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Apple Cider Vinegar

What Are the Risks of Apple Cider Vinegar? continued...

Using apple cider vinegar supplements -- instead of the liquid itself -- adds another layer of risk. You just can't be sure what you're really getting. Unlike medicines, supplements are not regulated by the FDA. They aren't routinely tested for effectiveness or even basic safety. A 2005 study looked at the ingredients of eight different brands of apple cider vinegar supplements. The researchers found that:

  • The ingredients listed on the box did not reflect the actual ingredients.
  • The ingredients varied a great deal between different brands.
  • The recommended dosages varied a great deal between brands.

Most disturbing, the chemical analysis of these samples led the researchers to doubt whether any of these brands actually contained any apple cider vinegar at all.

Should I Use Apple Cider Vinegar?

The answer depends on how you want to use apple cider vinegar. If you use it as a salad dressing, you should be fine. But taken as a daily medical treatment, it could be a little more risky. Yes, some studies of apple cider vinegar are intriguing. But a lot more research needs to be done. Right now, there is not enough evidence that apple cider vinegar -- or any vinegar -- has any health benefit for any condition. Since the benefits are unknown, so are the risks.

If you're thinking about trying apple cider vinegar, talk to your health care provider first. Your health care provider can assess whether the apple cider vinegar will affect other health conditions you have or the effectiveness of the medicines you take. Trying to control a serious medical condition on your own with an unproven treatment is both unwise and dangerous.

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WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Kimball Johnson, MD on September 21, 2012

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