Googling apple cider vinegar returns seemingly endless search results, many of which describe apple cider vinegar to be the key to a healthy lifestyle.

Apple Cider Vinegar’s purported health benefits – from weight loss to blood sugar regulation – have been reported in a wide range of websites from from Cosmopolitan to Authority Nutrition.

But is apple cider vinegar really the solution to improving your overall health?

Well, that depends.

Do you have diabetes?

If you already have diabetes, apple cider vinegar will not be able to provide a cure. In fact, apple cider vinegar could be harmful to those with diabetes who present with certain symptoms of the condition.,

Before considering the use of apple cider vinegar in your diet, consult with your primary healthcare provider to make sure it won’t interact negatively with the treatment of your condition..

Do you want to lose weight?

If you want to use apple cider vinegar to lose weight, then you may be out of luck. No studies have been done on a big enough sample group to prove that apple cider vinegar does cause people to lose weight.

Do you want to have pearly white teeth?

Apple cider vinegar is really acidic. If you don’t dilute it properly, you could actually cause harm your teeth.

Do you want to see small improvements to your overall health?

Drinking apple cider vinegar can cause minor improvements to your health: not just any apple cider vinegar, but, raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar that is diluted properly with water. Any more than two tablespoons in a big glass of water could cause major problems in your health.

Some improvements to your health that you may be able to see include:

  • better blood sugar control
  • probiotics (the good bacteria) that can help your digestive system
  • potentially killing off bad bacteria in your body

Is too much unsafe?

According to the National Institutes of Health, “hypokalemia was observed in a 28-year-old woman who had reportedly consumed approximately 250 mL of apple cider vinegar daily for 6 years.”

Hypokalemia is the deficiency of potassium in the bloodstream.  Symptoms of hypokalemia may include:

  • Fatigue
  • Constipation
  • Muscle damage
  • Abnormal heart beats

Are the benefits really worth the risk?

It’s good to consider habits you can infuse into your daily lifestyle that will allow you to live healthier, but the only way to be certain is to ask your physician. Your primary care doctor is the best person to help you decide whether the minimal benefits of apple cider vinegar outweigh the risks as it relates to your lifestyle and needs..

If you’re curious as to whether apple cider vinegar can be beneficial for you, reach out to your primary care physician for advice. To see the wide range of services offered at USC Verdugo Hills Hospital, click here.

By Leonard Kim