct cause-and-effect relationship between sleep and heart health remains unclear, “targeting one’s sleep habits is finally getting recognized in the medical world as an important factor to improve heart disease,” said Dr. Eugenia Gianos. She directs women’s heart health at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.

Gianos reasoned that behaviors in a person’s waking hours may explain the sleep-heart connection. That’s “because patients with good sleep hygiene have the energy to be physically active, make healthy food choices and handle stress better,” she said.

Dr. Thomas Kilkenny directs sleep medicine at Staten Island University Hospital, also in New York City. The new study “opens a door to further investigations to hopefully demonstrate the cause and effect between poor sleep quality and the generation of atherosclerosis disease,” he said.

“In the meantime, physicians should constantly evaluate their patients to identify sleeping disorders and stress to their patients the need to maintain at least six to eight hours of sleep per night,” Kilkenny said.

Source: HealthDay


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New Portion Size Guide Tells You How Much You Should Actually be Eating

James Rogers wrote . . . . . . . . .

Nutritionists have launched a brand-new portion size guide to tackle overeating.

The British Nutrition Foundation’s (BNF) guide spells out how much of each sort of food.

The guide includes starchy carbohydrates, protein, dairy, fruit and vegetables and oils and spreads.

The aim of the guide is to revolutionise our eating and tackle the obesity crisis.

It takes into account the foods we should be eating – and in which portions – to have a healthy diet.

Women should be eating 2,000 calories a day – and men 2,500.

According to the guide, the correct portion size for pasta is two hands cupped together.

A finger and thumb, meanwhile, is the right thickness of spaghetti.

The right amount of cheese, more worryingly for cheese lovers, is a mere two thumbs.

The suggested single portion of a grilled chicken breast, a cooked salmon fillet or a cooked steak is “about half the size of your hand”.

A baked potato should be the “about the size of your fist”.

The BNF survey suggested that when it comes to eating pasta, on average we eat around 230g worth when cooked.

And that’s without any sauces or sides.

Researchers found that 10% of the people questioned eat 350g.

That’s around 500 calories alone, but their recommendation is 180g.

A portion of fruit or vegetables – of which we should eat at least five a day – could be two plums, two satsumas, seven strawberries, three heaped serving spoons of peas or carrots, one medium tomato or three sticks of celery.

But it’s not all bad news.

If you do fancy a snack, you’re still allowed them – but you are told to keep them small.

They should be around 100 to 150 calories, and not too frequent.

Examples included a small chocolate biscuit bar, a small multipack bag of crisps, four small squares of chocolate (20g) or a mini muffin.

Bridget Benelam, nutrition communications manager at the BNF, said: “More often than not, portion size is not something people give much thought to.

“The amount we put on our plate typically depends on the portion sizes we are used to consuming, how hungry we feel and how much is offered as a helping at a restaurant table or in a packet/ready meal.

“Nonetheless, in order to maintain a healthy weight we should ensure that our diets contain the right balance of foods, in sensible amounts.

“This isn’t just about eating less; it’s also about eating differently.”

Louis Levy, head of nutrition sciences at Public Health England, said: “The Eatwell Guide, the nation’s healthy eating model, shows the proportion of foods that should be consumed from each food group for a healthy balanced diet.

“With the exception of fruit and vegetables, fish and red and processed meat, the government does not provide guidance on specific food portion sizes as there is no evidence to make recommendations at a population level.”

Source: Birmingham Live


Read also at British Nutrition Foundation:

Find your balance, get portion wise! . . . . .

More Evidence Marijuana May Damage the Teen Brain

Dennis Thompson wrote . . . . . . . . .

Smoking just a couple of joints may cause significant changes in a teenager’s brain structure, a new study has found.

Brain scans show that some adolescents who’ve tried marijuana just a couple of times exhibit significant increases in the volume of their gray matter.

These changes were associated with increased risk of anxiety, and decreased ability on thinking and memory tests.

“It is important to understand why some people may be more vulnerable to brain effects of cannabis at even the earliest stages of use, as it might give us some insight into why some people transition to substance misuse while others do not,” said lead researcher Catherine Orr. She is a lecturer at Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, Australia.

“Also, if we can identify some of the factors that place people at greater risk of these brain effects, we need to let people know what they are so that they can make informed decisions about their substance use,” Orr continued.

However, these findings are inconsistent with earlier studies that have found no significant long-term changes in brain structure or deficits in memory, attention or other brain function that can be attributed to pot use, said Paul Armentano, deputy director of NORML, an advocacy group for reform of marijuana laws.

“The notion that even low-level exposure to cannabis results in significant brain changes is a finding that is largely out of step with decades worth of available science,” Armentano said. “Therefore, these findings ought to be regarded with caution.”

Most studies involving the effects of pot on the brain focus on heavy marijuana users. These researchers wanted to focus instead on what might happen as teens experiment with marijuana.

To that end, they gathered brain scan data obtained as part of a large research program investigating brain development and mental health in teens.

The researchers examined brain imaging of 46 kids, aged 14 years, from Ireland, England, France and Germany, who reported trying pot once or twice. They also looked at the teens’ scores on cognitive and mental health tests.

The teens’ brains showed greater gray matter volume in brain areas more affected by pot, when compared with kids who’d never toked, the study authors said.

“The regions of the brain that showed the volume effects map onto the parts of the brain that are rich in cannabinoid receptors, suggesting that the effects we observe may be a result of these receptors being stimulated by cannabis exposure,” Orr said.

Regions most affected by weed were the amygdala, which is involved in processing fear and other emotions, and the hippocampus, which is involved with memory and reasoning, the researchers said.

The findings were published in the Journal of Neuroscience.

Senior study author Hugh Garavan said, “You’re changing your brain with just one or two joints.” Garavan is a professor of psychiatry with the University of Vermont.

“Most people would likely assume that one or two joints would have no impact on the brain,” he added in a university news release.

Researchers can’t say whether these changes in the structure of the brain are permanent, Orr said. There are a lot of things that influence brain development in teens that can’t be ruled out by the data at hand.

“The imaging technology we have does not let us disentangle what differences in the adult brain may be a result of smoking pot once or twice as a 14-year-old from what differences are due to studying a second language or playing video games as a teen,” Orr said.

Yasmin Hurd, director of the Addiction Institute at Mount Sinai, in New York City, said one would expect some things to return to normal if a teen tries marijuana a couple of times and then stops.

“I would be very surprised if just a few exposures to marijuana would cause irreparable damage,” Hurd said.

On the other hand, even temporary changes in brain structure might make a person more predisposed to emotional or cognitive problems later in life, Hurd added.

Orr suggested that “if they may then use drugs later in life or are exposed to excessive stresses later in life, they’re much more vulnerable. This indicates that any drug use leaves a trace in the brain. Whether that trace has long-term consequences for subsequent disorders, that’s something that really needs to be researched.”

Source: HealthDay


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