- Apple cider vinegar is often thought of as a miracle cure-all for things from weight loss to lowering blood sugar.
- But too much apple cider vinegar can cause weakened tooth enamel, increased acid reflux, and nausea.
- It can also interfere with certain medications.
- To prevent these side effects, it’s best to consume apple cider vinegar only when it’s diluted and with other food.
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is everywhere. It’s in celebrity diets, fitness hacks, and even in hair-care products. Because of this, you may think that one simply cannot consume enough apple cider vinegar.
But this isn’t exactly true. Although apple cider vinegar does have many potential health benefits, from lowering cholesterol to clearing up acne, it is possible to consume too much of it.
INSIDER talked with Bonnie Taub-Dix, registered dietitian nutritionist, creator of BetterThanDieting.com, and author of “Read it Before You Eat It – Taking You From Label To Table,” to find out what the limit is on ACV consumption.
“I think like a lot of other foods, [apple cider vinegar is] held in a lot higher standard than it probably should be,” Taub-Dix told INSIDER. “It is tasty, and it’s something you can use in cooking, but it all depends on how you tolerate it.”
Taub-Dix said it can sometimes help with certain things, like killing harmful bacteria, regulating blood sugar, and assisting with weight loss (especially if you use it as a substitute for heavier foods). But she also said there are some things to look out for when drinking ACV.
Because apple cider vinegar is an acid, it can have a corrosive effect on the teeth
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Too much apple cider vinegar is not your smile’s best friend, particularly if it’s undiluted.
“Where [drinking apple cider vinegar] could be a problem is your teeth. Because it is a vinegar, it can affect the enamel on your teeth,” Taub-Dix said.
Weakened tooth enamel, in turn, can make you more susceptible to tooth decay, cavities, and oral sensitivity, according to Pittsburgh Dental Excellence Center.
The vinegar could also exacerbate nausea and cause an acidic burning feeling
“It is an acid,” Taub-Dix told INSIDER. “So if you’re having it on an empty stomach, that could make you feel more of an acidic burning feeling.”
Some people take ACV as a potential cure for acid reflux. But, according to Harvard Health Publishing, there is no research published in medical journals that indicates it can help with reflux. In fact, a study published in 2014 found that use of apple cider vinegar as a natural appetite suppressant caused “significantly higher nausea” in people who consumed ACV than those who did not.
It’s also possible that too much ACV could cause throat irritation.
It might also interfere with your medication
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According to Healthline, too much apple cider vinegar can also interfere with certain medications. The medications to pay the closest attention to are diabetes medications, blood potassium-lowering drugs, and some diuretic drugs. In any case, it can’t hurt to ask your doctor if there’s anything you should try not to eat too much of while taking a kind of medication.
If you drink ACV, dilute it first and consume it with a meal
“If you do want to try having [apple cider vinegar] to see if it has any effect on you, try having it with a meal so it doesn’t have that acidic effect of sitting in your stomach alone with the other stomach acids in there,” Taub-Dix said.
Basically? It’s hard to go wrong with small, diluted amounts of apple cider vinegar, especially if it’s combined with other food. In fact, according to Healthline, a typical dose of ACV is 1 to 2 tablespoons mixed with water and taken before or after meals. But if you’re treating ACV like medicine and consuming much more than the recommended amount, you might have some undesirable consequences.