Although apple cider vinegar has several health benefits, taking too much may pose health problems such as enamel erosion and throat burns.
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is prepared when yeast is added to apple juice, and then bacteria added further for fermentation. Worldwide, this vinegar is considered to be of great health benefits. That’s why people take it to cut off extra pounds, level cholesterol in the body, and cancer management. While some of these claims are backed by scientific evidence, some are primarily based on observational studies. Still, consuming too much ACV can be harmful to you. The enamel can be eroded, your stomach could take a long time to empty, and the throat may suffer from burning. Learn about these and some more from this article.
Understanding what ACV is
Apple cider vinegar refers to a pantry staple that’s made from fermented apple juice. In preparing the ACV, yeast is added to apple juice for fermentation to take place. This turns the juice into alcohol. After this, live bacteria are added to the resulting alcohol, converting it to apple cider vinegar. The vinegar has acetic acid as its primary component and forms 5-6% of the ACV. Acetic acid has many health benefits, which is why the ACV boasts of many health benefits. However, when consumed in full range, acetic acid is dangerous. Although it’s primarily a weak acid, the acid is considered fairly strong when it is concentrated. Thus, consuming too much ACV may be dangerous for you, with the effects ranging from trivial to dangerous depending on the concentration of acetic acid.
Side effects of consuming too much ACV
The following are the potential dangers of taking high doses of ACV;
i. May increase the risk for Hypoglycemia
It’s always been said that apple cider vinegar is one of the boons for diabetic patients. However, taking too much ACV may actually be harmful to people with diabetes. A review published in 2018 by the Journal of Evidence-Based Integrative Medicine noted that although ACV would typically be good for people with diabetes, consuming it in high amounts puts the patients at risk of hypoglycemia. This is in line with the findings of another study that noted that diabetes type 1 and insulin-dependent diabetes type 2 patients who suffered from gastroparesis suffered from delayed gastric emptying, leading to extremely low amounts of blood sugar levels. This puts them at risk of hypoglycemia.
ii. Digestive side effects
This is yet another health effect of taking too much apple cider vinegar. For a long time, ACV has been used to aid in weight loss with great effects. Some people have reported nausea, vomiting, and stomach upsets when they add about 25g of apple cider vinegar to their not-so-good-tasting foods. This is why scientists believe the more that apple cider vinegar might have something to do with digestive issues. Some studies link apple cider vinegar to indigestion. This is because some people experienced decreased appetite and increased feelings of fulness when they took drinks in which the ACV was added.
iii. May cause tooth decay
Tooth decay is a common problem that goes beyond looks and affects people’s self-esteem. The problem has many causes, including drinking hard water, which may end up discoloring people’s teeth due to the mineral content. The other probable cause of tooth decay is taking too much apple cider vinegar. Although there are limited lab studies to justify this, observational studies link tooth decay to tooth decay.
iv. Low levels of potassium and bone problem
Although no scientific study can verify that taking high amounts of ACV could lead to low potassium levels in the body and problems with bone health, one observational study links too much intake of ACV to bone and potassium issues. In that study, a 28-year-old lady took 250ml of ACV dilutes in water for six years daily. She finally got admitted to the hospital, and she was diagnosed with blood abnormalities and low potassium levels in the body. Besides, she had a form of arthritis known as osteoporosis, in which the bones became brittle and wore out. Although we cannot say for a certainty that these conditions were caused by ACV, the amounts of the ACV she took were extremely high, and she did this daily for long. Doctors thus concluded that taking ACV in high amounts for a long time could lower the potassium levels in the body and affect bone health.
v. May cause skin burns
People use apple cider vinegar topically to solve skin conditions. Although this may work, using highly concentrated forms of the vinegar could actually lead to skin burns. Remember, apple cider vinegar has at least 5-6% of acetic acid. Thus, the acidic nature of the vinegar could lead to skin burns. Besides, using the vinegar for a long time on the same part of the skin, even if the vinegar is less concentrated, could lead to skin burns.
vi. May cause throat and esophageal injuries and burns
If you are in the habit of taking too much apple cider vinegar, you should be worried about subjecting your throat and the esophagus to burns and injury. This is because the main component of apple cider vinegar is acid. The acid, depending on the concentration, may cause the esophagus to burn. Some people have thought that substituting apple cider vinegar liquid with tablets could lower the risk of esophageal burn, but the effect has been more or less the same; burns and injuries.
vii. May lead to negative drug interaction
Many substances may interact negatively with drugs, and apple cider vinegar is just o e of them. Gastroparesis is a common problem in which digestion is slowed down. It does not happen only with food and can also happen with drugs. In such cases, the drug fails to get into the system and exert the necessary effect. Thus, before trying apple cider vinegar, talk to your doctor to know whether the medication you are taking might interact with ACV.
Apple cider vinegar is a pantry staple made by fermenting apple juice in yeast and live bacteria. It is popular for its many claimed health benefits, including aiding in weight loss and cancer treatment. However, taking too much apple cider may be dangerous for you. It may lead to digestive problems and negative drug interactions and cause problems for diabetics.