ACV is lauded for its myriad benefits, but it is important to keep a few things in mind. For starters, it's not some kind of miracle drug, and its benefits are strongly linked to a generally healthy and varied lifestyle. Consequently, while it can certainly enhance our health, it probably won't transform it. Secondly, it is, nonetheless, a powerful substance. It contains plenty of goodies, but it's also highly acidic! If you're sensitive to acid or have pre-existing conditions, ACV could worsen your symptoms or prevent healing.
The key is portion control: if you want to try adding ACV to your diet, small, diluted doses are the best way. Whether you drink it with water or sprinkle it on salad, it's sure to do more good than harm!
However, let's dive into some potential side-effects of ACV before exploring safe ways to consume it.
ACV's highly acidic nature can be difficult to tolerate for some people, causing stomach pains and general discomfort. Not everyone will struggle with this. However, people with ulcerative colitis, inflammation in their digestive tract, or who are simply prone to stomach aches might find that ACV exacerbates these pre-existing issues.
Be Cautious of your Kidneys
Again, this primarily relates to people with pre-existing kidney conditions. Any sort of weakened or immunocompromised kidneys will be further damaged by anything high in acid content, so steer clear of ACV and other vinegars!
Float your Bloat
It's well known that ACV delays stomach emptying, leading to feeling fuller longer and promoting weight loss. However, it can also cause bloating, gas and nausea, which are highly uncomfortable symptoms. If you start having these reactions to ACV, it's probably a good idea to give it a miss.
Furthermore, delayed gastric emptying can worsen gastroparesis symptoms, a common condition in people with Type I diabetes causing bloating, heartburn, and nausea.
Any diets that include a high acid content have been shown to damage your tooth enamel. Furthermore, there is little remedy for this condition other than cosmetic repairs! Over-consumption of ACV can therefore contribute to dental damage, but the risk is only high if you consume it undiluted.
Symptoms generally include aching or sensitive teeth, and eventually, cavities.
Interactions with Other Drugs
ACV's links to delayed gastric emptying mean that it can have a substantial impact on medication. If you take medication that needs to be absorbed within a specific timeframe, it's probably a good idea to avoid ACV. Further, extra caution is required if you're taking diuretics, insulin, blood pressure drugs or laxatives.
The moral of the story is: make sure to consult your GP if you intend to add ACV to your diet!
Many of the side-effects linked with ACV revolve around pre-existing conditions and over-consumption of the undiluted vinegar. However, suppose you still want to add ACV to your diet. In that case, some very simple workarounds are available to you: consult your GP, and always dilute small quantities of ACV before consuming it. If you drink it with a straw, this will also limit contact with teeth, thereby preventing enamel damage.