What Are The Side Effects Of Apple Cider Vinegar?


7 Min Read

Side Effects Of Apple Cider Vinegar

Don't guzzle down cups of ACV, and never undiluted. It'll make you dizzy, pukish, or give you a stomach ache. Ditch it if you're on a diuretic. Using it in excess may decay the tooth enamel, delay digestion, reversing its good effects on diabetes, irritate your dry, inflamed skin, and cause chemical burns. Consume organic ACV in moderation and avoid commercial ACV pills, which are often fake and can harm your food pipe.

One of the most commonly used vinegars, apple cider vinegar has a huge fan following, thanks to the claims that it helps deal with many medical conditions. From treating diabetes to hypertension, dental problems, obesity, eczema, and even cancer, every day a new claim of the benefit of ACV surfaces. This has lent this vinegar from fermented apples quite a celebrity status in the world of superfoods, some health blogs even referring to it as the “golden nectar.”

Science Backs Some Of The Popular Claims

Some of these claims are scientifically proven—like the fact that ACV could help in managing diabetes;1 the acetic acid present in it could assist your weight loss efforts by making you feel fuller;2 and that it could lower cholesterol levels.

There are, however, many “positive powers” of ACV that are baseless and propagated without any research backing.

Some Claims Are Just False

That It’s Rich In Vitamins And Minerals

For instance, many claim that ACV aids many healing processes because of the presence of nutrients like pectin, beta-carotene, sodium, and potassium, among others. Because of the presence of beta-carotene in it, ACV is said to be even capable of slowing down aging and regenerating skin cells.

However, according to the United States Department of Agriculture’s Nutrient Database, samples of ACV were found to contain no measurable amounts of vitamin A, B6, C, E, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, beta-carotene, or folate, and it was equally lacking in amino acids, lycopene, or any other nutritional elements.3

That It’s The Best Remedy For Hair Lice

In popular media, all kinds of vinegar are endorsed as one of the best treatments for hair lice. A study published in the Journal Of Pediatric Nursing, however, found that of seven home remedies tested, vinegar was the least effective in eliminating hair lice.4

That It Can Remove Warts

Even when it comes to warts, a few studies have found that using a solution with 99 percent acetic acid can help alleviate them, but since apple cider vinegar contains only 5 percent acetic acid, its use may not prove effective for the condition.5

Why You Should Be Careful About Consuming ACV

Consuming ACV irresponsibly, that is without diluting it or in large quantities, can lead to many short-term negative effects. You should know that you are using it wrong and stop your consumption of ACV immediately if it triggers the following responses from your body. Most of these side effects are based on anecdotal evidence from real-life users of ACV.

Short-Term Side Effects Of Apple Cider Vinegar

Frequent Urination

Consuming ACV when you are already on diuretics, which anyway enhance your urine production, coerces your body to release more than the needed amount of toxins, making you want to urinate more frequently. If continued, this could lead to dehydration.

Nausea And Stomach Pain/Upset

If you experience either of these symptoms right after consuming ACV, it is an indication that you need to dilute it more or reduce the quantity of intake. Drink more water to wash the ACV down and take care not to drink it on an empty stomach.

Dizziness Or Headache

As ACV helps release toxins from the body, an overdose can lead to loss of beneficial minerals as well. This can lead to a drop in the potassium levels in the body, and, if left unchecked, this could lead to lower bone density.6

Apart from these, there have been a few studies that have brought out the long-term negative effects of consuming ACV in large quantities.

Long-Term Negative Side Effects Of Apple Cider Vinegar

It Can Cause Skin Irritation

Be cautious while using ACV on inflamed or scaly skin and on your dry scalp, as its low pH content can irritate it further and even damage hair cells.7 There have also been cases of chemical burns that were reported after using apple cider vinegar without supervision for the removal of moles.8

It Can Cause Gastric Issues

Consuming too much ACV could lead to constipation or delayed gastric emptying, which refers to the passage of food from the stomach to the small intestine. A study published in the BMC Journal Of Gastroenterology and conducted on patients suffering from type 1 diabetes found that of the 10 subjects, those who had consumed ACV were found to have delayed gastric emptying. 9

Delayed bowel movement means that food is not absorbed on time, which in turn can cause havoc to your blood sugar control. So consuming ACV in large quantities to keep diabetes in check might just reverse the proven benefits.

It Can Cause Injury To The Food Pipe

Due to the unending good press that ACV has garnered, the demand for ACV pills and supplements are on the rise. However, researchers warn against using such capsules as they may lead to irreparable damage to your esophagus or food pipe. After such an incident was reported, a team of researchers from the American Dietetic Association tested eight different brands of ACV tablets for their pH levels, acid content, and microbial activity.10

The study found that the capsules had pH values ranging from 2.9 to 5.7, with the research team even expressing doubt over whether ACV was at all an ingredient in the capsule. “The inconsistency and inaccuracy in labeling, recommended dosages, and unsubstantiated health claims make it easy to question the quality of the products,” the study concluded.

It Can Erode Your Tooth Enamel

While in North African cultures, ACV is considered a wonder pill for weight loss, and young women and bodybuilders are known to use it in an effort to keep the fat off, a study published in the Dutch Journal Of Dentistry found that consuming a glass of apple cider vinegar every day was the main reason behind a reported case of tooth enamel erosion in a 15-year-old Moroccan girl.11

So although there may be a few benefits of including ACV in your diet in small amounts, take care not to go overboard with it. Also, look out for organic ACV and go through the fine print on the label well before buying all the bottles off the shelf.

References   [ + ]

1.Mitrou, Panayota, Eleni Petsiou, Emilia Papakonstantinou, Eirini Maratou, Vaia Lambadiari, Panayiotis Dimitriadis, Filio Spanoudi, Sotirios A. Raptis, and George Dimitriadis. “Vinegar consumption increases insulin-stimulated glucose uptake by the forearm muscle in humans with type 2 diabetes.”Journal of diabetes research 2015 (2015).
2.Kondo, Tomoo, Mikiya Kishi, Takashi Fushimi, Shinobu Ugajin, and Takayuki Kaga. “Vinegar intake reduces body weight, body fat mass, and serum triglyceride levels in obese Japanese subjects.” Bioscience, biotechnology, and biochemistry 73, no. 8 (2009): 1837-1843.
3.Basic Report: 02048, Vinegar, cider a. United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Release 28
4.Takano-Lee, Miwa, John D. Edman, Bradley A. Mullens, and John M. Clark. “Home remedies to control head lice: assessment of home remedies to control the human head louse, Pediculus humanus capitis (Anoplura: Pediculidae).” Journal of pediatric nursing 19, no. 6 (2004): 393-398.
5.Conzuelo-Quijada, Alvaro Emmanuel, Sergio A. Rodríguez-Cuevas, and Sonia Labastida-Almendaro. “Treatment of large lower genital tract condylomata acuminata with local excision plus topical acetic acid. A preliminary study.” The Journal of reproductive medicine 48, no. 7 (2003): 506-508.
6.Lhotta K, Höfle G, Gasser R, Finkenstedt G, Hypokalemia, Hyperreninemia and Osteoporosis in a Patient Ingesting Large Amounts of Cider Vinegar. Nephron 1998;80:242-243
7.Johnston, Carol S., and Cindy A. Gaas. “Vinegar: medicinal uses and antiglycemic effect.” Medscape General Medicine 8, no. 2 (2006): 61.
8.Feldstein, Stephanie, Maryam Afshar, and Andrew C. Krakowski. “Chemical Burn from Vinegar Following an Internet-based Protocol for Self-removal of Nevi.” Journal of Clinical & Aesthetic Dermatology 8, no. 6 (2015).
9.Hlebowicz, Joanna, Gassan Darwiche, Ola Björgell, and Lars-Olof Almér. “Effect of apple cider vinegar on delayed gastric emptying in patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus: a pilot study.” BMC gastroenterology 7, no. 1 (2007): 1.
10.Hill, Laura L., Logan H. Woodruff, Jerald C. Foote, and Morela Barreto-Alcoba. “Esophageal injury by apple cider vinegar tablets and subsequent evaluation of products.” Journal of the American Dietetic Association 105, no. 7 (2005): 1141-1144.
11.Gambon, D. L., H. S. Brand, and E. C. Veerman. “[Unhealthy weight loss. Erosion by apple cider vinegar].” Nederlands tijdschrift voor tandheelkunde 119, no. 12 (2012): 589-591.
CureJoy Editorial

The CureJoy Editorial team digs up credible information from multiple sources, both academic and experiential, to stitch a holistic health perspective on topics that pique our readers' interest.

CureJoy Editorial

The CureJoy Editorial team digs up credible information from multiple sources, both academic and experiential, to stitch a holistic health perspective on topics that pique our readers' interest.