- Does apple cider vinegar work? Apple cider vinegar (as a liquid) may reduce or slow the increase in blood sugar after eating (although it may not help people with diabetes) and may modestly aid with weight loss. The effects of apple cider vinegar may be due to its acetic acid content, which tends to be about 5% in vinegars (equaling about 800 to 900 mg of acetic acid per tablespoon). There is no good clinical research supporting the use of pills containing apple cider vinegar in powder form — these generally provide a much smaller amount of acetic acid per serving but can be dangerous if the acetic acid is too highly concentrated. (See What It Is and What It Does).
- What did CL's tests of apple cider vinegar show? One bottled apple cider vinegar could not be approved because we were not able to authenticate its contents as true apple cider vinegar, and two supplements were deemed Not Approved because they did not have the acidity claimed on their labels. Products were found to vary in their acidity and acetic acid content (which ranged from as little as 14 mg to 816 mg per serving). The cost to get 750 mg of acetic acid from products ranged from just 6 to 19 cents for most bottled products to as much as $1.43 to $20 among supplements. (See What CL Found and use the Results table to compare the amounts of acetic acid in products).
- Best apple cider vinegar products: Two bottled apple cider vinegars (one with "Mother" and one without) were chosen as Top Picks, providing real apple cider vinegar with appropriate acetic acid content at a good value (just pennies per dose) and without heavy metal contamination. CL also selected a Top Pick among tablets, capsules and gummies, although there is no good evidence that these provide a health benefit, as they provide so little acetic acid — just 14 to 62 mg per serving.
- How much apple cider vinegar to take: Typically one teaspoon to one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar is diluted in 1.5 to 8 ounces of warm water and taken before meals. (See ConsumerTips: Dosage)
- Apple cider vinegar safety and side effects: Chronic use of apple cider vinegar may erode tooth enamel, so don't let it linger in the mouth, and rinse afterward. As it may affect blood sugar levels, it should be used with caution in people with diabetes. It should also be used with caution in people with gastroparesis (delayed stomach emptying), as it may further slow the movement of food in the stomach. For more details, see Concerns and Cautions.