Apple cider vinegar (ACV) has, for a long time, been a health store staple and highly regarded remedy in the wellness world.
This juice, which is fermented from crushed apples, can purportedly help everything from balancing weight, to preventing diabetes, to improving the health of your skin.
I personally use it as a toner from time to time, despite the somewhat pungent aroma, and can give a one-woman testimonial that it appears to help my adult cheek acne.
But, like anything, there is a B-side you should know about.
While it can be very difficult to keep track of all the health claims out there, it really is good to know the potential side effects, both good and bad, when you're using any kind of product.
Like humans, nothing in this world is perfect.
And yes, that includes the most beloved vinegar this side of balsamic.
1. It Can Be Rather Harsh On Your Precious Bodily Linings
Some people react poorly to the liquid when it's applied directly to the skin, and some may experience burning or even a rash.
To avoid this, try diluting your ACV with water.
In fact, you should probably never drink it totally straight, like, at all.
2. It Can Mix Badly With Prescription Medicines
There are certain heart medications and diabetes medications that don't take too kindly to this stuff (when combined with ACV, they can make your blood sugar drop too low).
So if you're on meds, always, always, always double-check what substances have the potential to cause a less-than-ideal mix.
3. It Can Deplete Your Body Of Potassium
Large amounts of apple cider vinegar are also known to decrease potassium levels in the blood.
So if you're a regular consumer, you might want to consider including more potassium-rich foods in your diet, like bananas, sweet potatoes, beets, and black beans.
4. It May Be Harmful To Your Bones
Some research shows that women with osteoporosis should be wary of consuming too much apple cider vinegar, as it can reduce bone density when taken in large quantities.
It's all about balance, baby, amirite?
5. Too Much ACV Might Hurt Your Tummy
While some people use ACV to balance their digestion, for others, it can cause a completely opposite effect.
It can lead to stomach cramping, aching, diarrhea, and again, potentially the erosion of stomach lining when taken in large quantities.
6. A Lot Of The Benefits Have Only Been Anecdotal
There hasn't been a ton of research done on all the effects of ACV.
So, while there are links to real benefits based on what apple cider vinegar actually contains, many of the claims you probably hear about that are related to sustained health are more of a case-by-case sort of thing.