Apple cider vinegar is a type of vinegar made from fermented apple juice or crushed apples. It is commonly used in vinaigrettes, marinades, dressings, and other sauces to give sour flavor to the dishes.
Due to the fermentation, the vinegar contains probiotics and yeasts. The main substance in vinegar is acetic acid,which can help prevent harmful bacteria from multiplying. Unfiltered apple cider vinegar contains enzymes and probiotic healthy bacteria.
Recently, supplement brands took the hype around apple cider vinegar to a whole new level. Vinegar gummy vitamins became a trend on various social media platforms. The supplements were claimed to improve weight, boost the immune system, ease digestion, and promote heart health.
But what are the realistic health benefits of apple cider vinegar? Is it healthy or deceiving? Are there any side effects and risks from apple cider vinegar consumption?
This article will give you the answers to all of these questions.
Let’s get started!
Nutritional value of apple cider vinegar
According to ClevelandClinic, apple cider vinegar does not have impressive nutritional value, as it does not contain significant amounts of vitamins and minerals. It is also low in calories.
That being said, raw apple cider vinegar contains acetic acid, natural probiotics, and antioxidants. These compounds give this vinegar its healthy properties. 
Health benefits of apple cider vinegar
There are tons of different health claims for apple cider vinegar. But only a few of them are actually backed up by research studies.
For example, there is no sufficient evidence showing that specifically apple cider vinegar (compared to other types of vinegar) reduces blood pressure.
If you have hypertension or aim to lower your blood pressure, consult your healthcare provider about treatment methods, which are safe and suitable for you and your lifestyle.
Heart health and immune support
Furthermore, contrary to popular speculations, there is no strong evidence that apple cider vinegar improves heart health.
When it comes to skincare, the US National Eczema Association suggests that topical use of apple cider vinegar may restore the natural pH of the skin but may irritate and impair the skin barrier integrity in people with atopic dermatitis. 
A 2009 study conducted on 175 people found that individuals who consume 1 or 2 tablespoons of vinegar every day lost 2-4 pounds in three months, compared to individuals who did not take vinegar. 
However, according to Harvard Health Publishing, there is no compelling evidence supporting the claims that taking apple cider vinegar (or another type of vinegar) leads to healthy weight loss in the long run.  The source also warns people who (want to) use apple cider vinegar for weight loss or other health benefits that it is unclear how much vinegar to take and when to take it safely.
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A study conducted on 70 patients diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and hyperlipidemia (high blood cholesterol) suggests that 20ml of apple vinegar per day for 8 weeks may positively affect glycemic index and oxidative stress. 
Another piece of evidence estimates that supplementation with vinegar for 8-12 weeks may reduce the blood sugar levels by 0.39% in the long run. 
According to a 2018 paper published in the Journal of Scientific Reports, apple cider vinegar may have antimicrobial capacity against various types of bacteria: Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, and Candida albicans. 
Apple cider vinegar diluted with water (1-2 Tablespoons) or mixed with olive oil or tahini for a yummy salad dressing is a great way to add it to your diet. As with many good things in life, more doesn’t mean better. Too much apple cider vinegar can lead to erosion of tooth enamel, stomach upset, throat irritation, and low potassium levels. Include for the antimicrobial and probiotic properties, but no need to over consume.
Side effects of apple cider vinegar consumption
Furthermore, this condiment may worsen the health condition of individuals diagnosed with kidney disease and hypokalemia (low potassium levels). 
Other side effects of excess apple cider vinegar consumption include :
- Nausea and vomiting (due to the high acidity)
- Interaction with some medicines: insulin, diuretic medication, and others. Speak to your healthcare provider about the possible interactions between apple cider vinegar and the medicines you currently take (if any).