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One Major Side Effect of Taking Apple Cider Vinegar, Says Science

Is it as healthy as some claim? We did the research.
FACT CHECKED BY Kiersten Hickman
Shot of apple cider vinegar

If you haven't hopped on the apple cider vinegar train, where have you been? For the past several years, health experts, influencers, and celebrities have raved about the extensive list of benefits of consuming apple cider vinegar. Though it's tart and not exactly easy to swallow, many people swear by a daily spoonful to maintain health and vitality. Truth be told, there are many perks, including weight loss, better control over blood sugar levels, and even protection from harmful bacteria. However, one major side effect is worth your consideration if you're taking apple cider vinegar: too much acid in your diet.

Here's why, and for even more healthy drinking tips, be sure to check out our list of the 108 Most Popular Sodas Ranked By How Toxic They Are.

Many foods contain acid and are safe for consumption, but part of what creates the unique flavor profile of apple cider vinegar is its acid. The University of Chicago Schools of Medicine says that it's generally safe to consume this trendy superfood in small quantities. However, if you're taking too much apple cider vinegar, you may experience the impact of acid in various parts of your body, including:

  • Your teeth. Since acidity breaks down the enamel on our teeth, you may put yourself at a higher risk of getting cavities. To combat this, make sure to drink water after taking apple cider vinegar.
  • Your digestive system. If you already have a sensitive tummy, apple cider vinegar might not be the best addition to your diet since it can worsen acid reflux symptoms.
  • Your kidneys. Since your body must process anything and everything you consume or drink, you must think about what's required from all parts. And if you have chronic kidney disease, apple cider vinegar is only going to put extra stress and pressure on your already delicate organs.

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, it's essential to remember apple cider vinegar will not cure cancer. No matter how much of its acid you gobble down daily, it won't take away cancer cells. Even so, there are lingering studies that claim this vinegar can lower the rates of particular kinds of cancer, especially esophageal. Sadly, it's not the truth. In fact, a GI doctor at The University of Chicago School of Medicine says he wishes he could encourage people with esophageal cancer to do this simple trick to help them, but it's inaccurate and misleading.

Bottom line: as with anything, try this trend in moderation and pay attention to how your body reacts. And remember, a spoonful of anything will never replace smart food choices and regular exercise.

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