Raw apple cider vinegar is the best natural tonic. It offers great number of benefits, and even science backs this up. However, you have to keep in mind that there are certain side effects, too.
This article covers the potential side effects caused by apple cider vinegar. We provide detailed instructions on how to get the best of your apple cider vinegar.
What Is Apple Cider Vinegar?
Apple cider vinegar is obtained from fermented apples and yeast. The yeast transforms the sugar in alcohol. Bacteria convert the alcohol into acetic acid.
This acid makes up about 5-6 percent of the vinegar. It is a “weak acid,” but it is rather strong when concentrated.
Apple cider vinegar also contains water, other acids, vitamins and minerals.
Studies have shown that acetic acid and apple cider vinegar stimulate a healthy weight loss, lower blood sugar, improve insulin sensitivity, and regulate cholesterol.
Bottom line: Apple cider vinegar is obtained from acetic acid, which confirms its huge potential. It regulates weight loss, blood sugar and cholesterol.
7 Side Effects of Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar also has a few side effects, of course, when taken in large doses.
Moderate doses of apple cider vinegar work well, but excessive consumption may harm the system and cause undesired side effects.
1. Delayed Stomach Emptying
Apple cider vinegar reduces the rate at which food “leaves” the stomach and goes in the lower digestive tract, and thus prevents blood sugar spikes. At this point it slows down the absorption into the bloodstream.
This may worsen the gastroparesis in people diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.
Gastroparesis is a condition in which the nerves in the stomach fail to perform their function, and the stomach is not emptied properly, which means the food stays in for too long.
Gastroparesis is accompanied with symptoms like heartburn, bloating, and nausea. Type 1 diabetics who also have gastroparesis cannot time insulin with their meals, because it is impossible to determine the duration of both digestion and absorption.
A study on this subject involved 10 patients diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and gastroparesis. It was shown that by adding 30 ml of apple cider vinegar to their water, the patients managed to maintain the food in their stomach for longer, unlike the cases where they drank plain water.
Bottom line: Apple cider vinegar delays the rate at which the food you eat leaves the stomach. This worsens the symptoms of gastroparesis, and diabetics cannot control their blood sugar.
2. Digestive Side Effects
Apple cider vinegar may affect digestion, and cause discomfort in some people. Studies have shown that acetic acid may decrease appetite, and give a feeling of fullness, which reduces the calorie intake.
Another study has shown that indigestion may affect both appetite and food intake. Daily consumption of 25 grams of apple cider vinegar decreases appetite and causes nausea, especially when the vinegar was taken in a form of odd-tasting drinks.
Bottom line: Apple cider vinegar reduces appetite, and may cause nausea when added to drinks with bad flavor.
3. Low Potassium Levels and Bone Loss
There are still no studies regarding the effect of apple cider vinegar on blood potassium and bone health.
But, there is an isolated case of low blood potassium, and weak bones due to excessive consumption of apple cider vinegar.
This was the case of a 28-year-old woman who took 250 ml of apple cider vinegar a day for 6 weeks. She ended up in hospital, and her blood tests showed low potassium levels, and other blood abnormalities. The woman also had osteoporosis, and this is bad because brittle bones are not that common in young people.
Her doctors concluded that it was her apple cider vinegar dose that caused the minerals to leach from her bones and affect her blood pH value.
It was also found that acids stopped the formation of new bones.
We agree that the amount she took was a lot more than most of you would consume less per day, and she did it for too long.
Bottom line: There is only one case in which low potassium levels and osteoporosis are associated with apple cider vinegar consumption.
4. Erosion of Tooth Enamel
Acidic and unhealthy foods and drinks damage tooth enamel, as shown in numerous studies.
This applies to soft drinks and fruit juices, but it was shown that acetic acid in vinegar may also damageteeth enamel.
For the purpose of a particular lab study, tooth enamel from wisdom teeth wassoaked in different kinds of vinegar with a pH value between 2.7 and 3.95. These vinegars caused a 1–20% minerals loss from the wisdom teeth within four hours.
Note that this study was conducted in a laboratory, not in an oral cavity where the saliva buffers acidity. Some experts believe that apple cider vinegar can cause dental erosion.
Another case study showed that a 15-year-old girl had a severe dental decay. It was caused by her habit to drink a cup of undiluted apple cider vinegar every day in order to lose weight.
Bottom Line: Apple cider vinegardamages dental enamel, and causes mineral loss and tooth decay.
5. Throat Burns
Apple cider vinegar may also cause esophageal (throat) burns.
According to a review on harmful liquids that had been accidentally swallowed by children, acetic acid in vinegar turned out to be the most common acid that caused throat burns.
Researchers suggest that vinegar should be considered as a “potent caustic substance” and kept away from child’s reach.
But, there are still no cases of throat burns caused by apple cider vinegar itself.
However, one case report showed that apple cider vinegar tablets caused burns after being stuck in a woman’s throat. She said had a severe pain and could not swallow well for six months after the unlucky incident.
Bottom Line: Acetic acid in apple cider vinegar causes throat burns in small children. One adult also experienced throat burns after being unable to swallow an apple cider vinegar pill properly.
6. Skin Burns
Apple cider vinegar acts as an acid, and may cause skin burns when applied topically.
There is a case of a 14-year-old girl who had erosions on her nose after she applied apple cider vinegar in order to get rid of two moles. It was a method she saw on the internet.
Another 6-year-old boy experienced leg burns after his mother applied apple cider vinegar on her legs in order to treat his infection.
Many people experienced skin burns after they used apple cider vinegar to treat various issues.
Bottom Line: Apple cider vinegar can cause skin burns when used in the treatment of moles and infections.
7. Drug Interactions
Apple cider vinegar may interfere with the effect of certain drugs. Here are some of them:
• Diabetes medication: When used together, apple cider vinegar and insulin stimulating medication may have dangerous effect on blood sugar or potassium levels.
• Digoxin (Lanoxin): It lowers blood potassium levels. If you use it with apple cider vinegar, your blood potassium may drop dramatically.
• Some diuretic drugs: Diuretic medications force the body to excrete potassium. Do not use them along with apple cider vinegar, because your potassium levels will drop too low.
Bottom Line: Some medications should not be used with apple cider vinegar. This includes insulin, digoxin, and some diuretic drugs.
Use Apple Cider Vinegar Safely
Here are some general guidelines to help you use apple cider vinegar without any side effect:
• Healthy intake: Start off with a small amount, and increase it gradually. Do not consume more than 30ml per day. Of course, this depends on your tolerance.
• Do not expose your teeth to acetic acid: Dilute the apple cider vinegar in water, and use a straw.
• Rinse your mouth: Rinse your mouth with room temperature water after you have taken your apple cider vinegar dose. What for half an hour before you brush your teeth.
• Do not use apple cider vinegar if you have gastroparesis: Apple cider vinegar is not recommended for people with gastroparesis. Limit your intake to 5ml a day.
• Be careful about your allergy symptoms: Allergies to apple cider vinegar are uncommon, but you should not use it if you have notice any odd symptoms.
Bottom Line: Use small amounts of apple cider vinegar, dilute it with water or avoid it at all if you are dealing with a specific ailment.
Apple cider vinegar has numerous health benefits.
But, be careful with the consumption, and check for any undesired effects.
Smaller amounts always work better.