Category: Health

apple cider vinegar

Drinking Apple Cider Vinegar for Digestive Health

About 2 weeks ago, a good friend recommended taking a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar daily for a variety of health benefits from digestion to immune function to having extra energy. I decided to take on this experiment for a short time to see if I could tell any difference.

I’m a bit of a skeptic when it comes to “natural remedies” and such. The benefits of many non-proven remedies can actually be explained by the placebo effect or reversion to the mean. However, in this case, apple cider vinegar is cheap, available in any grocery store, and there was no downside that I could think of to testing it, which makes for a very favorable risk/reward analysis.

The Results

Now, a little over 2 weeks later, I can report that taking apple cider vinegar daily seems to have greatly helped my digestive health. I was taking daily probiotics, but, have been able to completely stop traditional probiotic tablets since taking this daily tablespoon of ACV. In fact, ACV seems a good bit more effective for me than the probiotics.

Could these results be a placebo effect or a coincidentally-timed reversion to the mean? Certainly. But, there does seem to be some science to back up how and why ACV could help your digestive system.

How Apple Cider Vinegar Works and How the Cost Compares to Pill-based Probiotics

Apple cider vinegar is, like all vinegar, fermented. This process means it contains some probiotics naturally. But, it also contains gluconic and acetic acid, which help facilitate the growth of more probiotics in your gut.

Probiotic pills are expensive. You usually are asked to take at least 2 tablets per day, sometimes 4 or more, and even the cheap pills are $.15 to $.20 per pill. The high end probiotics can cost as much as $.60 to $1 per pill.

But, you can get Apple Cider Vinegar “with the Mother” (if you try this, make sure you get ACV with the mother, the mother is where a lot of the good stuff is) on Amazon for $10.99 per bottle or $.34 per fl. oz. It seems to be even a little cheaper in the grocery store.

There are 2 tablespoons in an ounce, so, if you take 1 tablespoon per day like me, you are spending about $.17 per day. Before taking ACV, I was taking 4 cheap probiotic pills per day at a total cost of roughly $.60 for the day.

Even if you compare ACV to the cheap probiotics, it’s well over 50% cheaper than traditional probiotics. Plus, as mentioned above, this has been more effective for me than traditional probiotics.

The Dosage

What’s my exact process for taking ACV? I take it nearly first thing in the morning, after I take a shower and all that stuff, but, before breakfast or coffee. I take a tablespoon of ACV and dilute with roughly a tablespoon of water. After that, I drink the ACV like doing a shot of liquor. After that, I immediately chase it with a glass of water. The first couple of days I could feel it hit my stomach and burn just slightly, but, that has now stopped.

The Experiment Continues

Anyway, I’m a believer. Can I say 100% that ACV works? Of course not, but, I do believe that, for me, the experiment is worth continuing for a few more weeks or months to see if these results continue or if new benefits emerge.

Google “apple cider vinegar benefits”, you will find many other potential benefits discussed outside of digestive health, but, at this point, the digestive health and probiotic replacement are the only benefits I have experienced. I discussed all this with a friend of mine in the medical profession, and he suggested that it is possible that enhanced digestive health could lead to other health benefits, but, that more research is likely needed to say for sure.

If you take apple cider vinegar already or decide to test it, let me know your experiences in the comments below or shoot me an email.

Itching from Zyrtec

Zyrtec: Quit without itching like crazy

If you take Zyrtec (generic name – cetirizine hydrochloride) daily and have tried to stop, your skin may start to itch. Sometimes, this itching can be very intense, distracting, and can even disrupt your sleep.

After several failed attempts to stop taking Zyrtec due to itching, I found a solution that allowed me to wean off the medication without side effects.

I turned to my old friend Amazon and found these 5mg cetirizine hydrochloride tablets. They are half the regular dose of 10mg Zyrtec sold in stores. These lower dosage tablets were a breakthrough for me in finally ending daily dependence on this medication. These lower dosage tablets allowed me to gradually reduce my intake of the medication, which avoided the withdrawal effects of itching.

The Weaning Schedule

I began to wean myself down off Zyrtec by substituting the 5mg tablets for my Zyrtec tablets on a schedule like the below:

Weeks 1-2: I took a regular 10mg tablet one day and then took 5mg the next.

Weeks 3-4: I took 5mg everyday.

Weeks 5-6: I took 5mg one day and took no Zyrtec/cetirizine hydrochloride the next. I continued to alternate for the entire 2 weeks.

Weeks 7-8: I took 5mg one day and took no Zyrtec/cetirizine hydrochloride for the next TWO days. I continued the pattern for the whole 2 weeks.

Weeks 9 and beyond: I stopped taking Zyrtec entirely.

(note: it has since been suggested to me that Zyrtec tablets could simply be cut in half rather than buying the 5mg tablets, but, I haven’t tried this myself)

I can still take a tablet as needed without problems. The medication is still very effective for an allergy flare-up. I also found that a 5mg cetirizine hydrochloride dose is just as effective for me as 10mg.

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: I am not a doctor, nor do I play one on the internet. I am sharing my personal experience because I would have loved for someone to share this with me. Talk with your doctor before making a change in any medication, especially if your doctor asked you to take the medicine in the first place.

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