Apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is a traditional folk medicine believed to boost energy and lower blood sugar.

What are its health benefits?

While its health claims have not been scientifically proven, apple cider vinegar uses include assisting in the management of:

Other health claims include:

  • Maintaining healthy skin
  • Improving digestion
  • Maintaining normal bowel movement function

Apple cider vinegar and weight loss is often linked but claims are often exaggerated and there is no scientific evidence to support this use. 

What is the nutritional breakdown of apple cider vinegar?

Apple cider vinegar is the fermented juice of crushed apples. It contains acetic acid and nutrients such as B vitamins and vitamin C.

Like apple juice, it probably contains some pectin, vitamins B1, B2, and B6, biotin, folic acid, vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) and vitamin C. It also contains small amounts of the minerals sodium, phosphorous, potassium, calcium, iron and magnesium.

Recommended dietary allowance (RDA)

Dosage guidelines indicate three tablespoons of vinegar per day. Because apple cider vinegar is highly acidic, use it cautiously to prevent irritation of the stomach and oesophagus as well as damaging deteriorating tooth enamel.

If you are considering taking apple cider vinegar, which also comes in capsule form, first talk to your doctor or Clicks pharmacist about whether you should be taking it and the correct dosage if so. 

Possible side effects

A small amount of apple cider is safe, but larger doses may cause side effects such as the erosion of tooth enamel and a burning sensation in the mouth and throat.

Women with osteoporosis should use apple cider vinegar with caution, as it may reduce bone density when used regularly.

Because it may alter insulin levels, people with diabetes should consult with their doctor first before taking it.
Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should avoid using apple cider vinegar as not enough is known about the safety.

Ensure you discuss dietary supplementation with your Clicks pharmacist to avoid the potential for side effects and adverse interactions with medications.

The accuracy of this information was checked and approved by Clicks' pharmacist Waheed Abdurahman in August 2015