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Apple cider vinegar is the natural product of fermenting crushed apples. Vinegar has been used as a health tonic for thousands of years for many different ailments.

Why do people take apple cider vinegar?

Several studies have found that vinegar -- including apple cider vinegar -- may lower blood sugar levels. This could have benefits for people with diabetes. Some types of vinegar have also been shown to make people feel fuller. This could support the traditional use of apple cider vinegar for weight loss. People use apple cider vinegar for many other uses, including vaginitis, general detoxification, skin health, and high blood pressure, though there are no clinical trials examining these conditions to refute or support the traditional use.

Animal and laboratory studies have found evidence that apple cider vinegar might help lower cholesterol and blood pressure and slow the growth of some cancer cells. However, this research is only in its early stages. It’s too soon to say whether the same results will be seen in people.

How much apple cider vinegar should you take?

Because apple cider vinegar is an unproven treatment, there are no official recommendations on how to use it. Some people take 2 teaspoons or more a day of apple cider vinegar mixed in a cup of water or juice. Tablets with 285 milligrams of dehydrated apple cider vinegar are also commonly sold.

Can you get apple cider vinegar naturally from foods?

Apple cider vinegar is itself sold as a food.

What are the risks of taking apple cider vinegar?

  • Side effects. Taking small amounts of apple cider is probably safe. But larger doses, or long-term use, of apple cider vinegar could have risks. Taking apple cider vinegar at full strength could erode the enamel of the teeth and burn the mouth and throat. Throat injury from an apple cider vinegar tablet has also been reported.
  • Risks. Women with osteoporosis should be wary of apple cider vinegar. Used regularly, apple cider vinegar could reduce bone density. Because it can alter insulin levels, people with diabetes should not use apple cider vinegar without telling their doctors first.
  • Interactions. People taking laxatives, diuretics, and medication for heart disease and diabetes should check with a doctor before using apple cider vinegar supplements.

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