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When taking apple cider vinegar, precautions and warnings to be aware of include those concerning potential drug interactions, the risk of the capsules or tablets getting stuck in your throat, and the safety of taking it when pregnant or breastfeeding. To avoid potential problems, be sure to talk to your healthcare provider prior to using apple cider vinegar if you have difficulty swallowing, ulcers, or any allergies.

Is Apple Cider Vinegar Safe?

While using a small amount of apple cider vinegar in cooking is probably safe for most people, it is not known if it is safe to take the apple cider vinegar supplements or large amounts of apple cider vinegar. In order to use the product safely, you should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking it if you have:
  • A narrowing (stricture) of the esophagus
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Indigestion, heartburn, or ulcers
  • Any other health problems or concerns
  • Any allergies, including allergies to food, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
  • Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
  • Breastfeeding.
You should also be sure to tell your healthcare provider about any other medicines you are taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Specific Apple Cider Vinegar Warnings and Precautions

Some warnings and precautions to be aware of concerning the safety of apple cider vinegar include the following:
  • Apple cider vinegar tablets or capsules could burn your throat if they happen to get stuck. Be sure to take these products with a full glass of water while in an upright position (not lying down or reclining). If you have trouble swallowing tablets or capsules, or if you have a narrowing of your esophagus, it is probably a good idea to avoid apple cider vinegar tablets or capsules.
  • Apple cider vinegar has a high acid content, which can make indigestion, heartburn, or ulcers worse.
  • Unpasteurized apple cider vinegar products may contain harmful bacteria or toxins.
  • Apple cider vinegar supplements can interact with certain medications (see Apple Cider Vinegar Drug Interactions).
  • It is not known if apple cider vinegar is safe for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding (see Apple Cider Vinegar and Pregnancy and Apple Cider Vinegar and Breastfeeding).
  • If you decide to use supplements, what you see on the label may not reflect what is in the bottle. For example, some herbal supplements have been found to be contaminated with heavy metals or prescription drugs, and some have been found to have much more or much less of the featured ingredient than their label states.
Therefore, make sure that the manufacturer of your apple cider vinegar is trusted and reputable. It is a good sign if a manufacturer abides by the rules of Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP). It is also a good sign if a product has the United States Pharmacopoeia (USP) seal, which means that the product has been independently tested and shown to contain the correct ingredients in the amounts listed on the label. Your pharmacist is a good resource for information about which manufacturers are the most reputable.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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