7 Apple Cider Vinegar Side Effects You Should Know In 2024

mitchelle morgan

Reviewed by Sarah Glinski, RD
apple cider vinegar side effects
Discover the side effects of apple cider vinegar today. Photo: Nghi Tran

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There are many benefits of apple cider vinegar,[1] i.e., ACV, that you may get from drinking it or applying it to your skin. But before you do so, learning about apple cider vinegar’s side effects is important.

Unfortunately, it’s not all roses and rainbows regarding apple cider vinegar. Drinking apple cider vinegar can result in issues such as throat burns, low potassium levels, and delayed stomach emptying. Undiluted apple cider vinegar contains high levels of acetic acid that can result in skin burns and more health issues.

It’s best to dilute apple cider vinegar with water to avoid certain side effects. Read on and learn more about apple cider vinegar’s side effects.

Apple Cider Vinegar Side Effects

  1. May cause esophageal burns.
  2. May cause skin burns.
  3. May lead to low potassium levels.
  4. May cause stomach irritation.
  5. May lead to delayed stomach emptying.
  6. May cause tooth enamel erosion.
  7. May interact with some medications.

Seven Side Effects Of Apple Cider Vinegar

Ingesting apple cider vinegar or applying it to your skin has benefits. However, it’s important to note apple cider vinegar drink side effects before you purchase it. 

Below are seven side effects of apple cider vinegar drink.

May Cause Esophageal Burns

May Cause Esophageal Burns
Apple cider vinegar may cause esophageal burns. Photo: jcomp/Freepik

It’s important to remember that apple cider vinegar contains acetic acid. The concentration of acetic acid is higher in apple cider vinegar with mother, which is ACV that’s unfiltered and unrefined. 

While drinking apple cider vinegar is beneficial, always use caution, especially when making home remedies. Drinking cider vinegar’s side effects may include esophageal or throat burns[2] when you forget to mix it with water.

You can purchase diluted forms of apple cider vinegar at the store. However, the apple cider vinegar with mother is the best quality and most natural. Mix a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar with water to avoid throat burns.

May Cause Skin Burns

A popular beauty hack is applying apple cider vinegar to your skin to improve its appearance. Some people even use apple cider vinegar for skin issues such as eczema. Proponents of apple cider vinegar suggest it cleanses the face, restores pH balance, and reduces inflammation.

While using apple cider vinegar on your face and skin may be beneficial, do so with caution. Like throat burns, side effects of apple cider vinegar on the face, such as skin burns,[3] may occur.

Acetic acid, which can lead to skin burns, is the main culprit in this apple cider vinegar side effect. Using an extremely acidic liquid can cause skin irritation, redness, and soreness. It might even worsen your condition if you have skin conditions like acne and eczema. Dilute the acidic liquid before applying it to your face.

May Lead To Low Blood Potassium

Drinking apple cider vinegar can benefit the body, improving overall function. This is because apple cider vinegar[4] contains calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, phosphorous, zinc, sodium, copper, and manganese. The side effects of apple cider vinegar tablets or capsules may include low blood potassium levels.

No recent research proves that apple cider vinegar can lead to low blood potassium levels in humans. However, animal research shows that administration of ACV leads to lowered blood potassium levels, thus having a protective effect[5] against hyperkalemia, or high blood potassium, in renal disease. 

May Cause Stomach Irritation

May Cause Stomach Irritation
Drinking apple cider vinegar can cause stomach irritation. Photo: jcomp/Freepik

Throat burn isn’t the only issue you must worry about when taking undiluted apple cider vinegar. The drink can also lead to stomach irritation[6] due to the acetic acid.

Also, take caution and note the side effects of apple cider vinegar pills. You can ingest apple cider vinegar pills if you don’t like the taste of the liquid. However, you may experience stomach bloating,[7] abdominal pain, and nausea.

Such mild apple cider vinegar side effects can disappear after a short time. However, if symptoms persist, seek medical advice. Issues like indigestion can interfere with food intake and lower productivity levels.

May Lead To Delayed Stomach Emptying

The body relies on your food to function better and stay healthy. However, issues like delayed stomach emptying can interfere with the process.

Research shows that apple cider vinegar can lead to delayed stomach emptying.[8] With delayed stomach emptying, food takes too long to leave the stomach and enter the small intestine. The side effects can be worse for diabetic patients with gastroparesis or stomach paralysis.

Gastroparesis[9] causes the nerves in the stomach to cease functioning properly. As a result, food takes longer to exit the stomach to the small intestine. In such instances, you may experience nausea, bloating, and heartburn.

The condition makes it harder to time insulin intake with meals for people with type 1 diabetes.[10] This is because digestion takes too long, and stomach emptying isn’t precise. However, there’s a need for more research on the side effects of apple cider vinegar gummies and stomach emptying.

May Cause Tooth Enamel Erosion

Apple cider vinegar gummies’ side effects may include tooth enamel erosion.[11] Any dentist will caution you against consuming large quantities of acidic drinks. That’s because the acid ends up wearing the tooth enamel away over a given period.

Undiluted apple cider vinegar can lead to tooth enamel erosion due to its high acetic acid content. Drinking diluted apple cider vinegar with a straw can reduce the amount of contact the acid makes with your teeth. This may help prevent acid-related tooth enamel erosion.

May Interact With Some Medications

Proceed with caution when taking apple cider vinegar, as it may interact with some medications. Diabetes patients, for example, must be cautious when taking insulin and drinking apple cider vinegar. It’s thought that an interaction can lead to low blood sugar levels, though further research is necessary.

Avoid taking apple cider vinegar while consuming diuretic medications.[12] Diuretic drugs cause the body to excrete potassium, which can lead to low levels.  Apple cider vinegar side effects related to the kidneys may occur if you have kidney disease, so consult your doctor before consuming it if you have kidney disease.

Apple Cider Vinegar Benefits

While knowing apple cider vinegar’s side effects is prudent, we can’t ignore the benefits. Below are some health benefits of taking apple cider vinegar at home.

May Aid In Weight Loss

One of the most coveted benefits of apple cider vinegar is that it is a weight loss aid. In fact, it’s common to come across fad diets that consist of drinking apple cider vinegar to lose weight.[13]

While there’s some truth to the hype, it’s important to understand how apple cider vinegar contributes to fat loss. In addition, you must eat healthy and work out. You may also find benefit in taking a supplement for weight loss.

Drinking apple cider vinegar may help you lose weight and attain your weight loss goals. If you drink apple cider vinegar after a meal, it can suppress your appetite. You may feel fuller longer[14] and consume fewer calories when you drink apple cider vinegar for weight loss

However, these results were only seen in the short term. It remains to be seen whether apple cider vinegar is beneficial for long-term appetite suppression.

May Regulate Blood Sugar

There are many benefits of apple cider vinegar, including regulating blood sugar.[15] Taking apple cider vinegar may benefit patients with type 2 diabetes who must stay on top of their blood sugar levels.

Insulin resistance[16] is among the main issues diabetes patients face. Insulin resistance means the body is less sensitive to insulin, leading to higher blood sugar levels. Using apple cider vinegar may help regulate blood sugar[15] levels in people with insulin resistance.  

May Improve Skin Health

Applying diluted apple cider vinegar to the skin may improve skin health. Apple cider vinegar is a common solution for making home remedies. Some people use it for skin health issues[17] such as eczema. Topical apple cider vinegar relieves itchiness[18] and dry skin after an eczema flareup.

Anti-microbial Properties

Apple cider vinegar is a good addition to your skincare routine. Its antibacterial properties[19] are handy when managing skin conditions like acne, and its anti-inflammatory properties help soothe your skin.

Topical apple cider vinegar is popular and can be a good way to clean wounds. It may also prevent bacterial infections and foster faster healing. However, stick to the medication and steps a doctor prescribes, especially for wound treatment and skin issues like acne. 

May Benefit Your Hair

Having a bottle of organic apple cider vinegar at home is a good idea. That’s because numerous apple cider vinegar benefits include improving hair health. Apple cider vinegar remains under-researched, but there’s evidence it’s great for home remedies such as proper hair care.[20]

People with an itchy scalp and hair breakage can use apple cider vinegar as a natural solution. Since ACV contains acetic acid, it’s handy to balance hair pH.[21] Often, hair that’s dull and frizzy is more alkaline, so acetic acid helps restore order.

In addition, apple cider vinegar has antimicrobial properties and can help with infections[22] that lead to itchiness. However, always consult a healthcare provider if you have serious infections on your scalp.

Lastly, apple cider vinegar benefits your hair because it’s nutritious and anti-inflammatory.[23] Vitamin C can help improve collagen production, which helps promote hair health and restore strand strength. Anti-inflammatory properties help soothe the scalp, especially if you have dandruff.

How To Consume Apple Cider Vinegar Safely

Drinking apple cider vinegar is a common practice. Many people do so to improve health, but it’s best to be cautious.

One way to consume apple cider vinegar safely is by mixing a teaspoon in a glass of water. Drinking diluted apple cider vinegar can help prevent throat burn and tooth erosion. It’s also a good way to prevent skin burns and other side effects of apple cider vinegar on the face.

You can also consume apple cider vinegar pills or apple cider vinegar gummies. Both options help avoid the taste of apple cider vinegar drink. Follow the instructions and dosage on the packaging when consuming pills or gummies. 


Always consume apple cider vinegar with caution because it may cause side effects 

Drinking apple cider vinegar can lead to throat burn, stomach irritation, low potassium levels, and delayed stomach emptying. In addition, apple cider vinegar can cause skin burns. Always dilute the acidic liquid before applying it to your skin, and avoid drinking undiluted ACV.

Apple cider vinegar also has health benefits. For example, it may help in weight loss and help regulate blood sugar. Consult a healthcare provider on how to use ACV for best results.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it safe to drink apple cider vinegar regularly?

Yes, it’s safe to drink apple cider vinegar. However, it’s best to drink it every other day to prevent apple cider vinegar side effects. Also, ensure you dilute the drink before consuming it.

Does apple cider vinegar clean your gut?

Apple cider vinegar doesn’t clean your gut but may help improve gut health. It’s packed with good bacteria that benefit your gut. However, there’s no evidence to prove this benefit.

Who should not take apple cider vinegar?

Avoid apple cider vinegar if you have diabetes and are taking insulin or other diabetes medications. While it may help you lose fat, apple cider vinegar can cause drug interactions.

What happens to your body when you start taking apple cider vinegar?

Apple cider vinegar may help regulate blood sugar levels. It may also help you stay fuller longer and aid with weight loss.

Does apple cider vinegar improve skin health?

Yes, apple cider vinegar does improve skin health. Diluted ACV can balance skin pH and work as a toner to refresh the face.

What is the best way to drink apple cider vinegar?

Add one to two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar to a glass of water. Start with one teaspoon to gauge how your body responds. Afterward, you can take two teaspoons to improve your health and wellness.

Is apple cider vinegar good for my hair?

Yes, there are benefits to using apple cider vinegar on your hair. It can help balance hair pH while tackling minor infections because of apple cider vinegar’s antimicrobial properties. Apple cider vinegar is also good for inflammation due to dandruff.

+ 23 Sources

EHproject has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We work mostly with peer-reviewed studies to ensure accurate information. We avoid using tertiary references. You can learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate and current by reading our editorial policy.

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Mitchelle Morgan is a health and wellness writer with over 10 years of experience. She holds a Master's in Communication. Her mission is to provide readers with information that helps them live a better lifestyle. All… See More