Apple Cider Vinegar or ACV is usually safe for consumption, however, sometimes drinking too much of it can cause side effects. These include:
- Delayed emptying of the stomach
- Improper digestion
- Bone loss and reduced Potassium levels
- Tooth enamel erosion
- Throat burn
- Skin burn
- Interactions with medicine
These are the top 7 side effects caused by over-drinking Apple Cider Vinegar. Let’s discuss them in detail:
What are the side effects of drinking Apple Cider Vinegar?
Delayed emptying of the stomach
One of the main functions of Apple Cider Vinegar is to prevent blood sugar spikes in your body. This is done by delaying emptying of the stomach.
Therefore, the rate at which the food empties your stomach and enters your lower digestive tract is reduced. Hence, it gets absorbed into your bloodstream slowly.
This delayed stomach emptying worsens gastroparesis symptoms.
Apple Cider Vinegar and Gastroparesis
It is a very common condition found in people suffering from type 1 diabetes.
Gastroparesis affects the nerves of your stomach. It makes the food stay in your stomach for a long time and does not empty like a healthy person’s stomach.
The symptoms of gastroparesis are:
Type 1 diabetes patients who have gastroparesis have to time their insulin according to their meals because you never know how long the food will take to digest and absorb.
A study was carried out on 10 type 1 diabetes patients who also had gastroparesis.
In comparison to drinking plain water, when the patients drank 30 ml or 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, it significantly delayed the process of food emptying their stomach.
If you do not have diabetes but you have gastroparesis then also keep in mind that drinking too much of apple cider vinegar will worsen your symptoms.
Bottom Line: Apple cider vinegar delays stomach emptying and worsens the symptoms of gastroparesis. This ultimately makes blood sugar management difficult for type 1 diabetes patients.
Note – ACV is made by fermenting process and various variety of apples are used in this process.
Some people suffer from improper digestion or problems related to the digestive system due to an overdose of ACV.
Clinical studies carried out on humans and animals showed that Apple Cider Vinegar and acetic acid may reduce hunger and cravings. It also gives the feeling of fullness for a longer period of time. This naturally reduces the intake of calories.
However, one such study also revealed that in some cases the reason behind reduced appetite was indigestion.
The people who had 25 gms or 0.88oz of ACV experienced reduced hunger. However, they also reported having nausea.
Bottom Line: Drinking too much Apple Cider Vinegar may suppress appetite but also gives the feeling of nausea.
Bone loss and reduced Potassium levels
The fact is that no controlled studies have been carried out to know the effects of apple cider vinegar on the potassium levels of your blood and bone health.
However, one case was reported with low blood potassium levels and bone loss. This was caused by drinking large amounts of apple cider vinegar for a long time.
A woman, 28 years old, reported these side effects. She consumed apple cider vinegar (8 oz or 250 ml) on a daily basis for six years. Although, she diluted it with water and then drank it, still got the side effects.
She was admitted into the hospital where her blood work confirmed low potassium levels and other issues. In addition, she was diagnosed with osteoporosis. This is a condition caused by bone loss and it is very rare in young people.
The doctors who treated her believed that apple cider vinegar was responsible for her condition. The minerals from her bones were leaked out to balance the acidity in her blood caused by the vinegar.
The doctors also said that high levels of acid hinder with the overall health of the bones.
It is pretty obvious that most people do not drink such high doses of the vinegar every day, so the chances of these side effects are very less.
Bottom Line: Only one case has been reported of low potassium levels and bone loss by drinking heavy doses of this vinegar.
Tooth enamel erosion
It is a common known fact that acidic drinks and foods damage the tooth enamel.
Studies have been performed on soft drinks and juices and it was reported that drinking them too much can cause tooth enamel erosion.
However, some researches also showed that vinegar has a lot of acetic acid in it and drinking too much can cause issues with the tooth enamel.
In one lab research, the enamel from wisdom teeth was used to perform the test. It was immersed in different types of vinegar. These vinegar’s had pH levels from 2.7-3.95. After a few hours, the teeth lost 1-20% of their minerals.
Keep in mind that this research was done in a lab and not in the mouth. In the mouth, you have saliva that buffers the acidity. However, in a lab test that’s not possible.
In one case, a 15-year-old girl suffered severe tooth decay due to drinking 1 cup or 237 ml of apple cider vinegar (undiluted) every day. She was trying to lose weight quickly.
Bottom Line: Vinegar has acetic acid that causes erosion of tooth enamel.
Another potential side effect is the throat (esophageal) burns.
In one case, some children accidentally drank harmful liquids and out of those liquids, the acetic acid present in the vinegar caused them throat burns.
Doctors recommended keeping vinegar out of reach of children as it can be a “potent caustic substance“.
However, there are no published cases whatsoever of throat burns caused by apple cider vinegar.
Bottom Line: Consuming foods and drinks that contain too much acetic acid may cause throat burns.
The pH levels of your skin and apple cider vinegar are different. So, when you apply it directly on your skin, it can cause skin burns.
Many people use it as a natural toner or anti-inflammatory product but the fact is that it should never be applied to the skin directly. It should always be diluted and then applied. Otherwise, it can cause burns.
Keep in mind, that it has very strong acidic property.
In one case, a teenage girl applied apple cider vinegar on her nose to remove 2 moles but ended up getting skin erosions.
In another case, a mother of a 6-year-old boy applied ACV on her son’s leg to treat an infection naturally but it ended up with her son getting leg burns.
Many more such cases are reported online, where people applied this vinegar directly on their skin and it caused them burns.
Bottom Line: Never apply apple cider vinegar undiluted directly on your skin.
Interactions with medicine
Apple Cider Vinegar may interact with some medicines:
- Those who take diabetes medicines may experience a drop in blood sugar to dangerously low levels.
- People who take Digoxin (Lanoxin) may experience dangerously low levels of blood potassium.
- Those who take diuretic drugs may also experience potassium loss because diuretic medicines excrete some amount of potassium out of the body.
Bottom Line: Some medicines and vinegar may interact with each other.
How to drink Apple Cider Vinegar safely?
You can drink apple cider vinegar safely by following these tips:
- Start taking small amounts and gradually increase up to 2 tablespoons or 30 ml per day maximum. Do not go beyond this limit.
- Always dilute it with water so that the acetic acid does not harm your teeth enamel.
- Rinse your mouth with water after drinking it so that there no residue left in your mouth. Also, wait for at least 30 minutes before brushing.
- It is not suitable for people with gastroparesis.
- Keep a close look on allergic reactions. If you experience any kind of allergy or discomfort, stop taking it immediately.
Bottom Line: Limit your intake and always dilute it.
Here are some more frequently asked questions related to the side effects of acv:
Can Apple Cider Vinegar make you poop?
I am sure you are concerned whether drinking apple cider vinegar can make you have diarrhea or not. Well, the answer is Yes, but to a certain extent only. Basically, the apple content in this vinegar is responsible for making you poop. It contains high amounts of a soluble fiber known as pectin.
This means that you will have not have serious diarrhea for which you will need to contact your doctor, but you will have a more frequent bowel.
Actually, this is not bad because it helps in keeping your gut clean and when you have a healthy bowel, your overall health starts improving. Pectin also helps in improving your digestive system.
One major health problem that affects millions of people worldwide is constipation. ACV helps in relieving constipation so it works like a natural laxative.