Nothing exists in a vacuum. Our bodies are complex organisms that are constantly moving, with chemicals acting and interacting. Sometimes substances work synergistically, bringing out the best in each other. Other times, they work antagonistically, making something that’s generally beneficial harmful instead.
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) can be used to promote optimal health, from skin and hair to proper digestion and weight loss. It can even fight deadly inflammation, heal bruises, and even kill cancer. When mixed with some pharmaceuticals, however, serious adverse reactions can occur such as the apple cider vinegar side effects below.
Apple Cider Vinegar Side Effects: Contraindications for ACV
If you are taking any medication at all, it’s a good idea to consult with your healthcare provider or nutritionist to ensure no adverse reactions with any dietary supplement, including ACV. Following are medications and conditions that can result in these apple cider vinegar side effects.
1. Diabetes Drugs
ACV can effectively regulate blood glucose, reducing sugar levels and stimulating insulin production. (1) If you’re taking an insulin injection or insulin-stimulating medication for diabetes, however, blood sugar can go down too far too fast. In addition, potassium levels can significantly decrease as well, with implications for heart and muscle function and proper digestion.
Further, ACV slows the rate at which food is released from the stomach into the lower digestive tract and subsequently into the bloodstream. This is the mechanism for how ACV is effective in moderating blood glucose. (2) Gastroparesis is a common consequence of type 1 diabetes in which the nerves in the stomach are dulled and digestion slows. Taking ACV if you have gastroparesis slows down digestion too much, making it extremely difficult to regulate blood sugar levels. (3)
“Water pills” are prescribed to reduce the amount of sodium and water in the body. They are used for glaucoma, hypertension, edema (swelling), and other conditions to relieve water retention and pressure. Diuretics stimulate the kidneys to release more sodium into urine, taking water from cells with it. In this way, the medication reduces blood pressure. (4)
Sodium and potassium in the body work in an inverse relationship: the more sodium present, the less potassium there is. If you are taking a diuretic to reduce sodium, you may already have a potassium deficiency, as potassium can get flushed out as well. (5) ACV can exacerbate that.
Common diuretics include:
- Chlorothiazide (Diuril)
- Hydrochlorothiazide (Microzide)
- Bumetanide (Bumex)
- Ethacrynic acid (Edecrin)
- Furosemide (Lasix)
- Torsemide (Demadex)
- Eplerenone (Inspra)
- Spironolactone (Aldactone)
- Triamterene (Dyrenium)