Pros and Cons: Dangers and Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar

I bet you’re wondering about the health benefits of apple cider vinegar. ACV has been all the rage lately and here we will weight the dangers and the benefits of apple cider vinegar so you know what the fuss is all about.¬†

I bought apple cider vinegar a few months ago. I don’t know why. I tend to buy things on impulse. I heard it’s really good for you and I’ve been meaning to buy it even though I wasn’t entirely sure of the reason behind it. That’s what happens when Kammie has a little extra money to spend. I don’t go blow it on clothes or shoes… I spend it on health food. Yep, that’s me – a total health nut over here. And I’m totally fine with that ūüėČ I didn’t actually really know very much about the benefits of apple cider vinegar though.

So the first time I ever heard of apple cider vinegar was when my old roommate was talking about it as a possible treatment for sinus issues during winter. She had horrible sinus problems and I had some slight headaches because of it. She said she knew apple cider vinegar was supposedly the cure for it, even though it tastes like crap – apparently if you drink 1 Tbsp of it with water, it’s supposed to give you great relief. So she bought some and she said it helped a bit. I used it once because a vegan PB&J cupcake recipe I was making originally called for it.

This vinegar helped me make these babes… so it can’t be bad!

That was the end of that, until I saw more and more bloggers talking about apple cider vinegar as this amazing product to drink upon waking. Laura, PowerCakes, and Jenn¬†have all talked about taking it straight… so I bought it. Yes, bloggers really do have a large influence over me haha. I trust all of you guys, especially if a product appears on multiple blogs! I bought it without really knowing too much about it. I think it’s about time I actually do some of my own research and figure out what all the fuss is about apple cider vinegar!

Apparently a lot of clean eating bloggers went crazy for apple cider vinegar when Tosca Reno announced she used it as a way to chase bloat. Apparently, taking 2 Tbsp before each meal allowed her to no longer be bloated after a meal and therefore get flatter abdomen! Some bloggers, like Brittany, have used it and got some nice skin clearing benefits from the mocktail, while others like Erica did not experience any benefits at all, quite the opposite – she couldn’t stand the taste and had to get off the wagon!

The Pros and Cons of Apple Cider Vinegar and how to drink it so that it tastes good!

I have been drinking a little drink many mornings from the past month or two… no specific measurements, just apple cider vinegar (probably a Tbsp), some cold lemon juice, and orange stevia mixed with water. It does not taste bad, surprisingly! To me, it just tastes like lemonade. I’m used to drinking water + lemon juice combo on mornings so this was just another addition to the regimen and a surprisingly pleasant tasting, in my opinion. I did this before actually knowing all of the benefits of ACV so let’s get right to it:

Apple Cider Vinegar Benefits

  • Diabetes.¬†The effect of vinegar on blood sugar levels is perhaps the best-researched and the most promising of apple cider vinegar’s possible health benefits.¬†Several studies have found that vinegar may help lower glucose levels. For instance, one 2007 study of 11 people with type 2 diabetes found that taking two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar before bed lowered glucose levels in the morning by 4%-6%. This is one of the strongest benefits of drinking apple cider vinegar.
  • High cholesterol.¬†A 2006 study showed evidence that vinegar could lower cholesterol. However, the study was done in rats, so it’s too early to know how it might work in people.
  • Blood pressure¬†and¬†heart health.¬†Another study in rats found that vinegar could lower high blood pressure.¬†A large observational study also found that people who ate oil and vinegar dressing on salads five to six times a week had lower rates ofheart disease¬†than people who didn’t.¬†However, it’s far from clear that the vinegar was the reason.
  • Cancer.¬†A few laboratory studies have found that vinegar may be able to kill cancer cells or slow their growth.¬† Observational studies of people have been confusing. One found that eating vinegar was associated with a decreased risk of esophageal cancer.¬†Another associated it with an¬†increased¬†risk of¬†bladder cancer.
  • Weight Loss.¬†For thousands of years, vinegar has been used for weight loss.¬†White vinegar (and perhaps other types) might help people feel full.¬†A 2005 study of 12 people found that those who ate a piece of bread along with small amounts of white vinegar felt fuller and more satisfied than those who just ate the bread.
  • Skin health –¬†When diluted with water 50/50 it is often used as a toner for the face.¬†A bath of apple cider vinegar is said to reduce the effects of sunburn. The vinegar soaked on a cloth and applied to sunburn may also be used.¬†A reported treatment for warts is to soak the affected area for 20 minutes per day in a 50/50 mixture of vinegar and water.
  • Dandruff –¬†It is said to treat dandruff by destroying the fungus Malassezia furfur and restoring the PH balance of the scalp. Some people recommend applying a 50/50 mixture of water and vinegar, applying it to the scalp, and leaving it to dry. Others suggest applying a couple of tablespoons of straight vinegar to the scalp and leaving it on for an hour or two before rinsing.

People don’t seem to talk much about the risks that may also accompany using apple cider vinegar, such as:

  • Apple cider vinegar is highly acidic.¬†The main ingredient of apple cider vinegar is acetic acid. As the name suggests, it’s quite harsh.¬†Apple cider vinegar should always be diluted with water or juice before swallowed.¬†Pure apple cider vinegar could damage the tooth enamel and the tissues in your throat and mouth.¬†One study found a woman who got an apple cider vinegar supplement stuck in her throat.¬†She seemed to have suffered lasting damage to her esophagus. Vinegar has been known to cause contact¬†burns¬†to the skin.
  • Long-term use of apple cider vinegar could cause low¬†potassium¬†levels and lower bone density.¬†If you already have low potassium or osteoporosis, talk to your doctor before using apple cider vinegar.
  • Apple cider vinegar could theoretically interact with diuretics, laxatives, and medicines for diabetes and heart disease.
  • If you have diabetes, check with your doctor before using apple cider vinegar.¬†Vinegar contains chromium, which can alter your insulin levels.
  • Caution should be used when applying as cider vinegar to the skin because it is very dangerous to the eyes.

Well, as with anything – there are pros and cons. I guess I should make sure to not drink too much of it and ensure not to drink it straight (which would never happen anyway…. yuck). It’s probably best if I drink it on and off as I have been for the past month or two. Have I personally noticed anything particular about it in terms of benefits or anything like that? Truthfully… not really. I haven’t seen any major difference in how I feel or how I look. I do find that I go to the bathroom sooner though on the days that I do drink it, but it could be the combination of all kinds of things I do in the morning..

My mornings usually include: workout, probiotic, ACV drink, breakfast, tea == pretty good combo for a good jump in metabolism and digestion, I’d say, no? :)

On a semi-related note: Check out my Ultimate Guide to Natural Probiotics.

The Ultimate Guide to Natural Probiotics #NaturalProbiotic #shop #Cbias

Questions for you:

  • Have you jumped on the ACV wagon?
  • What are your thoughts on ACV?

Leave your comments below!

Comments

  1. says

    I have a half-empty bottle of ACV in my fridge that will likely be making an appearance tmrw morning thanks to you! Earlier this spring I went a couple weeks drinking a water and ACV combo at lunch… I found I could handle the taste better in the afternoon and after I’d eaten. I didn’t love it on an empty stomach. I can’t say I noticed any crazy benefits, but I have blood sugar issues, so was giving it a go for that reason. I’m thinking I’ll break it out again and see if I find more success! My coworkers will love the reappearance, they think I’m a crazy health nut, and to that I say, yup! :)

    • Kammie says

      Haha my co-workers coined me the health nut too! It’s okay, I’m wearing the name proudly. Try it with lemon and orange stevia though, it definitely makes it taste much much better! Glad I could help :)

  2. says

    We use apple cider vinegar mixed with Dawn on our dogs when they got sprayed by a skunk one time. It worked wonders. As for drinking, I have not done that yet. However, I have used it to cook with several times.

  3. says

    Great post! I use apple cider vinegar for dressing in my salads. I never thought of having it in my water. Every morning, I make a hot water and half the juice of a lemon. I heard that detoxs your kidneys! I don’t know if it works, but I do it everyday! I”m going to try the water and vinegar before my dinner tomorrow to see how i feel. Thank you again for the great post!

  4. Karolina says

    I havhe been on the ACV band wagon for few years by now. I take 2TBS in a cup of luke warm water first thing in the morning on empty stomach with 1/4tsp of baking soda. As ACV is very acidic an can be harsh on the stomach, baking soda brings the drink to neutral PH level.
    ACV helped me with bloating and joint inflamation – no longer a problem.
    However, ACV must be raw with ‘mother’ containing all enzymes for full benefit, not a commercial type treated with heat. I think in US there is Braggs brand ACV.

    • Kammie says

      Thanks for the tips! What’s the difference between drinking it luke warm and cold? I’ve always drank it cold because I liked the taste better but wondering if there’s any particular reason everyone seems to do it with luke warm water. Good idea with the baking soda too.

      • says

        You do not want to mix ACV with baking soda. Changing the pH level with a substance such as sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) will completely alter ACV into something different. This will defeat the purpose of consuming this drink because it will not have all the benefits that pure ACV has. Baking soda and vinegar is the mixture used in the volcano experiment as a little kid. I consume my organic ACV diluted mixed with a little grade b maple syrup and organic cayenne pepper. Cayenne pepper helps increase metabolism. Btw my ACV has the mother in it too. The mother is a natural fiber. And another thing, baking soda is not natural, its chemically made crap. The healthiest choice is to consume all natural, non processed products.

  5. says

    I’d stay away from it like that and recommend doing so – it’s fine to have in food, but having it in a context out of its intended (like as a daily morning drink) seems dangerous in the long-term, especially because of the potassium thing. Does that ring any Teri Schiavo bells? Her low potassium levels (due to a struggle with bulimia, in her case) caused the coma that left her brain dead and in a vegetative state for many years. Was she more attractive at the end? Was ‘skinny’ worth sacrificing her brain? I’m going to go with nooooo….

  6. says

    Great post Kammie!! As someone who used to use this regularly, I highly do NOT recommend drinking it every day. I have it once per week and that is enough.For one thing, people often mix it with lemon juice and if you are drinking vinegar and lemon and consuming it without a straw, um hello enamel damage! Your teeth will be ruined and will cause esophagus issues, no doubt. It may take a while, but it will happen. And I’ve found that once a week helps clear up my skin, but everyday or even 4 times a week and my skin breaks out like crazy. I guess it’s different for everyone, but for the most part I don’t think it should be consumed daily. But, that’s just my own opinion from experience and talking to my Doctor.

  7. says

    The drink sounds delicious, I do love acv and anything vinegary with sweet! lol. I couldn’t get into drinking much of it as I used to drink fresh lemon juice in hot water in the morning and sometimes one more time a day, for years and my dentist strongly warned against it. Anything acid, and high quality dark chocolate he said, are some of the worst things for your teeth. Well Im keeping the chocolate, so I stopped the lemon water in favor of just hot water, lol.

    • Kammie says

      Wait, so dark chocolate is bad for your teeth? I had no idea! Hmm… yeah, I made sure to drink the acv+lemon through a straw too but I’m gonna make sure to drink it once a week or so, to avoid any possible enamel damage

  8. says

    ACV is something I have a love-hate relationship with. I used to drink it every morning but it was so nasty to me that I gave it up. Lately, I started using it on my face as a toner before bed and noticed that it does improve my skin as long as I don’t use it daily.

  9. Alvan says

    I have used ACV for the longest time now since high school now I am in my early thirties I use it for vocal recovery after damaging my self from blowing my vocals like a trumpet.
    Detox is wonderful with ACV however the head might ache a little.
    Weight loss is most def a + combined with working out.
    Skin great looking after two weeks of ACV use.
    I drink it in cold water a tblspn in a glass. I have grown a separate tongue for it as I crave the taste in water especially. Couldn’t stand water neat after a while.
    I also cook with it my meals turn out really tasty.

  10. Carol says

    I put teaspoons of Bragg’s AVC in my tea twice a day. I have been doing this for a couple of weeks and note no improvement in anything, weight, skin, hair, glucose, joing pain, cholesterol level….How long does it take? I do like the taste in tea…kinda like a Bud Lite.

    • says

      Bud Lite? That’s weird. Haha I never thought that. But as I mentioned in the post, it works differently for everyone but also you seem to be using it too much. Once a day is plenty or even use it less than that. Read the other comments in this post for some other responses from others.