There is seemingly no end to the health benefits of apple cider vinegar. It is touted as an ancient remedy that has stood the test of time; it is believed to cure almost all diseases. Apple cider vinegar is a natural tonic made by combining apples with yeast. The yeast then converts the sugar in the apples into alcohol. Bacteria are then added to the mixture which ferments the alcohol into acetic acid. Apple cider vinegar is known to promote fat burning and weight loss, decrease blood sugar levels, increase insulin sensitivity and improve cholesterol level. Unfortunately, apple cider vinegar has been reported to cause some side effects. This is particularly true when it is consumes in large quantity. Drinking apple cider vinegar every day, especially, if you don’t dilute it with enough water, can increase your risk of developing side effects. It is also known to interfere with the absorption of nutrients as well as increase the side effects of some medications. Although small amounts are generally fine and healthy, taking too much can be harmful and even dangerous.
Some of the side effects of consuming apple cider vinegar in large quantity include;
Delayed Stomach Emptying: Apple cider vinegar helps prevent blood sugar spikes by reducing the rate at which food leaves the stomach and enters the lower digestive tract. This slows down its absorption into the bloodstream. However, this effect may worsen symptoms of gastroparesis, a common condition in people with type 1 diabetes. In gastroparesis, the nerves in the stomach don’t work properly, so food stays in the stomach too long and is not emptied at a normal rate. Symptoms of gastroparesis include heartburn, bloating and nausea. If you have diabetes, ask your doctor about how to take apple cider vinegar and monitor your blood sugar carefully.
Digestive Side Effects: Apple cider vinegar may cause unpleasant digestive symptoms in some people. Human and animal studies have found that apple cider vinegar and acetic acid may decrease appetite and promote feelings of fullness, leading to a natural reduction in calorie intake. However, one controlled study suggests that in some cases, appetite and food intake may decrease due to indigestion.
Low Potassium Levels and Bone Loss: Apple cider vinegar can cause potassium levels to fall, according to eMedTV. Low potassium can cause heart arrhythmias, muscle weakness or breakdown, constipation, fatigue or paralysis that can interfere with breathing. If you take medications that can cause low potassium levels, such as diuretics, do not take apple cider vinegar without talking to your doctor first.
Erosion of Tooth Enamel: Acidic foods and beverages have been shown to damage tooth enamel. Soft drinks and fruit juices have been more widely studied, but some researches show the acetic acid in vinegar may also damage tooth enamel, increasing your risk of developing cavities. Flushing the pills with lots of water or diluting the liquid can help reduce this risk.
Throat Burns: Apple cider vinegar has the potential to cause esophageal (throat) burns. A review of harmful liquids accidentally swallowed by children found acetic acid from vinegar was the most common acid that caused throat burns. Researchers recommended vinegar be considered a “potent caustic substance” and kept in childproof containers. There are no published cases of throat burns from apple cider vinegar itself. However, one case report found that an apple cider vinegar tablet caused burns after becoming lodged in a woman’s throat. The woman said she experienced pain and difficulty swallowing for six months after the incident
Skin Burns: Due to its strongly acidic nature, apple cider vinegar may also cause burns when applied to the skin. It is a skin irritant and should not be applied on open wounds. In one case, a 14-year-old girl developed erosions on her nose after applying several drops of apple cider vinegar to remove two moles, based on a protocol she’d seen on the internet. In another, a 6-year-old boy with multiple health problems developed leg burns after his mother treated his leg infection with apple cider vinegar. There are also several anecdotal reports online of burns caused by applying apple cider vinegar to the skin. It is important to seek medical advice before using apple cider vinegar on the skin.
Drug Interactions: A few medications may interact with apple cider vinegar. People who take insulin or insulin-stimulating medications and vinegar may experience dangerously low blood sugar or potassium levels. This medication lowers your blood potassium levels. Taking it in combination with apple cider vinegar could lower potassium too much. Some diuretic medications cause the body to excrete potassium. To prevent potassium levels from dropping too low, these drugs should not be consumed with large amounts of vinegar.
Apple cider vinegar can provide several health benefits. However, to stay safe and prevent side effects, it is important to monitor the amount you consume and be careful with how you take it.
By Mercy Kukah