Apple cider vinegar is produced by fermenting the juice of red apples, particularly those varieties that are low in sugar and high in acidity. Apple cider vinegar is consumed as a salad dressing, although it’s probably better known as a folk remedy to combat a variety of health problems, especially gastrointestinal complaints. There are anecdotal reports that claim consuming apple cider vinegar is also effective for relieving dizziness and vertigo, but no clinical studies support such claims as of 2012. Although not well understood, apple cider vinegar can impact blood pressure and blood glucose levels, which may explain why it can relieve or cause dizziness in some users. Consult with your doctor before supplementing with apple cider vinegar.
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Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is produced by fermenting apple cider, which is less filtered than raw apple juice. The fermentation process uses yeast to convert fruit sugar, or fructose, into alcohol and then eventually into vinegar with the help of acid-forming bacteria, according to the “PDR for Nutritional Supplements.” Apple cider vinegar contains mainly acetic acid, but also some malic acid and citric acid. Consequently, it has a very tart or sour taste. Apple cider vinegar is a good source of many trace minerals, electrolytes, vitamin C, natural enzymes and amino acids.
Scientific research on the benefits of apple cider vinegar is sparse, although anecdotal reports proclaiming its medicinal value are numerous and date back many generations, according to the “Natural Standard Herb & Supplement Reference: Evidence-Based Clinical Reviews.” The acidity of apple cider vinegar can aid digestion, which then impacts blood glucose levels, insulin release and metabolism. Apple cider vinegar also displays antimicrobial properties and may be beneficial for infections. In addition, it impacts blood pressure by helping to regulate water content in tissues because it contains electrolytes such as potassium and sodium. Furthermore, it oxidizes, cleanses and thins the blood, making platelet cells less sticky.
Dizziness and Apple Cider Vinegar
Dizziness, also called lightheadedness, is a common symptom related to a wide variety of disease conditions and dietary factors. Common causes of dizziness are related to blood sugar levels and blood pressure, according to the “Textbook of Functional Medicine.” Skipping meals and poor digestion contribute to low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia, which usually leads to lethargy, headache and dizziness. Poor circulation and low blood pressure also lead to a type of dizziness when a person stands up, which is called orthostatic hypotension. If apple cider vinegar stimulates digestion and regulates blood sugar and blood pressure, then that may explain how it helps some people with some types of dizziness. However, dizziness is also caused by various diseases, traumas and lifestyle factors that are likely to be unaffected by apple cider vinegar supplementation. As such, it’s important to consult with your doctor if you experience chronic dizziness.
If apple cider vinegar impacts blood pressure, then there may be a risk of reducing blood pressure too low and actually causing dizziness if you consume too much of it. Most users supplement with a tablespoon or two daily, but start with less and see how you feel afterward. Furthermore, there is some concern that long-term use may deplete iodine levels in your body and put you at risk for hypothyroidism, or low thyroid function. One of the symptoms of hypothyroidism is dizziness.
- PDR for Nutritional Supplements; Sheldon Hendler and David Rorvik
- Natural Standard Herb & Supplement Reference: Evidence-Based Clinical Reviews; Catherine E. Ulbricht et al.
- Textbook of Functional Medicine; David S. Jones