Apple cider vinegar is wildly popular in the natural health and wellness world.
Many claim it can lead to weight loss, decreased cholesterol, and lower blood sugar levels.
Some turn to apple cider vinegar pills to reap these benefits without consuming liquid vinegar.
This article looks at apple cider vinegar pills’ possible benefits and downsides.
What are apple cider vinegar pills?
Apple cider vinegar is made by fermenting apples with yeast and bacteria. Supplements in pill form contain a dehydrated form of vinegar.
People may take pills over liquid apple cider vinegar if they don’t like the vinegar’s strong taste or smell.
The amount of apple cider vinegar in the pills varies by brand, but one capsule typically contains about 500 mg, equivalent to two liquid teaspoons (10 ml). Some brands also include other ingredients that aid metabolism, such as cayenne pepper.
Summary: Apple cider vinegar pills contain a powder form of the vinegar in varying amounts, sometimes along with other ingredients.
Possible uses and benefits of apple cider vinegar pills
There is little research on the effects of apple cider vinegar pills.
Supposed benefits are based on studies that looked at liquid apple cider vinegar or acetic acid, its main active compound.
While these studies help predict the possible effects of apple cider vinegar pills, it’s difficult to assess if the pill form has the same effect.
Scientists suspect that compounds in liquid vinegar may decrease fat production and improve your body’s ability to use sugar, leading to most of its health benefits.
Some of the benefits of apple cider vinegar that are backed by science include:
- Weight loss: Drinking diluted vinegar may aid weight loss and decrease body fat.
- Blood sugar control: Vinegar has been shown to decrease blood sugar levels.
- Reduction in cholesterol: Vinegar may reduce cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
Most research on the effects of vinegar has been conducted in rats and mice, but the few studies that include humans offer promising results.
One study found that people who consumed a diluted drink with 0.5–1.0 ounces (15–30 ml) of vinegar every day for 12 weeks lost 1.98–7.48 pounds (0.9–3.4 kg) more weight than the control group.
Another study found that 0.04 ounces (1 gram) of acetic acid, the main active ingredient in apple cider vinegar, mixed with olive oil, decreased the blood sugar response by 34% in healthy adults after eating white bread.
For those with type 2 diabetes, drinking two tablespoons (30 ml) of apple cider vinegar and water daily decreased fasting blood sugar levels by 4% after just two days.
Summary: Research suggests that liquid apple cider vinegar may benefit people with high cholesterol, who want to lose weight, or who have type 2 diabetes. Whether or not these benefits translate to pill forms of vinegar is unknown.
Possible side effects of apple cider vinegar pills
Consuming apple cider vinegar can lead to adverse side effects, including indigestion, throat irritation, and low potassium.
These effects most likely occur because of the vinegar’s acidity. Long-term consumption of apple cider vinegar may also disrupt your body’s acid-base balance.
One study found that people who consumed a drink with 0.88 ounces (25 grams) of apple cider vinegar with breakfast felt significantly more nauseous than people who did not.
An evaluation of the safety of apple cider vinegar tablets reported that one woman experienced irritation and difficulty swallowing for six months after a pill got stuck in her throat.
Furthermore, a case study of a 28-year-old woman who had a daily drink of eight ounces (250 ml) of apple cider vinegar mixed with water for six years reported that she was hospitalized with low potassium levels and osteoporosis.
Suggested read: 6 health benefits of apple cider vinegar
Liquid apple cider vinegar has been shown to erode tooth enamel as well.
While apple cider vinegar pills probably won’t lead to tooth erosion, they have been shown to cause throat irritation. They may have other adverse side effects similar to those of liquid vinegar.
Summary: Studies and case reports suggest that ingesting apple cider vinegar can lead to upset stomach, throat irritation, low potassium, and tooth enamel erosion. Apple cider vinegar pills may have similar side effects.
Apple cider vinegar pills dosage and choosing a supplement
Due to the minimal research on apple cider vinegar pills, there is no suggested or standard dosage.
The current research suggests that 1–2 tablespoons (15–30 ml) per day of liquid apple cider vinegar diluted in water appears safe and has health benefits.
Most brands of apple cider vinegar pills recommend similar amounts, though few state an equivalent in liquid form, and it’s difficult to verify this information.
While the recommended dosages of apple cider vinegar pills may be similar to what appears to be safe and effective in liquid form, it’s unknown if the pills have the same properties as the liquid.
Moreover, the reported amount of apple cider vinegar in pills may be inaccurate since the FDA doesn’t regulate supplements. The pills could also contain ingredients that aren’t listed.
One study analyzed eight apple cider vinegar pills and found that their labels and reported ingredients were inconsistent and inaccurate.
If you want to try apple cider vinegar pills, consider the possible risks. You can buy them over the counter or online
It’s best to look for brands tested by a third party and include a logo from NSF International, NSF Certified for Sport, United States Pharmacopeia (USP), Informed-Choice, ConsumerLab, or the Banned Substances Control Group (BSCG).
Consuming apple cider vinegar in a liquid form diluted with water may be the best way to know precisely what you are ingesting.
Suggested read: Can apple cider vinegar help you lose weight?
Summary: Due to the limited research, there is no standard dosage for apple cider vinegar pills. These supplements are not regulated by the FDA and may contain varying amounts of apple cider vinegar or unknown ingredients.
Apple cider vinegar in liquid form may aid weight loss, blood sugar control, and high cholesterol levels.
People who don’t like vinegar’s strong smell or taste may be interested in apple cider vinegar pills.
It’s unclear whether apple cider vinegar pills have the same health benefits as the liquid form or if they’re safe in similar dosages.
These supplements are not regulated by the FDA and may contain varying amounts of apple cider vinegar or unknown ingredients, making it difficult to assess their safety.
If you want to reap the possible benefits of apple cider vinegar, consuming the liquid form may be your best bet. You can dilute it with water to drink, add it to salad dressings, or mix it into soups.