The yeast turns the apple sugar into alcohol. The mixture is then combined with bacteria, which causes the alcohol to ferment into acetic acid (1).
Apple cider vinegar is 56% acetic acid. It is categorised as a “weak acid,” yet when concentrated, it still exhibits quite strong acidic qualities.
Vinegar also contains water, traces of other acids, vitamins, and minerals, in addition to acetic acid (1).
Acetic acid and apple cider vinegar have been linked to improved cholesterol levels, reduced blood sugar levels, increased insulin sensitivity, and weight loss in both humans and animals, according to several studies (2, 3, 4, 5).
Sadly, there are few human studies that support the regular use of apple cider vinegar, and additional study is required (6).
Acetic acid, the primary ingredient in apple cider vinegar, may help with weight loss and provide additional health advantages like improved cholesterol and blood sugar control.
Sadly, there are some adverse effects associated with using apple cider vinegar.
While ingesting little amounts is typically okay and healthy, doing so in excess can be detrimental and even dangerous.
Delayed stomach emptying
Apple cider vinegar may slow down the rate at which food leaves the stomach and enters the lower digestive tract, according to small human studies. The bloodstream’s ability to absorb nutrients could be slowed by this.
However, this impact might make persons with diabetes who frequently experience gastroparesis’ symptoms worse.
Due to malfunctioning stomach nerves in gastroparesis, food remains in the stomach for an excessive amount of time and does not empty at a regular rate.
Gastroparesis signs and symptoms include nausea, bloating, and heartburn. Because it’s difficult to forecast how long food will take to digest and absorb, timing insulin with meals can be particularly difficult for persons with type 1 diabetes and gastroparesis.
Ten patients with type 1 diabetes and gastroparesis were the subject of one controlled study.
When compared to drinking normal water, drinking water with 2 tablespoons (30 mL) of apple cider vinegar lengthened the time food stayed in the stomach (7).
More recent studies are required to fully comprehend how apple cider vinegar affects blood sugar levels.
According to research, apple cider vinegar may reduce how quickly food leaves the stomach. People with type 1 diabetes may experience worsening gastroparesis symptoms as a result, making it harder for them to control their blood sugar levels.
Digestive side effects
Studies on both people and animals have discovered that acetic acid and apple cider vinegar can naturally reduce calorie intake by promoting feelings of fullness and reducing desire (8, 9).
However, one controlled study indicates that under some circumstances, dyspepsia may cause a decrease in appetite and food consumption.
The participants who drank a beverage containing 25 grammes (0.88 ounces) of apple cider vinegar reported less appetite but also noticeably more nausea, especially when the vinegar was a component of a drink with a bad taste (10).
Although it may aid in appetite suppression, apple cider vinegar can also make you feel queasy, especially if you drink it with something that tastes bad.
Low potassium levels and bone loss
The effects of apple cider vinegar on blood potassium levels and bone health have not yet been subjected to controlled trials.
One case report of low blood potassium levels and bone loss, however, was linked to consuming significant amounts of apple cider vinegar over an extended period of time.
A 28-year-old lady drank 8 ounces (250 mL) of water-diluted apple cider vinegar every day for six years.
She was brought to the hospital due to low potassium levels and further blood chemical problems (11).
In addition, osteoporosis, a disorder that produces brittle bones and is uncommon in young people, was identified as the woman’s illness.
The woman was treated by doctors who think her huge daily doses of apple cider vinegar caused mineral loss from her bones in an effort to balance the acidity of her blood.
Of course, she consumed a lot more apple cider vinegar in this example than the majority of people would in a single day, and she did it every day for a long time.
There is one case report of osteoporosis and low potassium levels that were probably brought on by consuming excessive amounts of apple cider vinegar.
Erosion of tooth enamel
Although studies on soft drinks and fruit juices have received more attention, some evidence suggests that vinegar’s acetic acid may also harm dental enamel.
In one lab experiment, vinegars with pH ranges from 2.73 to 2.95 were used to soak wisdom tooth enamel. After 4 hours, the vinegars caused a 100% loss of minerals from the teeth (13).
As saliva helps to buffer acidity in the mouth and a person wouldn’t retain vinegar in their mouth for four hours, it is important to note that this study was conducted in a lab rather than in a human mouth. However, there is some proof that excessive vinegar consumption may lead to teeth erosion.
A case study revealed that a 15-year-old girl who regularly consumed 1 cup (237 mL) of undiluted apple cider vinegar as a weight-loss aid was responsible for developing serious dental damage (14).
Vinegar’s acetic acid has the potential to erode dental enamel, cause mineral loss, and tooth decay.
Acetic acid from vinegar was discovered to be the most often occuring acid that resulted in throat burns when dangerous liquids accidently consumed by youngsters were examined.
Researchers advised keeping vinegar in childproof containers and treating it as a “strong caustic chemical” (15).
However, according to one case study, an apple cider vinegar tablet that got stuck in a woman’s throat burned her. The woman said that for six months following the incident, she had pain and trouble swallowing (16).
Children’s throat burns from apple cider vinegar’s acetic acid have been reported. One woman had burns on her throat from an apple cider vinegar tablet that got stuck in her oesophagus.
When applied to the skin, apple cider vinegar can burn because of how powerfully acidic it is.
In one instance, a 14-year-old girl who followed an internet protocol to remove two moles ended up with erosions on her nose after using several drops of apple cider vinegar (17).
In another instance, an apple cider vinegar-treated leg infection caused leg burns in a 6-year-old boy with many health issues (18).
Additionally, there are several anecdotal stories online of burns brought on by skin-applied apple cider vinegar.
Apple cider vinegar has been used to cure infections and moles, although there have been instances of skin burns as a result.
Several drugs may interact with apple cider vinegar, including:
- medicines for diabetes. Vinegar consumption and insulin or insulin-stimulating medication use can result in dangerously low potassium or blood sugar levels.
- Digoxin (Lanoxin). Your blood potassium levels drop when you take this drug. If you take it along with apple cider vinegar, your potassium levels can drop too low.
- specific diuretics. Your body excretes potassium when you take some diuretics. Avoid taking these medications with a lot of vinegar to avoid potassium levels getting too low.
Apple cider vinegar and several drugs, such as digoxin, digoxin, and some diuretics, may interact negatively.
By adhering to these general recommendations, the majority of people can take apple cider vinegar in appropriate amounts without risk:
- Do not overindulge. Depending on your tolerance, start with a small dose and increase it gradually up to a daily maximum of 2 teaspoons (30 mL), diluted in water.
- Avoid exposing your teeth to acetic acid. Try mixing some water with the vinegar and sipping it via a straw.
- Wash your mouth out. Once you’ve taken it, rinse with water. Wait at least 30 minutes before brushing your teeth to stop further enamel damage.
- If you have gastroparesis, you might want to avoid it. Avoid using apple cider vinegar or use no more than 1 teaspoon (5 mL) in a salad dressing or glass of water.
- Consider allergies. Apple cider vinegar allergies are uncommon, but if you develop, stop taking it right once and contact your doctor.
Limit your daily intake, diluted it, and avoid it if you have certain problems if you want to eat apple cider vinegar safely.
However, it’s crucial to watch your intake and use caution when taking it in order to stay safe and avoid negative effects.
While a tiny amount of vinegar can be beneficial, more is neither better nor necessarily safer.
Does anything interact with apple cider vinegar?
The safety of taking apple cider vinegar as medicine during pregnancy and breast-feeding is not fully understood. Don’t use it to be on the safe side.
Diabetes: People with diabetes may experience decreased blood sugar levels after using apple cider vinegar. As a result, it’s important to regularly monitor blood sugar levels. For those who use drugs for diabetes, dosage modifications can be required.
Moderate Digoxin/Lanoxin Interaction Rating Use this combination with caution. Consult your healthcare practitioner.
A lot of apple cider vinegar might lower your body’s potassium levels. Digoxin’s side effects can be made worse by low potassium levels (Lanoxin).
Moderate Insulin Interaction Rating Use this combination with caution. Consult your healthcare practitioner.
It’s possible that insulin lowers the body’s potassium levels. Large doses of apple cider vinegar may also lower the body’s potassium levels. If you use insulin with apple cider vinegar, your potassium levels may become excessively low. If you take insulin, stay away from consuming significant amounts of apple cider vinegar.
Diabetes medications (Antidiabetes drugs)
Moderate interaction rating Use this combination with caution. Consult your healthcare practitioner.
In diabetics, apple cider vinegar may lower blood sugar levels. Blood sugar levels are also reduced by diabetes medicines. When combined with diabetes treatments, apple cider vinegar may cause your blood sugar to drop too low. Keep a watchful eye on your blood sugar. Your diabetes medication dosage may need to be adjusted.
Apple cider and blood pressure medications are compatible, right?
It’s crucial to stick to your doctor’s recommendations if you’re trying to manage your blood pressure. Continue taking any prescription drugs, and adhere to any suggested schedules. More research is required, but apple cider vinegar may help decrease blood pressure. However, it doesn’t seem that using apple cider vinegar in moderation has any hazards.